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  #1  
Old 05-19-2012, 08:04 AM
spunkymuzicnote spunkymuzicnote is offline
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What is the oldest continually lived in city?

Defining city as "an inhabited place of greater size, population, or importance than a town or village" (m-w.com), what is the oldest continually lived in city that is still inhabited today?
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2012, 08:11 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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Nothing but a guess: Damascus?
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2012, 08:21 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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Support for that guess: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...habited_cities
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:29 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldar View Post
Nothing but a guess: Damascus?
Seconded.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2012, 08:34 AM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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It appears that you are excluding settlements that would be considered too small to be a bona-fide city. What about "cities" today that were, at one time, villages, towns, or forts/military bases? For the purpose of determining for how long it has been a continually inhabited city, are you counting the time since it was founded as long as it is a city today, or are you counting only the time from when it grew from its village/town origins to become a city? For example, if "Coolsburg" was founded as a small town in 1633 and most scholars agree that it grew to bona-fide city size in 1764 and has been a city ever since, how old is the "city"?
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:23 AM
spunkymuzicnote spunkymuzicnote is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
It appears that you are excluding settlements that would be considered too small to be a bona-fide city. What about "cities" today that were, at one time, villages, towns, or forts/military bases? For the purpose of determining for how long it has been a continually inhabited city, are you counting the time since it was founded as long as it is a city today, or are you counting only the time from when it grew from its village/town origins to become a city? For example, if "Coolsburg" was founded as a small town in 1633 and most scholars agree that it grew to bona-fide city size in 1764 and has been a city ever since, how old is the "city"?
Thanks. You said it better than I could have. I kinda meant that too but I couldn't figure out how to put it into words so I went to m-w.com for help. Anywhere that people have lived in constantly for a long time fits.
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2012, 10:28 AM
terentii terentii is offline
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Damascus is older than Baghdad?
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2012, 11:18 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Baghdad was founded in 762 -- not even close.
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2012, 11:56 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Jericho?
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2012, 12:13 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
Jericho?
That was my thought.

Quote:
Wikipedia:
Jericho is the lowest permanently inhabited site on earth. It is also believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
.....
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BCE),[7] almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history.
Whereas Damascus was
Not even close.
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2012, 01:20 PM
capybara capybara is offline
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I was thinking Jericho, too. A couple of older neolithic towns but not still inhabited.
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2012, 01:50 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Except, according to that Wikipedia cite, Jericho wasn't continuously inhabited:

Quote:
Archaeological evidence indicates that in the latter half of the Middle Bronze Age (circa 1700 BCE) the city enjoyed some prosperity, its walls having been strengthened and expanded.[17] According to carbon dating the Canaanite city (Jericho City IV) was destroyed between 1617 and 1530 BCE, but rounded as c.1550 BCE.[18] Some scholars, who favour the early exodus theory, relate the destruction of Jericho in 16th century BCE with the conquest by Joshua. The site remained uninhabited until the city was refounded in the 9th century BCE.
Quote:
In the 8th century BCE the Assyrians invaded from the north, followed by the Babylonians, and Jericho was depopulated between 586 and 538 BCE, the period of the Jewish exile to Babylon. Cyrus the Great, the Persian king, refounded the city one mile southeast of its historic site at the mound of Tell es-Sultan and returned the Jewish exiles after conquering Babylon in 539 BCE.[10]
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2012, 02:04 PM
gunnergoz gunnergoz is offline
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Most of us are probably Western-civilization and Christian-centric, which is fine and the answers so far reflect that bias, but I'd be curious to see what the Chinese take on this question is.
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2012, 03:27 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnergoz View Post
Most of us are probably Western-civilization and Christian-centric, which is fine and the answers so far reflect that bias, but I'd be curious to see what the Chinese take on this question is.
It is not bias. Chinese civilization is not generally thought to pre-date middle eastern civilization. It probably does not even pre-date European civilization (although no doubt there is room for argument as to what should count as civilization in either location). The notion that Chinese civilization is "more ancient" than European, arises not from the fact that the Chinese got started earlier, but from the fact that China never suffered the sort of dark age, that Europe did in the wake of the fall of Rome.
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  #15  
Old 05-19-2012, 03:50 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing View Post
Except, according to that Wikipedia cite, Jericho wasn't continuously inhabited:
Well, Wikipedia is contradicting itself (big surprise ). Anyway, the quote I gave, to the effect that Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world provides three fairly authoritative looking cites in its support. (No similar claims are made in the article on Damascus.) I daresay that if one went in detail into the history of Damascus one could also find intervals of depopulation.

This will all depend on how strictly you define terms such as "continuously" and "city" (how many people have to live there for it to count as a city at any particular time?). Certainly Jericho was founded much longer ago, and has had a reasonably sized population for nearly all of the time since. I think that makes it the better candidate.

Last edited by njtt; 05-19-2012 at 03:53 PM..
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2012, 10:07 AM
isaiahrobinson isaiahrobinson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
[Jericho] was my thought.



Whereas Damascus was


Not even close.
Jericho was supposedly abandoned for significant periods before being reinhabited, on multiple occasions, according to archaeological findings. Jericho seems to be the main reason people talk about the oldest "continuously-inhabited" cities, rather than the oldest.
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