Discover the Fascinating History of the Oldest City in the World: A Journey Through Time

The world’s oldest city boasts a rich history and cultural significance that dates back thousands of years.

Oldest City in the World: A Look at Its History and Evolution


The oldest city in the world is a title that has been claimed by many ancient cities around the world. However, according to archaeological evidence and historical records, the city of Damascus in Syria is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The history of Damascus dates back to over 11,000 years ago, making it one of the most important cultural centers in the Middle East.

Geographical Location

Damascus is located in southwestern Syria, nestled between two mountain ranges – Mount Qasioun to the west and Mount Hermon to the north. The city sits on an oasis fed by several rivers and streams, making it an important center for agriculture and trade since ancient times.

Founding Mythology

According to local mythology, Damascus was founded by a man named Dammasek who was fleeing from his brother. He settled in a fertile valley where he discovered natural springs and decided to build a city there. This mythological story has been passed down through generations but there is no archaeological or historical evidence to support it.

Archaeological Evidence

Archaeological excavations have revealed that Damascus was inhabited as early as 9000 BCE during the Neolithic period. The first known settlement was called Dimashq which means “a well-watered land”. Over time, many civilizations including Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Ottomans have ruled over Damascus.

Discovering the Founding of the Oldest City in the World

Theories about Founding

While there are many theories about how Damascus came into existence as a city-state or kingdom during ancient times, there is no consensus about its founding. Some historians believe that the city was founded by the Aramaeans in the 11th century BC, while others suggest that it was founded by a group of Canaanites who migrated to the area from Mesopotamia.

Historical Records

The earliest historical records of Damascus date back to the 15th century BCE when it was mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions as an important trading center. The city also appears in the Bible as a place where King David fought battles against the Aramaeans and later conquered it. In the 8th century BCE, Damascus became part of the Assyrian Empire and later fell under Persian, Greek and Roman rule.

Roman Rule

During Roman rule, Damascus flourished as a major center for trade and commerce due to its strategic location on several trade routes including the famous Silk Road. The Romans built many impressive structures including a large amphitheater, public baths, temples and aqueducts which still stand today.

Islamic Conquest

In 635 CE, Damascus was conquered by Muslim forces led by Khalid ibn al-Walid during the early Islamic period. The city became an important center for Islamic culture and scholarship with many mosques, schools and libraries being built during this time.

Exploring the Historical Events that Shaped the Oldest City in the World

Cultural Influences

Damascus has been influenced by many different cultures throughout its history due to its strategic location on trade routes between Asia and Europe. This has resulted in a unique blend of architectural styles, art forms and cultural traditions that can be seen throughout the city today.

The Umayyad Dynasty

One of the most significant periods in Damascus’ history was during the Umayyad Dynasty (661-750 CE) when it served as the capital of the Islamic Caliphate. The Umayyads built many impressive structures including the famous Umayyad Mosque which still stands today as one of the most important religious sites in the city.

The Crusades

During the Crusades, Damascus was attacked by Christian forces several times but was never fully conquered. However, these attacks caused significant damage to the city’s infrastructure and led to a decline in its importance as a cultural and economic center.

The Evolution of the Oldest City in the World: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

Modernization Efforts

In recent years, Damascus has undergone significant modernization efforts with new buildings, roads and infrastructure being constructed throughout the city. While this has brought many benefits such as improved transportation and access to services, it has also resulted in the destruction of many historic buildings and neighborhoods.

Current Challenges

Today, Damascus faces many challenges including political instability, economic hardship and social unrest due to ongoing conflicts in Syria. These challenges have had a significant impact on the city’s residents who have had to endure years of violence and displacement.

Must-See Landmarks and Attractions in the Oldest City in the World

Umayyad Mosque

The Umayyad Mosque is one of the most important landmarks in Damascus and is considered to be one of the oldest mosques in the world. It was built during the Umayyad Dynasty and has been renovated several times over its long history.

Azem Palace

The Azem Palace is a beautiful example of Ottoman architecture that dates back to the 18th century. It was built by an Ottoman governor named As’ad Pasha al-Azem and has been restored to its former glory in recent years.

Al-Hamidiyah Souq

The Al-Hamidiyah Souq is one of the oldest and largest markets in Damascus. It is a bustling hub of activity with shops selling everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and souvenirs.

National Museum of Damascus

The National Museum of Damascus is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the history and culture of Syria. It houses an impressive collection of artifacts dating back thousands of years including ancient pottery, sculptures, coins and manuscripts.

In conclusion, the title of “oldest city in the world” is a highly debated topic with various claims and evidence. However, regardless of which city holds this title, it serves as a reminder of the rich history and cultural heritage that exists throughout the world.

The city of Damascus in Syria is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, with a history dating back over 11,000 years. Nestled between two mountain ranges and sitting on an oasis fed by several rivers and streams, Damascus has been an important center for agriculture and trade since ancient times. While there are many theories about its founding, archaeological evidence reveals that it was inhabited during the Neolithic period and has been ruled by many civilizations throughout history.


Which is older Jericho or Damascus?

The world’s eleven oldest cities that are still inhabited today include Damascus, Syria, which dates back to 10,000 B.C., Jericho in the West Bank, which was established in 9,000 B.C., and Plovdiv, Bulgaria, which was founded in 7,000 B.C.

What is the oldest city in the US?

St. Augustine, established in 1565, holds the distinction of being the longest continually inhabited settlement in the United States with both European and African-American origins. This was over 40 years before Jamestown and more than 55 years before Plymouth Rock. The Spanish were the first to settle in St. Augustine.

Is Jerusalem older than Jericho?

Jericho, located in Palestine, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world with evidence of human settlement dating back to 9,000 BC. The city is situated in the Jordan Valley with the Jordan River to the east and Jerusalem, which has been under Israeli control since 1967, to the west.

What is the oldest city in Europe?

Plovdiv, Bulgaria is widely believed to be the oldest city in Europe that has been inhabited continuously. Despite its long history, the city is constantly changing and growing. Plovdiv has been home to people for 8,000 years, but its vibrant restaurant and cafe culture shows that the city is always looking for new experiences.

What is America’s 2nd oldest city?

Santa Fe, New Mexico, established in 1607, is the second oldest city in the United States. Originally owned by the Spanish as part of the “Kingdom of New Mexico,” San Juan Pueblo served as its capital. However, in 1609, Don Pedro de Peralta, a conquistador, relocated the capital 25 miles to the south and named it Santa Fe.

Which is the newest city in the world?

Dubai South is being touted as the world’s newest city, covering an area the size of 610 football fields according to a report by Telegraph India.

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