‘Old is gold’ they say and are they ever wrong! The older the gold is, the purer it is. It shines through and looks extremely beautiful. It goes with cities too! Cities of medieval times and ancient times are unmatchable. They still represent the system of their times and the culture of their times through their architectural structure. It simply looks magical! Here are the top 10 most ancient cities in the world –
Aleppo has been a WHS (World Heritage Site) of the UNESCO since 1986. Interestingly though, the city is actually 13000 years old. Though the city has been a victim to a bloody civil war, it has retained its splendour even in its remains. Archaeologists deciphered the age of the city from the remains which were found around the city. While the exact age of the city is debatable, it is clear that civilization existed in Aleppo about 8000 years ago. It is also said that the city was of great militia as well as economic essence. It was definitely a central part of its ancient world.
Jericho rests near the river Jordan and the river is popularly referred to as the green oasis of Jericho. It is not very far from Jerusalem and at 12000 years, it will definitely qualify as one of the oldest cities in the world. It is interesting to note that, the city is the lowest ever spot on earth. The city was inhabited during 10000 BC and had a populace of around a 1000. The houses or rather buildings back then were constructed out of brick and mud.
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Matera is a 10000 year old Italian city and it is often referred to as ‘The Stone City.’ Yes, it was inhabited 10000 years ago. Apparently, human beings were hunters back then who lived in caves. Supposedly, these were Neolithic Settlements and gradually evolved to what we call civilisation today. For, there have been enough proofs of the fact that villages existed over here. The homes that were created in the Bronze Age survived up to the 1950s. The National Museum at Matera called ‘Ridola” still houses the findings from the area. In 1993, Matera was included in the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
This city is around 9500 years old and is often considered to be the first city of human civilization. Apparently, the population was somewhere between 5000 and 10000 and human civilization took roots in around 7400 BC. This has been confirmed by wall paintings, sculptures, symbolic figures, relief paintings, statues and paintings of female deities and many more such things. The paintings depict fertility as well as reproduction. It is definitely one of the oldest and strongest proofs of human evolution. From the ancient times to the villages to urbanisation, the city has probably survived it all. However, it was only in 2012 that the Neolithic sites of Catalhoyuk were included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
The Greek City of Athens is often known as the birthplace of democracy. It is also where the ideals of philosophy and westernisation sprouted. It is definite that this city was inhabited for around 7000 years. The very first settlement of the city was apparently on the Acropolis Rock. Interestingly, Athens also finds a place in Greek Mythology.
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Ur is one of the first human settlements of Mesopotamia. It originated in 4000 BC and was only an agricultural land back then. It evolved into a pastoral centre over the century and as time went by, it turned out to be a beautiful city. The city was situated near Tigris, Euphrates and Persian Gulf. The ruins of the land are found in the inland of Iraq as of today.
The first settlement of Uruk is somewhere around 5000 years old. It was the largest settlement in Mesopotamia as it appears, in the fourth millennium BC. Uruk was a place of Kings, monuments, arts and crafts. Writing documents were also found at this place during excavations.
Damascus was founded in 2500 BC and lies near the Ghouta Oasis. It is one of the oldest cities inhabited in the world and it is the capital of Syria. The city is as charming and as artistic as any can be. It is one of the most ancient heritages. It has quite a few mixed cultures such as the Arabs, the Ottomans, the Byzantines and many others. It is definitely a legendary and mysterious place that can easily distort one’s reality.
Jerusalem is said to be an eternal city but it is only 4000 years old. The city is of extreme importance with regards to geography, religion, politics, mythology and history. It has gone through tough times through centuries and civilization seems to have originated in the Stone Age over here.
Varanasi is a sacred city of the Hindus and apparently existed in 1200 BC as well. It is often referred to as Benares or Kashi i.e. Kashi of the Vedic Times and Benares of the British Era.
The city is considered to be the place of Lord Shiva. The stones of the old days are no longer there in the city but it has definitely retained the culture and tradition of the past. One of the primary reasons for which the city finds innumerable tourists is that a bathe in the holy Ganges cleanses one of their sins. In the evening, the city is full of colours of Puja as the sun sets. It is definitely a very vibrant city full of life and colours even after 4000 years of existence.
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