This is an incomplete list of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. There are some points of contention here and care should be taken when using the list below. The cities have been listed because either the archaeological record has shown, or documents have supported the claim, that the settlement was in existence at the time given. Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek grc ἀρχαιολογία archaiologia – grc ἀρχαῖος archaīos However, presence here should in no way indicate that there is total consensus over the date the city was founded — differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" (usually relating to the population size) as well as "continuously inhabited" (relating to changing population size; changes in location and changes in name). Consensus has two common meanings One is a general agreement among the members of a given group or Community, each of which exercises some discretion in A city is an Urban area with a large Population and a particular Administrative, Legal, or Historical status Additionally, where an approximate date has been given, the date was treated as the lower end of the estimate for the purposes of the table.
The definition of "continuously inhabited city" for the purposes of this list was that there must be referenced claims to the effect that the city had been constantly settled since the date shown. A city is an Urban area with a large Population and a particular Administrative, Legal, or Historical status This is different from there simply being 'evidence of human occupation in the area'.
Several cities listed here (Aleppo, Arbil, and Byblos) each claim to be 'the oldest city in the world'. For other meanings see Aleppo (disambiguation. Halab redirects here for other meanings see Halab (disambiguation. Arbil (also written Erbil or Irbil; BGN: Arbīl; Kurdish: ههولێر Hewlêr Byblos ( Βύβλος) is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal (earlier Gubla) An attempt has been made to discuss the validity of each of their claims alongside their stated position in the table. Note that claims of "continuous habitation" since a Neolithic date will always be subject to considerable uncertainty.
The list's scope is to include settlements founded before Classical Antiquity, i. Classical antiquity (also the classical era or classical period) is a broad term for a long period of cultural History centered on the Mediterranean e. before the foundation of Rome in 753 BC. Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 Events and trends 756 BC — Founding of Cyzicus. 755 BC — Ashur-nirari V succeeds Ashur-Dan III as king of Assyria
|Name||Location||Approximate time founded||Note(s)|
|Jericho||Palestine||9,000 BC||Evidence indicates that the city was abandoned several times, and later expanded and rebuilt several times. Jericho ( Arabic, ʼArīḥā; Hebrew, Standard Yəriḥo Tiberian Yərîḫô Name There are differences of opinion as to what the Palestinian territories should be called |
|Byblos||Lebanon||5,000 BC||Settled from the Neolithic (carbon-dating tests have set the age of earliest settlement around 7000), a "town" since the 3rd millennium BC. Byblos ( Βύβλος) is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal (earlier Gubla) Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية Byblos had a reputation as the "oldest city in the world" in Antiquity (according to Philo of Byblos). The more famous Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE-40 CE was an educated Hellenized Jewish philosopher|
|Damascus||Syria||4,300 BC-3000 BC||Excavations at Tel Ramad on the outskirts of the city have demonstrated that Damascus was inhabited as early as 8000 to 10,000 BC. Damascus ( دمشق,, also commonly known as الشام ash-Shām) is the capital and largest city of Syria. Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية  However, Damascus is not documented as an important city until the coming of the Aramaeans which is the date used in this table. The Aramaeans (also Arameans) ( Aramaic / Syriac: ܐܪܡܝܐ, Ārāmāye' were a Semitic (West Semitic language group See reference for presence of urban life among cattle herders at this date — also due to land fertility and constant water source.|
|Aleppo||Syria||4,300||Originating in the early second millennium BC, Syria's second-largest city, Aleppo, vies with Damascus for the title of the world's oldest continuously inhabited city. For other meanings see Aleppo (disambiguation. Halab redirects here for other meanings see Halab (disambiguation. Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Both can demonstrate occupation for more than 8,000 years|
|Susa||Iran||4200 BC||As a city, up to 7500 years of inhabitation|
|Sidon||Lebanon||4,000 BC and perhaps, earlier||There is evidence that Sidon was inhabited as long ago as 4000 B. Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. Sidon,or Saïda, ( Arabic ar صيدا; Phoenician phoenician yodh Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية C. , and perhaps, as early as Neolithic times (6000 - 4000 B. C. )|
|Medinat Al-Fayoum (as Crocodilopolis or Arsinoe)||Egypt||4,000 BC|
|Gaziantep||Turkey||3,650 BC||This is disputed, although most modern scholars place the Classical Antiochia ad Taurum at Gaziantep, some maintain that it was in fact located at Aleppo. Faiyum ( Arabic: الفيوم Coptic:) is a city in Middle Egypt and the capital of the Faiyum Governorate. Crocodilopolis or Krokodilopolis ( Greek:) or Ptolemais Euergetis or Arsinoe (Greek) was an ancient city in the Heptanomis, This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Antiochia ad Taurum ( Greek: Αντιόχεια του Ταύρου "Antiochia in the Taurus" was an ancient city of Hellenistic foundation in the Furthermore, that the two cities occupy the same site is far from established fact (see Gaziantep). Assuming this to be the case, the date of founding the present site would be in the region of 1,000 BC. (see Gaziantep)|
|Beirut||Lebanon||3,000 BC or earlier|
|Jerusalem|| Israel and|
|Arbil||Iraq||2,300 BC or earlier|
|Kirkuk (as 'Arrapha')||Iraq||3,000-2,200 BC|
|Balkh (as Bactra)||Afghanistan||ca. Beirut (بيروت Bayrūt) is the Capital and Largest city of Lebanon with a population of over 2 Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, he-Latn Yerushaláyim; Arabic: ar القُدس, ar-Latn al-Quds) is the For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. Name There are differences of opinion as to what the Palestinian territories should be called Tyre ( Arabic صور Ṣūr, Phoenician Phoenician wawsvg|12px|ו]] Ṣur, Hebrew Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية Arbil (also written Erbil or Irbil; BGN: Arbīl; Kurdish: ههولێر Hewlêr For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Kirkuk (also spelled Karkuk or Kerkuk; Kurdish: كهركووك Kerkûk; Arabic: كركوك Turkish:Kerkük; For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Balkh ( - Balḫ) also known as Bactra, was once a major world city but was destroyed entirely by the Mongols. Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, 1,500 BC||Balkh is one of the oldest settlements of the region. |
|Larnaca||Cyprus||ca. Larnaca, ( Greek: Λάρνακα, Turkish: Larnaka) is a City of the Republic of Cyprus situated on the southern coast Cyprus (Κύπρος transliterated: Kýpros,; Kıbrıs officially the Republic of Cyprus (Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía 1400 BC||Mycenaean, then Phoenician colony|
|Thebes||Greece||ca. Phoenicia ( Phoenician: Phoenician nunsvg|12px|נ]]Phoenician nun Thebes ( Classic Greek Θῆβαι, Mod Θήβα) is a city in Greece, situated to the north of the Cithaeron range which divides Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία 1400 BC||Mycenaean foundation|
|Athens||Greece||1,400 BC||Mycenean foundation, with traces of earlier habitation on the Acropolis. Athens (ˈæθənz Αθήνα Athina,) the Capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery as one of the world's Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία The Acropolis of Athens is the best known Acropolis (high city The "Sacred Rock" in the world|
|Varanasi||India||before 1,000 BC||Iron Age foundation (Painted Grey Ware culture). Cádiz ( Spanish:) is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the province of the same name, a province which is one of eight Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Varanasi ( Sanskrit: वाराणसी Vārāṇasī, pronunciation) also commonly known as Benares ( or Banaras (बनारस India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country The Iron Age in the Indian subcontinent succeeds the Late Harappan (Cemetery H culture also known as the last phase of the Indus Valley Tradition The Painted Grey Ware culture (PGW is an Iron Age culture of Gangetic plain, lasting from roughly 1100 BC to 350 BC.|