12.08.2006

TEN OLDEST CONTINUALLY INHABITED CITIES

Okay, so I am a week late. Sorry, but things have been a bit nuts as the holidays get closer. I am hoping to put at least one more blog up before Christmas and then I think I will probably break until the new year. So this blog is about ten oldest cities. They are not the 10 oldest cities, but they are 10 old cities. While I was researching for this blog I found out that it is not very clear what the oldest city anywhere is. I cannot believe that no one knows for sure what the oldest city in the world is. That just seems like something that should be known. Anyways, there are also different ways of measuring what the oldest city is. You can measure it by when it was first founded (that will find you the "oldest city") or by when it was first and continually occupied (that will find you the "oldest continually occupied city"). I have decided to go with the latter of the two. So then, the 10 cities you find below are the oldest continually occupied cities in the specified regions of the world. Oh, and by the way, the cities have links to more information about them when you click on them.

Oldest city in Texas: Nacogdoches

There were several cities that claimed to be the oldest cities in Texas, but after a little more digging I found out that they were not nearly as old as Nacogdoches. El Paso was one of those that claimed to be the oldest, but I could not find that it was older than Nacogdoches. There was one site that claimed San Antonio was the oldest city in Texas, but it was not nearly old enough to be the oldest. I settled on Nacogdoches as the oldest continually occupied city in Texas.

Oldest city in the USA: St. Augustine, FL

That is the oldest European occupied city. Nearly every site I found says that St. Augustine is the oldest continually occupied city in the USA. Jamestown is the oldest English occupied city. San Juan in Puerto Rico is the oldest city under US jurisdiction, but I would not consider it a part of the United States. The oldest continually occupied city is Acoma, New Mexico started in 700 AD but evidence says it was not continually occupied until 1150 AD by Native Americans. Childersberg, AL says that they are the oldest city because they were occupied by Indians, but it was a village, so I am sticking with St. Augustine. I think the main decision is between St. Augustine and Acoma, but because of Eurocentrism I think people mainly choose St. Augustine , FL even though Acoma existed long before St. Augustine did.

Oldest city in North America: Acoma, New Mexico

I found one site that claims Mexico City is probably the oldest city in North America, but it says it was founded in about 1325 which makes Acoma older. Also, it does not say anything about being continually occupied from then on. St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada was settled in 1528, and claims to be the oldest European-settled city in North America. See above for more information on Acoma.

Oldest city in South America: Cuzco, Peru

This 3000 year old city was settled, then occupied by various Indian tribes throughout the next two thousand years, until the arrival of the Inca civilization. Cuszco is recognized as the oldest continually occupied town in the Western Hemisphere.

Oldest city in western hemisphere: Cuzco, Peru

I found claims that Cadiz, Andalucia was the oldest continually occupied city in the west. But after doing more research I found that it wasn't continually occupied until the 16th century.

Oldest city in Asia: Chiang Mai

According to historians, King Mengrai, the first fully documented Lanna ruler, founded Chiang Mai on Thursday, 12th April 1296. Luang Prabang also claims to be China's oldest continually occupied city. Luang Prabang's recorded history begins in the fourteenth century, when it became the original capital of Lan Xang (Kingdom of a Thousand Elephants). If Damascus is a part of Asia Minor then that would be the oldest city, since it is considered the oldest city in the world.

Oldest city in Europe: Amsterdam

Amsterdam was established as a fishing village in the 13th century and has continued as a city ever since. I did not find anything else about any other cities in Europe being the oldest continually occupied cities.

Oldest city in Africa: not available
Oldest city in Australia: not available

I did not find anywhere on the world wide web anyone that claims the oldest continually occupied cities in Africa or Australia. How weird is that? I did find that Cape Town claims to be the oldest city in South Africa, but that was the only claim I found anywhere. It does not claim to be the oldest continually occupied city in South Africa, just the oldest city.

Oldest city in the world: Damascus

Benaras is a holy Hindu city based on the banks of river Ganges claiming to be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, but I believe that Damascus is the oldest continually occupied city. Jericho also claims to be the oldest city in the world, but it does not go back as old as Damascus. I found different information about when Damascus, Benaras and Jericho started being occupied, but Damascus claimed the oldest dates.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

amsterdam?????
you're a funny guy

Anonymous said...

Hello! anonymous! continually inhabited! the clue is in the title. meaning amsterdam has been there 4 centuries. most pple back then lived in villages or communities but amsterdam states it was a city. i think a city is a city when the population goes over a certian amount which i persume amsterdam did. although i would double check. all is explained!

Anonymous said...

Krakow? Trier? I think even Paris is older than Amsterdam.

Anonymous said...

Plovdiv, Athens, Rome,... heloooo

Anonymous said...

Amsterdam??? What are you using as your source? Wikipedia the Netherlands edition? Besides Plovdiv. Athens and Rome what about Nice, Venice, and i am sure Spain has a few older cities.

Anonymous said...

You stated, "The oldest continually occupied city is Acoma, New Mexico started in 700 AD but evidence says it was not continually occupied until 1150 AD by Native Americans." Which in my mind is to your credit. However, I was wondering where you did your research? A former Instructor, in American Indian Studies, I was fortunate enough to be teaching when the mouth of an irrigation ditch, along with tools and clearly defined living spaces, was found off of I-10 and Broadway in Tucson, AZ in 2002. Of course, new anthropological evidance can be found all the time but the University of Arizona made this post, "Tucson's first inhabitants roamed the area hunting mammoth and bison between 12,500 and 6,000 B.C. Following them were the Cochise culture, who built pit houses and used stone tools, and the Hohokam, who began farming the valley floor in 300 A.D.," (http://www.arizona.edu/home/tucson-history.php) making Tucson significantly older than the Acoma Pueblo. Anyway, I just thought you might want to know.

Julian Castillo said...

The capital of the aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, was founded in 1325 but in the mexican valley wich today is covered by mexico city also lies teotihuacan, the biggest metropoli of ancient mexico, and cuicuilco, the oldest city of central mexico.
But the oldest continualy inhabited city in north america would be Cholula, east of the mexican valley from around 600 A.D.