World’s oldest city

Think of a place in antiquity with transport and commerce, or what could be more appropriate; trade and merchandise. Look at the kind of buildings this plase has; their architectural structures and designs. See if there is any kind of administration in the city, perhaps a uniquely constructed building with encriptions on it that suggest power. Then look around to see if there are places of worship, market places, theatre, any hint of a hotel? Stop thinking about about it if the imaginary place has little population.


The word ’city’ may have more than one meaning when considering the world’s oldest city in the history of mankind. It is difficult to pick up a place in recorded history and call it a city because there were no existing ‘cities’ then. However, history provides us with quite a number of such areas which primarily were used as centers of administration, had places of worship and were the centers of trade in their respective regions. Demography is also a consideration. Places with the earliest human inhabitation and which show a progressing population density over the years can be compared against the list of ‘cities’ in antiquity.

With that basic idea of the world’s oldest city, we can now peruse our history books to see of we find the oldest of them.

Records of human population date as early as 11th millenium BC with the example of Athens in Greece whose recorded history only begins in 1400 BC. Ancient Egypt may have given has the wonderful pyramids as well as turned on the button of civilization but with its defeat to the Roman empire, most of it was lost in antiquity. Asia gives interesting results, most of this region’s cities have, over the years been continuously inhabited. The Balkh province in the modern day Afghanistan for example, has been existing since 1500BC (more than 3 millenia) with a constant increase in human population.

3000ВС, it became a city. If you want Byblos to be the world’s oldest city, then let it be. After all, it was at one time regarded as the oldest city in the world in antiquity. The antiquarian writer Philo of Byblos believed it was! Damascus is another phantom with the numbers going to 9000 BC. It is believed to be the oldest city with a continuous population increase though its ghost hides archeological evidence of population towards 2000 BC. Jericho is no doubt the world’s oldest city, with a wall (note the difference).

We have to settle on the world’s oldest city dogma. There is still more to choose from Syria except Byblos, Damascus and Jericho. One city pops up in the earliest epoch of the known world history. It is home to more than forty civilizations beginning with the 2300 BC Kingdom of Armi, the Roman Empire in 27BC, Mongol Empire in 1260 to the modern day Syrian Arab Republic.

Archeological discoveries have shown the evidence of earliest human settlement in Aleppo dating 13, 000 years ago. The Old City of Aleppo covers an vast area of approximately 3.5 square kilometers, with an entire residential density of more than 120, 000 settlers.

It is home to the Temple of Hadad that dates 2400BC. Having its first use as a ‘city’ in 4300BC, Aleppo clearly predates all known cities in history thus gaining its esteemed status of the world’s oldest city.

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