Did you ever visit an ancient place? It’s like going back in time to a similar, yet distant, place. As you walk among the remains, you can almost visualize what life was like hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
Although some archaeological evidence from the oldest cities around the world has been lost, it gives us a lot of information about how they were used.
This article will take you on a journey through some of the earliest human habitations. You will also discover how some of the oldest cities either flourished or fell into decay.
1. Varanasi, India
In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh is the holy city of Varanasi. Its cobblestone streets are home to at least 2,000 temples. Scientists believe that Varanasi was built by Lord Shiva between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. It is considered the spiritual capital of India by people around the world. There are thousands upon thousands of Hindu pilgrims who visit the Ganges River.
2. Aleppo, Syria
Aleppo’s settlers aren’t exactly sure when they first settled there. Several archeological sites have proved that the oldest sites date back as far as 3,000 b.c. Although most of the original city has been destroyed by civil war, some ancient temples have been dated as far back as 3,000 b.c. Nowadays, it’s a city with a population of about 4.6 million, which serves as the capital of Aleppo Governorate in the northwestern part of Syria.
3. Cadiz, Spain
Cádiz, Spain, has been home of the Spanish navy since the early 18th century. In the early days of the civilization, Phoenicians built it. Due to its geographical location, it was a prime location for exploration and trade. Hannibal Barca, a great Carthaginian commander, used the trade post as his base for conquering Iberia in 219 BC. This port city is still admired for its magnificent architecture and large number of watchtowers.
4. Beirut, Lebanon
In the early 1990s, historians conducted an excavation that revealed the true origins of Beirut. Researchers discovered that Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, dates back at least 5,000 years. It is also believed to have been home to one of the most prestigious law schools in the Roman Empire. Many parts of the city were destroyed in an earthquake around 551 A.D.
5. Thebes, Greece
For thousands of years, the city of Thebes played a key role in many myths and legends in Greek mythology. At one point Thebes was a bustling city, rivaling even Athens. Archaeologists discovered grinding stones and terracotta that led them to believe the city traded and produced wool. Modern Thebes is one of the most populous cities in the Boeotian region.
6. Larnaca, Cyprus
Larnaca, Cyprus, was probably founded by the Phoenicians 1,400 years ago. This old city has a lot of history – it is home to the ancient Church of Saint Lazarus, buried there in the 9th century. It’s believed the saint rose from the dead. Larnaca attracts visitors from all over the world for its beautiful beaches, nice weather, and trendy waterfront bars.
7. Jericho, West Bank
A settlement called Jericho was present in the Jordan Valley west of Jerusalem from around 9,000 B.C. Jericho is one of the oldest known settlements in the world. Joshua’s battle with Canaanite citizens has made the ancient city famous, and also become one of the most photographed cities in Europe. The Jericho protective wall that stands 12 feet high was over 8,000 years old, yet many people travel there just to see it.
8. Athens, Greece
The present-day capital of Greece is Athens, which was once considered a powerful civilization and an empire, in addition to being the birthplace of some of its greatest minds, including the great philosophers Socrates and Hippocrates. The Acropolis Museum displays vases and other ancient Greek artifacts in its display cases. The National Archaeological Museum showcases the remarkable artifacts from ancient Greece, including Greek jewelry.
9. Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Despite being a city of modernization, Plovdiv is also a location of ancient ruins, nestled between seven hills in southern Bulgaria. History suggests that the Plovdiv region’s inhabitants settled there around 1,400 B.C. after finding mosaics, clay lamps, and early coins. One of their ancient landmarks is still used today. The Philippopolis theatre hosts operas and concerts. It may have held 6,000 people in the past.
In the Middle East, Jerusalem is located between the Mediterranean Sea and Dead Sea. Historians believe that its inhabitants started settling there around 2,800 B.C. Jerusalem has been attacked over 52 times in its history, twice completely rebuilt, and luckily, iconic religious sites have survived such attacks. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians claim the city today.