1. Jericho, Palestine
Every ancient cities list should start with Jericho. It may sound unbelievable, but this city is considered to have seen its first settlements in about 9,000 B.C. Our ancestors, more specifically the Natufian groups, used to build shelters in Jericho back in 10,000 B.C. or possibly even earlier, but it would take a few centuries before it was possible to establish more permanent settlements – when the Younger Dryas stadial’ droughts and cold finally ended. This makes Jericho the oldest known city in the entire world. Fascinating.
2. Damascus and Aleppo, Syria
These two charming Syrian cities are quite interesting in their own way. Damascus used to be considered the oldest city when archeologists collected evidence of settlement back from 9,000 B.C. But other than that, there wasn’t much evidence of other human activities from that time.
Aleppo, on the other hand, used to rival cities like Cairo and Constantinople in terms of dimension and importance. Some researches consider Aleppo, and not Jericho, to be the oldest city in the world.
These experts have a more specific concept of “city”: it’s not only a place where people establish themselves but a place where a large number of people establish and start developing communities, carrying out different sorts of human activities.
In the present time, Syria is far from being the best travel destination due to the Civil War that started in 2011 inspired by the Arab Spring.
Aleppo, for example, is still recovering from the dramatic Battle of Aleppo, a war that massacred the city from 2012 until 2016 and killed more than 100,000 people. Some important world patrimony (such as the citadel that dated back to 100 B.C.) is forever lost.