June 2, 2023 3:04 pm

There are dozens of cities across the globe that have been lived in by humans for thousands upon thousands of years. Nevertheless, when it comes to pinpointing the oldest constantly inhabited city, there is no simple answer. 

The conundrum is a bit like the Ship of Theseus believed experiment: if a city is knocked down, restored, moved slightly, constructed on leading of, knocked down once again, and reconstructed, is it the identical city or a new entity? 

With out having as well bogged down in philosophical roundabouts, there are a quantity of locations that could possibly take the crown of the world’s longest-standing city – pretty much all of which lay in the Middle East.

The city of Jericho, recognized for an infamous war in the Old Testament that in all probability didn’t occur, is usually credited with becoming the earliest city that is nevertheless standing. Archaeological proof has recommended the location has been the web page of a lot of successive settlements more than the previous millennia. Components of the city and its well-known walls are believed to have been initial constructed about 9,000 BCE. 

Nevertheless, these structures should really not be confused with contemporary-day Jericho, the Palestinian city in the West Bank. The ancient aspect of Jericho is truly recognized as Inform es-Sultan, about two kilometers (1.two miles) north of the present-day city center. There is some debate about irrespective of whether it can be thought of constantly inhabited, but if you are asked what the oldest city is throughout a quiz, then it is most likely they will be expecting the answer “Jericho.” 

Panoramic view of Aleppo prior to the Syrian Civil War.

Image credit: Benedikt Saxler/Shutterstock.com

Syria also consists of some sturdy contenders for the crown. Damascus was previously thought of an undisputed champion for oldest city, with archaeological remains indicating that humans had been there as early as 9,000 BCE. However, one particular present view is that individuals didn’t continually settle in present-day Damascus till about six,000 years later. 

Aleppo may, in reality, be a protected alternative. This city has turn out to be synonymous with the ongoing Syrian Civil War, but this is just a tragic blip in the lengthy life of this settlement. Archaeological remains recommend Aleppo may perhaps have been inhabited considering the fact that the sixth millennium BCE. It actually started to flourish throughout the Golden Age of the Silk Road from the 12th to early 15th century CE.  

Final but not least, the city of Faiyum in Egypt deserves a mention. It was initially founded by the ancient Egyptians as Shedet. Due to the settlement’s obsession with the crocodile god Sobek, the Greeks named it “Crocodilopolis.” Positioned some 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of the contemporary capital Cairo, pottery and structures close to the city recommend humans had been right here considering the fact that roughly five,500 BCE, generating it the oldest city in Egypt and one particular of the oldest settlements in Africa.