Oldest InhabitedCities in the World

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Earliest inhabitation: 250 B.C.E.

While this modern-day city celebrates its 2060th birthday this July, it was actually inhabited many years earlier by this tribe.

Athens, Greece
Earliest inhabitation: 1400 B.C.E.

Considered the cradle of Western civilization, this history-rich city is the birthplace of a modern form of government and hosted this inaugural sporting event.
Cadiz, Spain
Earliest inhabitation: 1100 B.C.E.

Located on a land spit in the south of Spain, this ancient city was the principal trading post for its founding tribe. Currently, this seaside city is home to a Spanish military branch.
Balkh, Afghanistan
Earliest inhabitation: 1500 B.C.E.

Often referred to as this by Arabs, this ancient city is located in modern-day northern Afghanistan. A famous explorer described Balkh as "a noble and great city."
Tyre, Lebanon
Earliest inhabitation: 2750 B.C.E.

The legendary birthplace of Dido, the historically rich, modern-day city of Tyre boasts a large and active tourist industry.
Varanasi, India
Earliest inhabitation: 1000 B.C.E.

Also known by this name to English speakers, Varanasi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. It was settled on the banks of a sacred river and is regarded as a holy city by Hindus, practitioners of this religion and Jains.
Cholula, Mexico
Earliest inhabitation: 500 B.C.E.

Located in this central Mexican state, this small colonial city is home to a multitude of Catholic churches, including this famous religious tourist attraction.
Damascus, Syria
Earliest inhabitation: 4300 B.C.E.

The capital of Syria, Damascus is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Settled during the transition from the middle to late Bronze Age, this thriving city is considered one of the major religious and cultural centers of the region.
Larnaca, Cyprus
Earliest inhabitation: 1400 B.C.E.

Named this by the founding Phoenicians, the modern city of Larnaca is known for its beautiful seafront and numerous beaches
St. Augustine, Fla.
Earliest inhabitation: 1565 C.E.

Founded in the mid-1500s by a Spanish explorer, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S.. The modern-day city has become a popular tourist attraction for its Spanish colonial buildings
Jerusalem, Israel
Earliest inhabitation: 2800 B.C.E.

The spiritual center for believers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, this holy city has been captured 44 times and destroyed twice throughout its tumultuous history
Lisbon, Portugal
Earliest inhabitation: 1200 B.C.E.

This densely populated capital city boasts a rich history. Located where a river empties into an ocean, the city has maintained a strong trading harbor and is recognized throughout the world as an alpha city
Beirut, Lebanon
Earliest inhabitation: 3000 B.C.E.

As Lebanon's modern-day capital city as well as its cultural and economic center, this city has a history spanning about 5,000 years.
Jericho, Palestinian Territories
Earliest inhabitation: 9000 B.C.E.

Dating back 11,000 years, this city is considered by most archaeologists to be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. With numerous small lakes and springs, it is described in a holy text as the "city of palm trees"
Earliest inhabitation: 753 B.C.E.

According to legend, these legendary Roman twin brothers founded the city in 753 B.C.E. Today Italy's capital city is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world due to its plentiful archaeological and artistic treasures
Gaziantep, Turkey
Earliest inhabitation: 3650 B.C.E.

Located in southern Turkey, this ancient city has a history dating all the way back to its early Bronze Age inhabitants.
Thebes, Greece
Earliest inhabitation: 1400 B.C.E.

The ancient rival of another Greek city, Thebes ruled a confederacy in the fifth century B.C.E. and was a powerhouse due to a historic invasion. Today the city is a bustling market town
Aleppo, Syria
Earliest inhabitation: 4300 B.C.E.

The largest city in Syria, Aleppo is located at the end of a famous trade route and was originally founded under this name. Rich in history, this modern-day city lures adventurous travelers from around the world
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Earliest inhabitation: 4000 B.C.E.

A major cultural center, this city is the second largest in Bulgaria and at one time was ruled by these empire builders. Today the city showcases many ancient remains, including this engineering invention
Susa, Iran
Earliest inhabitation: 4200 B.C.E.

This ancient city was the setting of an Athenian tragedy, the oldest surviving play in history. Today a modern Iranian town is located on the site of the ancient city of Susa.
Byblos, Lebanon
Earliest inhabitation: 5000 B.C.E.

Originally founded in 5000 B.C.E. under this name, this city was renamed Byblos by another ancient people. Today the city is known by its Arabic name, Jubayl
Kirkuk, Iraq
Earliest inhabitation: 2200 B.C.E.

Situated 150 miles north of this city, Kirkuk was built on the site of an ancient Assyrian capital. Today the city is the headquarters of a lucrative Iraqi industry.
Faiyum, Egypt
Earliest inhabitation: 4000 B.C.E.

Located south of this Egyptian city, the modern city of Faiyum occupies part of an ancient city whose people worshipped a sacred animal. It is the oldest Egyptian city on record.
Abril, Iraq
Earliest inhabitation: 2300 B.C.E.

A major stop along a major trading route, this Iraqi city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back to 2300 B.C.E. An ancient fortress still stands in the historical heart of Abril and is a popular tourist attraction.
Sidon, Lebanon
Earliest inhabitation: 4000 B.C.E.

One of the most important Phoenician cities, this ancient municipality is said to have been visited by a holy figure, as well as an ancient conqueror who captured the city in 333 B.C.E.


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Oldest InhabitedCities in the World

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