This is a list of the oldest, still surviving, towns and cities in the world.
There are some points of contention here and care should be taken when using the list below. The cities have been listed because either the archaeological record has shown, or documents have supported the claim, that the settlement was in existence at the time given. However, presence here should in no way indicate that there is total consensus over the date the city was founded - differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" (usually relating to the population size" as well as "continuously inhabited" (relating to changing population size; changes in location and changes in name).
Additionally, where an approximate date has been given, the date was treated as the lower end of the estimate for the purposes of the table.
The definition of "continuously inhabited city" for the purposes of this list was that there must be evidence to show that the city had been constantly settled by a population of more than 250 for the entire time since the date shown. This is different from there simply being 'evidence of human occupation in the area' and that it may well be different from the numerous other definitions of the term 'city' that are in use. In spite of all this, several cities listed here (Varanasi, Aleppo, Arbil, Byblos and Hebron) each claim to be 'the oldest city in the world'.
|Rank||Name||Location||Approximate time founded|
|2||Jericho||West Bank, Palestinian territories||9,000BC|
|3||Sanliurfa (as Edessa)||Turkey|
|4||Susa||Iran (Persia)||4200 BC (As a city, up to 7500 years of inhabitation)|
|5||Sidon||Lebanon||Earlier than 4,000 BC|
|6||Medinat Al-Fayoum (as Crocodilopolis or Arsinoe)||Egypt||4,000 BC|
|9||Hebron||West Bank, Palestinian territories||3,500 BC|
|10||Beirut||Lebanon||Earlier than 3,000 BC|
|11||Damascus||Syria||Earlier than 3,000 BC|
|12||Varanasi||India||Earlier than 3,000 BC|
|19||Arbil||Iraq||Before 2,300 BC|
|20||Kirkuk (As 'Arrapha')||Iraq||2,200-3,000 BC|
|21||Adana||Turkey||c. 2,000 BC|
|22||Hama (as Hamath)||Syria||Before 2,000 BC|
|23||Jerusalem||Israel, West Bank||2,000 BC|
|24||Luxor (as Thebes/Weset)||Egypt||c. 2,000 BC|
|29||Asyut||Egypt||Before 1,500 BC|
|30||Gaza||Gaza Strip||Before 1,500 BC|