Damascus is an ancient city that once had a civilization that shook the world. Photo/Travel.Earth
WASHINGTON – Have you ever wondered when and where the first human settlements were located? Although scholars have long debated which city is the oldest of the cities, there are several cities that are considered strong contenders.
These ancient cities saw entire civilizations and empires come and go, and therefore have even more stories rich in cultural heritage to share. Its interesting history and beautiful architecture will show traces of human civilization continuing to develop.
Here are the 10 Oldest Cities in the World that Have Stood the Test of Time.
1. Athens: Birthplace of Classical Greece
According to Travel.Earth, the capital of Greece, Athens, is one of the oldest cities in the world which has been continuously inhabited since between 5000 BC-4000 BC. The city was once a powerful city-state in ancient Greek civilization, and has been called the “cradle of democracy” and the “cradle of Western civilization.”
However, the oldest traces of human existence date back to 11000 BC-7000 BC. The city was completely destroyed on two different occasions, following the Dorian and Persian invasions that occurred in 1200 BC and 492-490 BC.
Athens is currently one of the most famous European tourist destinations and the oldest capital city in Europe. History lovers love strolling around the city visiting historical gems representing various empires such as the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.
2. Byblos: One of the Oldest Phoenician Cities
This ancient port city is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, about 42 kilometers north of Beirut. Byblos is the oldest city in Lebanon and has been continuously inhabited since at least 5,000 BC.
Originally known as Geba, Byblos is believed to have been first inhabited by humans between 8800 and 7000 BC. The city is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an archaeological wonder due to the successive layers of rubble caused by centuries of human habitation.
Byblos was the site of the first importation of papyrus into Greece and therefore many believe that the Greeks took the name of the city as the word for the book – “biblos”.
3. Argos: The Largest City in Argolis
Located in Argolis, Peloponnese, Greece, Argos is perhaps the only city that can challenge Athens for the title of Europe’s oldest surviving city. The city has been continuously inhabited since around 5000 or 6000 BC.