List of oldest continuously inhabited cities

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This is a list of present-day cities by the time period over which they have been continuously inhabited as a city. The age claims listed are generally disputed. Differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" as well as "continuous habitation" and historical evidence is often disputed. Caveats (and sources) to the validity of each claim are discussed in the "Notes" column.


Northern and the Horn[edit]

Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited since Notes
Faiyum (as Shedet) Ancient Egypt  Egypt Settlement established by the Old Kingdom (c. 2686–2181 BC)[1]
Luxor (as Waset, better known by its Greek name Thebes) Ancient Egypt  Egypt c. 2150 BC First established as capital of Upper Egypt, Thebes later became the religious capital of the nation until its decline in the Roman period.
Annaba Phoenicia, Carthage, Roman Carthage, then Vandal Kingdom  Algeria c. 1295 BC[citation needed] Present-day Annaba grew up on the site of Aphrodisium, the seaport of the Roman city Hippo Regius. (The modern city has since expanded south over Hippo's ruins as well.) Its former names Bône and Bona derived from "Ubbo", a local form of the name Hippo. Its informal name "Land of the Jujubes" (بلد العناب, Balad al-‘Unnāb) derives from that abundance of that fruit in the region.
Tangier (as Tingi) Phoenicia, Carthage, then Mauretania Tingitana  Morocco c. 800 BC Founded by the Phoenicians, later chief city of the Roman Province of Mauretania Tingitana and city belonging to a succession of berber, visigoths, arab and european powers.
Tripoli (as Oyat) Phoenicia  Libya c. 700 BC Founded in the 7th century BC, by the Phoenicians.[2]
Zeila/Avalites Bilad al-Barbar  Somaliland c. 700 BC Major trading city in the Horn of Africa.
Aswan (as Swenett) Ancient Egypt  Egypt c. 650 BC Gained prominence in the Late Period (664–332 BC).[3]
Constantine (as Cirta) Numidia  Algeria c. 600 BC Founded in the 6th century BC, by the Numidians.[4][circular reference]
Benghazi (as Euesperides) Cyrenaica  Libya c. 525 BC Founded in the 5th century BC, by the Greeks.[5]
Mendefera D`mt  Eritrea c. 500 BC Ancient major trading city of the D`mt kingdom and the Axumite kingdom.[6]
Aksum Kingdom of Axum  Ethiopia c. 400 BC Ancient capital of the Kingdom of Axum.
Alexandria Ancient Egypt  Egypt 332 BC Founded by Alexander the Great on the town of Rhacotis, which dates back to the Old Kingdom[7][8]
Mogadishu Bilad al-Barbar  Somalia c. 200 BC Successor of the ancient trading power of Sarapion.
Old Cairo Egypt  Egypt c. 100 AD Babylon Fortress moved to its current location in the reign of Emperor Trajan, forming the core of Old or Coptic Cairo.[unreliable source?][9]
Kismayo Bilad al-Barbar, after the 13th century part of the Ajuran Empre  Somalia c. 300 AD The Kismayo area was originally a small fishing settlement and expanded to a major trading city on the Somali coast.[10]
Fes (as Fes-al-Bali) Morocco  Morocco 789 AD Founded as the new capital of the Idrisid Dynasty.[11]
Oujda Morocco  Morocco 994 AD Founded by Ziri bnou Atya.[citation needed]
Marrakesh (Murakuc) Morocco  Morocco 1070 AD Founded by the Almoravid Dynasty.[unreliable source?][12]


Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited since Notes
Zanzibar Swahili Coast  Tanzania 1st–3rd centuries AD[citation needed] A Greco-Roman text between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, mentioned the island of Menuthias (Ancient Greek: Μενουθιάς), which is probably Unguja, an island suburb of the city.
Benin City Kingdom of Benin  Nigeria c. 1000 AD City of Benin, the oldest city in Nigeria.
Ife Osun State  Nigeria c. 1000 AD
Sofala Swahili Coast  Mozambique c. 700 AD[citation needed] One of the oldest harbours documented in Southern Africa.
Pate Swahili Coast  Kenya 8th century AD[citation needed] According to the Pate Chronicle, the town of Pate was founded by refugees from Oman in the 8th century.
Mombasa Swahili Coast  Kenya c. 900 AD[citation needed] The strategic location of this historical Swahili trading centre has seen it fall under the control of many countries.
Moroni Swahili Coast  Comoros 10th century AD[citation needed] Founded, possibly during the 10th century, as the capital of a sultanate connected commercially to Zanzibar in Tanzania.
Agadez Mali Empire, Songhai Empire  Niger 11th century AD Founded in the 11th century, Agadez was an important stop for caravans crossing the Saharan Desert for centuries. Agadez was held by the Mali empire during part of the 14th century, captured by the Songhai empire in 1515, and controlled by Bornu in the 17th century.[13]
Kano Kano State  Nigeria 11th century AD The foundation for the construction of Kano City Walls was laid by Sakri Gijimasu from 1095–1134, and was completed in the middle of the 14th century during the reign of Zamnagawa.[14]
Timbuktu Mali Empire  Mali 11th century AD Settled by Tuareg traders as an outpost, its incorporation into the Mali Empire and Mande, Soninke, and Songhai settlement from the 13th century rapidly developed the town.[15]
Malindi Swahili Coast  Kenya 13th–14th centuries AD[citation needed] Once rivaled only by Mombasa for dominance in this part of East Africa, it was first referenced in writing by Abu al-Fida (1273–1331), a Kurdish geographer and historian.
M'banza-Kongo Kongo Empire  Angola c. 1390 AD Capital of the Kongo Empire, already organized as a city before the arrival of the Portuguese.[citation needed]
Quelimane Swahili Coast  Mozambique 1400 AD[citation needed] One of the oldest towns in the region, one tradition says that Vasco da Gama, in 1498, enquired about the name of the place from workers in the fields outside the settlement.
Tanga Swahili Coast  Tanzania 1500 AD[citation needed] The earliest documentation about Tanga roots from the Portuguese who established a trading post as part of their East African coastal territory and controlled the region for over 200 years between 1500 and 1700.
Lagos Kingdom of Benin  Nigeria 16th century AD Initially established as a war camp for soldiers from the Kingdom of Benin.[16]
Ouidah Kingdom of Whydah  Benin 16th century AD The primary port of the Kingdom of Whydah, originally called Glehue by the Fon inhabitants. The town was conquered by the Kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th century and eventually exported more than 1 million slaves.[17]
Cape Town Dutch East India Company  South Africa 1652 AD Founded by Dutch settlers from Dutch East India Company and is the oldest city in South Africa.
Kumasi Ashanti Empire  Ghana c. 1680 AD[citation needed] Founded as Akan village and capital of the Kumaseman State, later becoming capital of Ashanti Empire.


North America[edit]

Name Historical region Present Location Continuously inhabited as a city since Notes
Flores Maya civilisation, then New Spain  Guatemala 900–600 BC[18] Formerly Nojpetén, the capital of the Itza kingdom, it has been occupied continuously since prehispanic times.[19] Earliest archaeological traces date back to 900–600 BC, with major expansion of the settlement occurring around 250–400 AD.[20] Ethnohistoric documents claim the founding of Nojpetén in the mid-15th century AD.[21]
Cholula Old Cholula  Mexico 2nd century BC Pre-Columbian Cholula grew from a small village to a regional center during the 7th century. Oldest still-inhabited city in the Americas.
Acoma Pueblo Puebloan peoples  United States c. 1144 AD[citation needed] Acoma Pueblo is said to have been founded during the 1200s, but extant buildings from the 1100s and the consensus of Tribal peoples support the 1144 date.
Oraibi Puebloan peoples  United States c. 1150 AD[citation needed]
Tucson Hohokam  United States c. 1300 AD[22] Hohokam village founded at the base of Sentinel Peak, later Tohono O'odam. Afterwards, became a Spanish presidio.[23]
Mexico City Mexica culture  Mexico 1325 AD Founded as twin cities Tenōchtitlān (1325) and Tlāltelōlco (1337) by the Mexica. Name changed to Ciudad de México (Mexico City) after the Spanish conquest of the city in 1521. Several other pre-Columbian towns such as Azcapotzalco, Tlatelolco, Xochimilco and Coyoacán have been engulfed by the still growing metropolis and are now part of modern Mexico City. Oldest capital city in the Americas.
Santo Domingo New Spain  Dominican Republic 1496 AD Oldest European settlement in the New World.
San Juan New Spain  Puerto Rico 1508 AD Oldest continuously inhabited city in a US territory.
Nombre de Dios, Colón New Spain  Panama 1510 AD Oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in continental America.
Baracoa New Spain  Cuba 1511 AD Oldest European settlement in Cuba.
Havana New Spain  Cuba 1519 AD Oldest major city in Cuba, established 1515, granted city status in 1592 by Philip II of Spain as "Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies".
Veracruz New Spain  Mexico 1519 AD Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement in the North American continent.
Panama City Cueva Civilisation. After European colonisation: New Spain  Panama 1519 AD[24] Oldest European settlement on the Pacific.
Guadalajara New Spain  Mexico 1542 AD
Cartago New Spain  Costa Rica 1563 AD Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement in Costa Rica.
St. Augustine New Spain  United States 1565 AD Oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city of the current 50 U.S. states.
Santa Fe New Spain  United States 1607 AD Oldest continuously inhabited state or territorial capital in the continental United States.
Quebec City New France  Canada 1608 AD Oldest city in Canada and oldest French-speaking city in the Americas.
Hampton Virginia Company  United States 1610 AD With Jamestown, Virginia having been abandoned in 1699 the city of Hampton claims to be the oldest continuously occupied English settlement in the United States.
Hopewell Virginia Company  United States 1613 AD Founded as Bermuda City in 1613 and later known as City Point, Virginia, this location has undergone several name changes but has remained continuously inhabited.
Albany New Netherlands  United States 1614 AD Followed by Jersey City, New Jersey (Communipaw) in 1617 and New York City (as New Amsterdam) in 1624. (Note: While there was an abandonment in 1617 or 1618 of the Albany settlement, it was re-established within a few years; also, the Jersey City settlement was a factorij or trading post in the 1610s and did not become a "homestead" (bouwerij) until the 1630s. Settlements in New Netherlands sometimes moved around in the early years.)
Plymouth Plymouth Colony  United States 1620 AD Fourth oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city in the United States[25]
New York City New Amsterdam  United States 1624 AD Founded in 1624 as New Amsterdam. Was renamed New York City in 1667. Is the 12th oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States [26]
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland Colony  Canada c. 1630 AD Some claims[citation needed] to being the oldest city in Canada. Incorporated in 1883; inhabited continuously since sometime after 1630.
Saint John New France  Canada 1631 AD Oldest incorporated city in Canada.
Trois-Rivières New France  Canada 1634 AD Fourth oldest city in Canada.
Montreal New France  Canada 1642 AD Fifth oldest city in Canada.
Sault Ste. Marie New France  Canada 1668 AD A single settlement until 1817, when it was divided into Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States. The latter is the oldest European-founded city in the Midwestern United States and third oldest US city west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Philadelphia Province of Pennsylvania  United States 1681 AD In 1681, King Charles II gave William Penn a large piece of his newly acquired American land holdings to repay a debt the king owed to Admiral Sir William Penn, Penn's father. Afterwards, Penn founded Philadelphia with a core group of accompanying Quakers and others seeking religious freedom on lands he purchased from the local chieftains of the Lenape or Delaware nation.[27]
Natchitoches New France  United States 1699 AD Natchitoches was established in 1714 by French explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. It is the oldest permanent European settlement within the borders of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.[28] Natchitoches was founded as a French outpost on the Red River for trade with Spanish-controlled Mexico; French traders settled there as early as 1699.
Detroit New France  United States 1701 AD First European settlement above tidewater in North America.
Winnipeg British America  Canada 1738 AD Founded as Fort Rouge. Oldest city in the Canadian Prairies.
San Diego New Spain  United States 1769 AD Birthplace of California and oldest city on the West Coast of the United States.
Toronto British America  Canada 1793 AD Succeeded the destroyed Fort Rouillé. See also Teiaiagon.
Victoria Colony of Vancouver Island  Canada 1843 AD Oldest city on the West Coast of Canada.

South America[edit]

Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited as a city since Notes
Quito Quitu culture  Ecuador 980 AD Quito's origins date back to 2000 BC,[dubious ] when the Quitu tribe occupied the area.
Cusco Inca Empire  Peru c. 1100 AD[dubious ] The Killke occupied the region from 900 to 1200, prior to the arrival of the Incas in the 13th century. Carbon-14 dating of Saksaywaman, the walled complex outside Cusco, has demonstrated that the Killke culture constructed the fortress about 1100.[29]
Cumaná New Granada  Venezuela 1515 AD Oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continent.
Santa Marta New Granada  Colombia 1525 AD Oldest still-inhabited city founded by Spaniards in Colombia.
São Vicente, São Paulo Governorate General of Brazil  Brazil 1532 AD First Portuguese village in South America.
Piura Peru  Peru 1532 AD Oldest European-founded city in Peru.[30]
Lima Peru  Peru 1535 AD Second-oldest continuously inhabited European-settled capital city in South America. The oldest being Quito.
Cali New Granada  Colombia 1536 AD On 25 July 1536 Belalcázar founded Santiago de Cali, first established a few kilometres north of the present location, near what are now the towns of Vijes and Riofrío.
Asuncion Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata  Paraguay 1537 AD Juan de Salazar y Espinoza, traversing the Paraguay River on his way from Buenos Aires, stopped briefly at a bay in the left bank to resupply his ships. He found the natives friendly, and decided to found a fort there in August 1537. He named it Nuestra Señora Santa María de la Asunción (Our Lady Saint Mary of the Assumption – the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Assumption on August 15).
Santiago Captaincy General of Chile  Chile 1541 AD Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement in Chile.
Salvador Governorate General of Brazil  Brazil 1549 AD First city founded by Portuguese, and first capital of Brazil
Santiago del Estero Río de la Plata  Argentina 1553 AD Oldest continuously inhabited city in Argentina.


Central and South Asia[edit]

Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited since Notes
Multan Punjab  Pakistan 3000–2800 BC[31] Perhaps the oldest city of Pakistan. The region is home to numerous archaeological sites dating to the era of the Early Harappan period of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Balkh Bactria  Afghanistan 2000–1500 BC[32] Probably the oldest city in Afghanistan, the first city in which the Iranian tribes moved from north of the Amu Darya.[32]
Varanasi Kashi  India[33] c. 1200 BC[34] Oldest continuously inhabited city in India. Finds its mention in Ancient Vedas.
Sayram Transoxiana  Kazakhstan 1000 BC[35] Oldest continuosly inhabited city in Kazakhstan. The city of Sayram was believed to have been mentioned in the Avesta, with Sairima possibly meaning Sayram. Evidence of an early plumbing system has been found around Sayram and Transoxiana.
Samarqand Sogdia  Uzbekistan 800–500 BC[36] Oldest continuosly inhabited city in Uzbekistan.
Delhi Indraprastha  India c. 700 BC[37] Finds its oldest mention in the Mahabharata as Indraprastha.
Rajgir Rajgriha  India c. 600 BC[citation needed] The city of Rajgir was formed by Brihadratha, son of Uparichara Vasu.[citation needed]
Ujjain Malwa  India c. 600 BC[38] Rose to prominence in c. 600 BC as capital of Avanti.[citation needed]
Peshawar Khyber  Pakistan 539 BC[39] One of the oldest cities of modern day Pakistan.
Bukhara Sogdia  Uzbekistan c. 500 BC[40]
Patna (Patliputra) Haryanka dynasty of Magadha  India 490 BC The city of Pataliputra was formed by fortification of a village by Haryanka ruler Ajatashatru, son of Bimbisara.
Chittagong Chattogram  Bangladesh 4th century BC
Anuradhapura Kingdom of Rajarata  Sri Lanka 4th century BC[41]
Madurai Pandyan Kingdom  India 3rd century BC Megasthenes may have visited Madurai during the 3rd century BC, with the city referred as "Methora" in his accounts.[42] The view is contested by some scholars who believe "Methora" refers to the north Indian city of Mathura, as it was a large and established city in the Mauryan Empire.[43]
Kanchipuram Pallavas  India 3rd century BC Place of all 4 (bauddha/jaina/shaiva/vaishnava) learning[citation needed]
Amaravati Dharanikota  India 3rd century BC[citation needed]
Bamyan Bactria  Afghanistan 1st century AD
Kathmandu-Patan, Lalitpur Nepal    Nepal 2nd century AD The epigraphically attested history of Kathmandu valley begins in the 2nd century.
Quetta Balochistan  Pakistan c. 6-7th century AD [44] There were early mentions of this city during the Islamic Conquest of Sindh when Sindhi bandits were attacked and chased to Al-Qiqan (present-day Quetta) in the year 658, suggesting its existence pre-7th century.
Tiruvannamalai Pallava dynasty or Hoysala Empire  India 6th century AD
Murshidabad Gauda Kingdom as Karnasuvarna, Pala Empire as Mahipal, Mughal Bengal, Nawabs of Bengal and initial years of British Bengal as Murshidabad  India 7th century AD Murshidabad is the district that hosted capitals from all three periods of Bengali history: ancient, medieval and modern. The ancient capitals are nearby the modern city of Murshidabad. Murshidabad acted as the capital of a broader region that consisted not only of Bengal, but also Odisha and Bihar (what is now generally known as Eastern India), and was centrally located.
Lahore Punjab  Pakistan 982 AD One of the oldest cities of Ancient India situated in modern day Pakistan. Belief is that the son of Hindu deity Rama, named Lava, established this city. Though, the first document that mentions Lahore by name is the Hudud al-'Alam ("The Regions of the World"), written by an unknown author in 982 AD, when the author visits India he states Lahore as a town which had "impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards''.

East Asia[edit]

1/1000 scale model of Heijō-kyō, held by Nara City Hall
1/1000 scale model of Heian-kyō, held by Kyoto City Heiankyo Sosei-Kan Museum
Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited as a city since Notes
Yanshi, Henan (Erlitou Site) Xia dynasty  China c. 1900 BC[citation needed]
Luoyang (as Xibo, Luoyi, Zhongguo, Henan, Dongdu, Shendu) Shang dynasty  China c. 1600 BC[citation needed] Oldest continuously inhabited city in China
Xi'an (as Haojing, Fenghao, Chang'an, Jingzhao, Daxing) Zhou dynasty  China c. 1100 BC[citation needed] Oldest prefecture capital in China.
Handan Jin  China c. 1080 BC[citation needed]
Beijing (as Ji, Youzhou, Fanyang, Yanjing, Zhongdu, Dadu) Ji, Yan  China c. 1045 BC Paleolithic homo sapiens lived in the caves from about 27,000 to 10,000 years ago.[45]
Zibo (as Yingqiu, Linzi, Qiling, Zichuan, Boping) Qi  China c. 1045 BC[citation needed] The Lord of Qi, Jiang Ziya, set the capital of his manor at Yingqiu(营丘), which is today's Linzi District.
Jingzhou (as Jinan, Yingdu, Jiangling, Jingsha, Nanjun) Chu  China c. 689 BC[citation needed]
Weinan (as Dongfu) Qin  China c. 668 BC
Hefei (as Luyi, Ruyin, Luzhou, Hezhou, Lujiang) Zhou dynasty  China c. 650 BC The Viscount of Lu was asked to set the capital of his manor at Luyi(庐邑), which is in the north of today's downtown Hefei.
Suzhou (as Gusu, Wu, Pingjiang) Wu  China 514 BC
Taiyuan (as Jinyang) Jin  China c. 497 BC
Nanjing (as Yecheng, Moling, Jianye, Jiankang, Jinling, Yingtian, Jiangning) Wu  China c. 495 BC Fu Chai, Lord of the State of Wu, founded a fort named Yecheng (冶城) in today's Nanjing area.
Chengdu Shu  China c. 400 BC The 9th Kaiming king of the ancient Shu moved his capital to the city's current location from today's nearby Pixian.
Changsha (as Linxiang, Xiangzhou, Tanzhou, Tianlin) Chu  China c. 365 BC
Kaifeng (as Daliang, Bianzhou, Dongjing, Bianjing) Wei  China c. 364 BC The State of Wei founded a city called Daliang (大梁)as its capital in this area.
Chongqing Ba  China c. 316 BC
Liaoyang (as Xiangping, Changping, Liaodong, Pingzhou, Liaozhou, Dongdu, Dongjing) Yan  China c. 279 BC
Guangzhou (as Panyu) Qin dynasty  China 214 BC[citation needed]
Hangzhou (as Lin'an, Yuhang, Qiantang) Qin dynasty  China c. 200 BC The city of Hangzhou was founded about 2,200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty.
Kashgar Shule Kingdom  China 2nd century BC The city of Kashgar was the capital of the Iranic Shule Kingdom and served as a major hub of the Silk Road.[46]
Pyeongyang (as Wanggeom-seong) Gojoseon  North Korea 194 BC Built as the capital city of Gojoseon in 194 BC.
Gyeongju Silla  South Korea 57 BC Built as the capital city of Silla in 57 BC.
Seoul (as Wiryeseong) Baekjae  South Korea 18 BC Built as the capital city of Baekjae in 18 BC.
Osaka (as Osumi) Japan  Japan 390 AD It was inhabited as early at the 6th–5th centuries BC, and became a port city during the Kofun period. It temporarily served as the capital of Japan from 645 to 655.
Nara (as Heijō) Japan  Japan 708 AD Built in 708 and became the capital city in 710 as Heijō-kyō.
Kyoto (as Heian, and sometimes known in the west as Miyako) Japan  Japan 710 AD Shimogamo Shrine was built in the 6th century, but the city was officially founded as Heian in 710 and became the capital city in 794 as Heian-kyō.

Southeast Asia[edit]

Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited as a city since Notes
Việt Trì Văn Lang  Vietnam Capital of Văn Lang Kingdom (2879 BC (?)/ 7th Century BC - 258 BC) as Phong Châu, nowadays Bạch Hạc district
Hanoi Âu Lạc  Vietnam 257 BC In 257 BC, after defeating the last Hùng king, An Dương Vương merged Văn Lang and Nam Cương in to Âu Lạc and set the capital at Cổ Loa citadel, nowadays Đông Anh district of Hanoi. It was also mentioned as Tống Bình in 454 AD and the Đại La citadel was built in 767 during the reign of Emperor Daizong of Tang. Ly Cong Uan then renamed it Thăng Long in 1010.
Pyay Pyu city-states  Myanmar 638 AD Much debate surrounds the construction of Sri Ksetra. Htin Aung suggests that Pyu might have been founded in 78 CE, based on the Sanskrit / Pyu Era. D. G. E. Hall and Gordon Luce, however, claim that civilisation of the Irrawaddy Valley could not have been possible before the 4th century, thus, attributing the founding of Sri Ksetra to 638, from which the current Burmese Kawza Era begins.
Palembang Srivijaya  Indonesia 683 AD[47] Believed to be the oldest city in the Malay realm, capital of the Srivijaya empire. According to Kedukan Bukit inscription[47] Jayanasa established Srivijaya kingdom in Palembang area.
Luang Prabang Muang Sua  Laos 698 AD
Yogyakarta Mataram Kingdom  Indonesia 732 AD[48] The historic realm of Mataram of Southern Central Java region, which corresponds to today Yogyakarta city and its surrounding has its root in 8th century Mataram Kingdom. According to Canggal inscription dated 732, the area traditionally known as "Mataram" became the capital of the Medang Kingdom, identified as Mdang i Bhumi Mataram established by King Sanjaya.[48] The city reestablished again as the capital of Mataram Sultanate in 1587, and Yogyakarta Sultanate in 1755.
Nakhon Si Thammarat Tambralinga  Thailand 775 AD An inscription was found at Wat Sema Muang that bore: The king of Srivijaya "had established a foothold on the Malay Peninsula at Ligor" by 775, where he "built various edifices, including a sanctuary dedicated to the Buddha and to the Bodhisattvas Padmapani and Vajrapani."[49]: 84–85, 91 
Siem Reap Khmer Empire  Cambodia 801 AD[50] Capital of the Khmer Empire.
Lamphun Hariphunchai  Thailand 896 AD
Magelang Mataram  Indonesia 907 AD Magelang was established on 11 April 907. Magelang was then known as a village called Mantyasih, which is now known as Meteseh.[51]
Hưng Yên Tĩnh Hải quân  Vietnam 966 AD Set as the temporary capital of area controlled by warlord Phạm Bạch Hổ during the Anarchy of the 12 Warlords
Hoa Lư Đại Cồ Việt  Vietnam 968 AD After reunifying Vietnam and ending the anarchy of the 12 warlords, Đinh Bộ Lĩnh was crowned Emperor of Đại Cồ Việt and set the capital at Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình. The city lies in a mountainous area and had a defensive position that contributed to the victory of Đại Cồ Việt against the Song dynasty of China.
Bandar Seri Begawan Po-ni and Bruneian Empire  Brunei 977 AD[52] Oldest city in Borneo.
Butuan Rajahnate of Butuan  Philippines 1001 AD[53][54] Oldest continuously inhabited city in Mindanao.
Bắc Ninh Đại Cồ Việt  Vietnam 1009 AD In 1009, Cổ Pháp village was converted into the city of Thiên Đức, nowadays Bắc Ninh city.
Kediri Kediri Kingdom  Indonesia 1042 AD[55] Along with changes in name, it is essentially a union of the two capitals of Panjalu Kingdom and Janggala Kingdom. The settlements are always interspersed along both banks of Brantas River. Administratively, the Government of Indonesia divides Kediri into two political entities, Kediri Regency and the Town of Kediri which is located in the middle of the regency. Nevertheless, archaeological remains exist beyond administrative boundaries and settlements often spread disregarding administrative boundaries between both entities.
Yangon Konbaung Dynasty  Myanmar 1043 AD[56] Yangon was founded as Dagon in the early 11th century (circa 1028–1043) by the Mon but was renamed to "Yangon" after King Alaungpaya conquered Dagon.
Surabaya Janggala Kingdom  Indonesia 1045 AD[57]: 147 

The port city of Janggala or Hujung Galuh was one of the two Javanese capital city that was formed when Airlangga abdicated his throne in 1045 in favour of his two sons.[57]: 147  The Kingdom of Janggala comprised the northeastern part of the Kingdom of Kahuripan. The other Kingdom was Kediri. Derived its name from the words "suro" (shark) and "boyo" (crocodile), two creatures which are in a local myth.[58]

Singapore Kingdom of Singapura  Singapore 1170 AD[59]
Sukhothai Lavo Kingdom  Thailand 1180 AD
Singhapala Rajahnate of Cebu  Philippines c. 1300 AD[60][61] Ancient city founded by Sri Rajahmura Lumaya or Sri Lumay, a half Tamil Chola prince.[62] Now part of Barangay Mabolo in Northern district of Cebu City.[60][61]
Banda Aceh Aceh Sultanate  Indonesia 1205 AD

Originally named Kutaraja, which means "City of the King".

Manila Tondo and Rajahnate of Maynila  Philippines 1258 AD[63] A settlement in the Manila area already existed by the year 1258. This settlement was ruled by Rajah Avirjirkaya whom described as a "Majapahit Suzerain". This settlement was attacked by a Bruneian commander named Rajah Ahmad, who defeated Avirjirkaya and established Manila as a "Muslim principality".[63] By 1570, when the Spanish, led by Miguel López de Legazpi, arrived, it was still inhabited and led by at least one Lakan and several Rajahs.
Nam Định Đại Việt  Vietnam 1262 AD In 1262, Tức Mặc village was converted into the city of Thiên Trường, nowadays Nam Định city.
Chiang Rai Ngoenyang  Thailand 1262 AD
Chiang Mai Lanna Kingdom  Thailand 1294 AD or 1296 AD Mangrai founded Chiang Mai in 1294[64] or 1296[65]: 209  on a site that the Lawa people called Wiang Nopburi.[66][67]
Taungoo Pagan Kingdom  Myanmar 1279 AD Taungoo was founded in 1279 in the waning days of Pagan as part of frontier expansion southwards.
Huế Đại Việt  Vietnam 1307 AD The province of Châu Ô and Châu Lý, which had been ceded to Đại Việt by Champa after as a dowry for the marriage of the Vietnamese princess Huyền Trân and the Cham king Jaya Simhavarman III, were renamed to Châu Thuận and Châu Hoá, which then merged to become Thuận Hoá. The city was then renamed to Phú Xuân and served as the capital city of both Đàng Trong and Tây Sơn territory during the Trịnh-Nguyễn war and the Tây Sơn rebellion. However, it is most famously known for being the capital of the last Vietnamese dynasty, Nguyễn dynasty. After the end of this dynasty, it was renamed to Huế and is a cultural center in central Vietnam.
Sagaing Sagaing Kingdom  Myanmar 1315 AD Sagaing was the capital of Sagaing Kingdom (1315-1364), one of the minor kingdoms that rose up after the fall of Pagan dynasty, where one of Thihathu's sons, Athinkhaya, established himself.[68]: 227 
Ayutthaya Ayutthaya Kingdom  Thailand 1350 AD

Derived its name from the holy Hindu city of Ayodhya, it was the capital city of Siam from 1350 until 1767.

Muar Majapahit  Malaysia 1361 AD[69]
Phnom Penh Khmer Empire  Cambodia 1372 AD[70]
Malacca Malacca Sultanate  Malaysia 1396[71]
Bangkok Ayutthaya Kingdom  Thailand Early 15th century AD The history of Bangkok dates at least back to the early 15th century, when it was a village on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, under the rule of Ayutthaya.[72]
Hải Dương Đại Việt  Vietnam 1469 AD[73]
Hội An Đại Việt  Vietnam 1471 AD[74]
Bogor Sunda Kingdom  Indonesia 1482 AD

West Asia[edit]

Ruins of ancient city of Damascus
Ruins of ancient city of Damascus
Ruins in Byblos
Ruins in Byblos
Ancient city of Aleppo
Ancient city of Aleppo

Continuous habitation since the Chalcolithic (or Copper Age) is vaguely possible but highly problematic to prove archaeologically for several Levantine cities (Aleppo, Beirut, Byblos, Damascus, Jericho, Jerusalem and Sidon).

Cities became more common outside the Fertile Crescent with the Early Iron Age from about 1100 BC. The foundation of Rome in 753 BC is conventionally taken as one of the dates initiating Classical Antiquity.[citation needed]

Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited as a city since Notes
Byblos Levant  Lebanon Chalcolithic; 3000 BC[75] Settled from the Neolithic (carbon-dating tests have set the age of earliest settlement around 7000 BC[76]), a city since the 3rd millennium BC.[77][75] Byblos had a reputation as the "oldest city in the world" in Antiquity (according to Philo of Byblos).
Damascus Levant  Syria early 2nd millennium BC It is not documented as an important city until the arrival of the Aramaeans.[78][79]
Jericho Levant Palestine early 1st millennium BC Traces of habitation from 9000 BC.[80][81] Fortifications date to 6800 BC (or earlier), making Jericho the earliest known walled city.[82]

Archaeological evidence indicates that the city was destroyed and abandoned several times (sometimes remaining uninhabited for hundreds of years at a time), with later rebuilding and expansion.[83][84]

Beirut Levant  Lebanon 3000 BC[85]
Jerusalem Levant Disputed c. 18th century BC The Execration Texts (c. 19th century BC), which refer to a city called rwš3lmm, variously transcribed as Rušalimum/Urušalimum/Rôsh-ramen[86][87] and the Amarna letters (c. 14th century BC) may be the earliest mention of the city.[88][89] Nadav Na'aman argues its fortification as the centre of a kingdom dates to around the 18th century BC.[90]
Tyre Levant  Lebanon 2750 BC[91]
Jenin Levant Palestine c. 2450 BC Jenin's history goes back to 2450 BC, when it was built by the Canaanites. After 1244, Jenin flourished economically because of its location on the trade route, until a major earthquake completely destroyed the city.
Aleppo Levant  Syria 2nd millennium BC
Homs Levant  Syria possibly early 3rd century BC May have been founded by Seleucus I Nicator
Erbil Mesopotamia  Iraq 2300 BC[92] The Citadel of Arbil is a fortified settlement in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. The city corresponds to ancient Arbela. Settlement at Erbil (Kurdish: Hewlêr) can be dated back to possibly 5000 BC, but not urban life until c. 2300.
Kirkuk (as Arrapha) Mesopotamia  Iraq 3000–2200 BC[93]
Ankara Anatolia  Turkey at least 2000 BC The oldest settlements in and around the city center of Ankara belonged to the Hattic civilization which existed during the Bronze Age.
Jaffa Levant  Israel c. 2000 BC Archaeological evidence shows habitation from 7500 BC.[94]
Acre Levant  Israel c. 2000 BC There were initial settlements in the Acre area dated around 3000 BC.[95]
Sidon Levant  Lebanon 2nd millennium BC Sidon becomes a city-state during the 2nd millennium BC.[96]
Medina Hejaz  Saudi Arabia 9th century BC[97] Medina has been inhabited at least 1500 years before the Hijra.[97]
Hebron Levant Palestine c. 2200 BC "Hebron is considered one of the oldest cities and has been continuously inhabited for nearly 4200 years."[98]
Tripoli Levant  Lebanon 14th century BC
Batroun Levant  Lebanon 14th century BC
Eskişehir Anatolia  Turkey c. 1000 BC The city was founded by the Phrygians in at least 1000 BC, although it has been estimated to be older than 4,000 years old. Many Phrygian artifacts and sculptures can still be found in the city's archeological museum.
Gaza Levant Palestine c. 1000 BC While evidence of habitation dates back at least 5,000 years, it is said to be continuously inhabited for a little more than 3,000 years.[99][100]
Hamadan (as Ecbatana) Media  Iran c. 800 BC[101] The Capital City of Median Empire was Located there .
Yerevan Urartu  Armenia 782 BC Founded as Erebuni. The Shengavit Settlement in the southwestern district of Yerevan was founded in the late 4th millennium BC, during the Calcolithic period.
Istanbul (as Byzantion) Thrace, Anatolia  Turkey 685 BC Anatolia; 660 BC Thrace[102] Founded as a colony of Megara. Neolithic site dated to 6400 BC, over port of Lygos by Thracians c. 1150 BC.
Zgharta Levant  Lebanon 200 BC[103][104] The Plain of Zgharta around Zgharta was likely inhabited from at least the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution by the Qaraoun culture as evidenced by some large, heavy Neolithic flints and double-headed axes found in the area that are documented by R. Wetzel and J. Haller in 1945.[103][104]
Lod Levant  Israel c. 200 AD[105]
Tabriz Caucasus  Iran c. 300–700 AD The earliest elements of the present Tabriz are claimed to be built either at the time of the early Sassanids in the 3rd or 4th century AD, or later in the 7th century.[106]
Yazd Media  Iran c. 500 AD[107] It has long been a haven for Zoroastrians.[107]


Name Historical region/period Present location Continuously inhabited as a city since Notes
Argos Neolithic Europe, Mycenaean Greece  Greece 5000 BC, continuous habitation as a city uncertain[108] The city has been cycling between village and city status for 7,000 years. Recorded history begins in mid 2nd millennium BC.
Athens Mycenaean Greece  Greece 5th–4th millennia BC[109][110][111] Oldest recorded history begins at least from 1600 BC,[112] making it the oldest European capital city
Chania Crete  Greece c. 1700–1500 BC[113][unreliable source?] Minoan foundation as Kydonia.
Thebes Mycenaean Greece  Greece c. 1600–1250 BC[114] Mycenaean foundation.
Larnaca Alashiya  Cyprus c. 1400 BC[citation needed] Mycenaean, then Phoenician colony.
Trikala Mycenaean Greece  Greece before 1200 BC[citation needed] Founded as Trikke.
Chalcis Mycenaean Greece  Greece before 1200 BC[citation needed] Mentioned by Homer.
Lisbon Ulissipo (Phoenician)  Portugal c.1200 BC[115] Second-oldest European capital city
Padua Gallia Cisalpina  Italy 1183 BC Founded around 1183 BC by Trojan prince Antenor.
Cádiz Carthaginian Iberia  Spain 1104 BC[116] Founded around 1104 BC as Gadir or Agadir by Phoenicians from Tyre.
Patras Mycenaean Greece  Greece c. 1100 BC[citation needed] Founded by Patreus.
Chios Chios  Greece c. 1100 BC[citation needed]
Nicosia Mycenaean Greece  Cyprus c. 1050 BC[citation needed] Mycenaean foundation as Ledra. Archaeological evidence of continuous habitation since the beginning of the Bronze Age 2500 years BC.[citation needed]
Zadar Illyricum  Croatia c. 1000 BC[citation needed] Founded by Liburnians. Oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. Main Liburnian settlement.
Mtskheta Caucasian Iberia  Georgia c. 1000 BC[citation needed] Remains of towns at this location have been dated to earlier than the year 1000 BC, and Mtskheta was capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia during the 3rd century BC – 5th century AD. It was the site of early Christian activity, and the location where Christianity was proclaimed the state religion of Georgia in 337.
Mytilene Lesbos  Greece 10th century BC[citation needed]
Vani Colchis  Georgia before 8th century BC[117][118]
Seville Iron Age Iberia  Spain 8th century BC[citation needed] founded as Tartessian Spal.[119]
Málaga Iron Age Iberia  Spain 8th century BC[citation needed] founded as Phoenician Malaka.[120][page needed]
Mdina Antiquity Malta  Malta 8th century BC[121] founded as Phoenician Melite.
Cagliari Sardinia  Italy 8th century BC[citation needed] Founded by Phoenicians from Tyre as Krly, Caralis in Roman times, Calaris in Middle Ages.
Messina (as Zancle) Sicily  Italy 8th century BC[citation needed] Greek colony
Derbent Caucasus  Russia 8th century BC Continuously inhabited since the 8th century BC, it was a part of Caucasian Albania that became a satrap of the Persian Achaemenid Empire.[122]
Como Southern Alps  Italy 8th century BC As a city. Scattered settlements since Mesolithic (c. 8000 BC); foundation as a pre-urban centre during Canegrate culture (c. 1200 BC).
Rome Latium  Italy 753 BC[citation needed] Continuous habitation since approximately 1000 BC.; pastoral village on the northern part of the Palatine Hill dated to the 9th century BC; see also History of Rome and Founding of Rome.
Reggio di Calabria (as Rhégion) Magna Graecia  Italy 743 BC[123] Continuous habitation since approximately 1500 BC, as we have notice about the Ausonian-Italic pre-Greek settlement and about the sculptor Léarchos of Reggio (late 15th century BC)[124] and King Iokastos (early 13th century BC).[125]
Palermo (as זִיז, Ziz) Phoenicia  Italy 734 BC[citation needed] Settlement presence since approximately 8000 BC, as we know through cave drawings in the area now known as Addaura, but continuous documented habitation since the Phoenician times (734 BC is traditionally considered as the founding year).
Syracuse Sicily  Italy 734 BC[citation needed] A colony of the Greek city of Corinth.
Volterra Tuscany  Italy c. 725 BC[citation needed] An Etruscan mining settlement.[126]
Crotone (as Kroton) Calabria  Italy 710 BC[citation needed] Greek colony.
Taranto (as Taras) Magna Graecia  Italy 706 BC[citation needed] Founded as the only Spartan colony by the Partheniae, children of unmarried Spartan women and perioikoi, free non-citizen residents of Sparta and her territories.
Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu  Greece 700 BC[citation needed] A colony of the Greek city of Corinth.
Istanbul (as Byzantion) Thrace, Anatolia  Turkey 685 BC Anatolia; 660 BC Thrace[102] Founded as a colony of Megara; Neolithic site dated to 6400 BC, over port of Lygos by Thracians c. 1150 BC.
Naples Magna Graecia  Italy c. 680 BC[127] Actually the date at which an older settlement close by, called Parthenope, was founded by settlers from Cumae. This eventually merged with Neapolis proper, which was founded c. 470 BC.
Eivissa (as Ybsm) Balearic Islands  Spain 654 BC[citation needed] Founded by the Phoenicians, according to Diodorus Siculus, book 5, chap. 16. Date consistent with archaeological finds.[128]
Durrës Illyria  Albania 627–625 BC[129] Founded as the Greek colony of Epidamnos.
Sozopol Thrace  Bulgaria 610 BC[130] Founded by Miletian colonists around 610 BC, was named Apollonia Pontica in honour of the patron deity of Miletus – Apollo. The Ancient authors identify the philosopher named Anaximander as the founder of the city.
Edessa, Greece Macedonia  Greece before the 6th century BC[citation needed] Greek city, capital of the kingdom of Macedon up to the 6th century BC.
Marseille (as Massilia) Gaul  France 600 BC[citation needed] A colony of the Greek city of Phocaea.
Kavala Macedonia  Greece 6th century BC[citation needed] Greek colony. Founded as Neapolis.
Mangalia Dacia  Romania 6th century BC[citation needed] Founded as Callatis.
Constanţa Dacia  Romania 6th century BC[citation needed] Founded as Tomis.
Mantua Po Valley  Italy 6th century BC[citation needed] Village settlement since c. 2000 BC; became an Etruscan city in the 6th century BC.
Milan Po Valley, Cisalpine Gaul  Italy 6th century BC Founded by the Insubres in the 6th century BC according to Titus Livy. Conquered by the Romans in 222 BC.
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (as Tyras) Bessarabia  Ukraine 6th century BC[citation needed]
Kutaisi Colchis  Georgia 6th to 4th century BC Archaeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis in the sixth to fifth centuries BC.[131]
Nesebar Thrace  Bulgaria beginning of the 6th century BC [132] Originally a Thracian settlement, known as Mesembria, the town became a Greek colony when settled by Dorians from Megara at the beginning of the 6th century BC, then known as Mesembria. It was an important trading centre from then on and a rival of Apollonia (Sozopol). It remained the only Dorian colony along the Black Sea coast, as the rest were typical Ionian colonies. At 425-424 BC the town joined the Delian League, under the leadership of Athens.[133]
Varna Thrace  Bulgaria 585–570 BC[134] Founded[135] as Odessos by settlers from the Greek city of Miletus.
Sant Martí d'Empúries (as Emporion) Iberia  Spain c. 575 BC[citation needed] A colony of the Greek city of Phocaea. Present Sant Martí is on the ancient Palaiopolis of Emporion, in an island next to the coast; in 550 BC, the inhabitants moved to the mainland, creating the Neapolis: Palaiapolis remained as a small neighbourhood.
Lamia  Greece before the 5th century BC[citation needed] Greek city. First mentioned 424 BC
Serres Macedonia  Greece 5th century BC[citation needed] Greek city. First mentioned in the 5th century BC as Siris.
Veria Macedonia  Greece c. 432 BC[citation needed] Greek city. First mentioned by Thucydides in 432 BC.
Rhodes Rhodes, Aegean Sea  Greece c. 408 BC[citation needed] Greek city.
Plovdiv Thrace  Bulgaria 4th century BC[136][137] Hypothesized that it was precisely in the 4th Century BC when Philipopolis (Plovdiv) emerged as a city. Site inhabited since Neolithic times. There is evidence of habitation in Plovdiv dating back to the 6th millennium BCE, when the first Neolithic settlements were established. [138]
Bitola (as Heraclea Lyncestis) Macedonia (ancient kingdom)  North Macedonia 4th century BC Founded by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great
Sofia Moesia  Bulgaria 4th century BC[139] Celtic foundation as Serdica.[140] Habition in the area since 7000 BC,[141] neolithic settlement since 5500–7000 BC[142]
Metz Gaul  France 4th century BC[citation needed] Founded as the oppidum of Celtic Mediomatrici. However, human permanent presence has been established in the site since 2500 BC.
Roses (as Rhode) Iberia  Spain 4th century BC[citation needed] The exactly origin of the city is unknown, but there are remains of a Greek colony from the 4th century BC, although some historians consider the foundation earlier, at the 8th century BC. However, permanent human presence has been established in the site since 3000 BC as evidenced by the different megalithic monuments surrounding the city.
Qabala (as Kabalaka) Caucasian Albania  Azerbaijan 4th century BC[143] Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the Caucasian Albania as early as the 4th century BC.[143]
Shkodra Illyria  Albania 4th century BC[144][145] Founded in the 4th century BC as an urban settlement with the name Scodra and fortified in moenia aeacia style,[144] it became the capital of the Illyrian Kingdom under the Ardiaei and has been continuously inhabited ever since.[citation needed]
Stara Zagora Thrace  Bulgaria 342 BC[citation needed] It was called Beroe in ancient times and was founded by Phillip II of Macedon[146][147][148][149] although a Thracian settlement neolithic inhabitation have been discovered as well. It also has the oldest copper mines in Europe (5th millennium BC)
Thessaloniki Macedonia (ancient kingdom)  Greece 315 BC[citation needed] Greek city. Founded as a new city in the same place of the older city Therme.
Berat Macedonia (ancient kingdom)  Albania 314 BC[citation needed] Founded[150] by Cassander as Antipatreia.
Barcelona (as Barkeno) Iberia  Spain 3th century BC[citation needed] Unknown origin. Several neolithic tombs (5000–4500 BC) and remains from the Iberian period have been found, as well as several drachma coins inscribed with the word "Barkeno". The first archaeological remains of buildings are from the Roman period.
Belgrade Illyria  Serbia 279 BC[151] The present day territory of Belgrade continuously inhabited for more than 7000 years. Proto-urban Vinča culture prospered around Belgrade in the 6th millennium BC. The fortified city of Belgrade founded around 279 BC as Singidunum.
Niš Illyria  Serbia 279 BC[citation needed] Founded as Navissos. Neolithic settlements date to 5000–2000 BC.
Matera Latium  Italy after 251 BC[152] The town of Matera was a founded by the Roman Lucius Caecilius Metellus in 251 BC who called it Matheola.
Cartagena (as Carthago Nova) Iberia  Spain 228 BC[citation needed] Carthaginian colony, founded by Hasdrubal Barca.
Tarragona (as Tarraco) Iberia  Spain 218 BC[citation needed] Roman colony, founded by Gnaeus and Publius Cornelius Scipio.
Stobi/Gradsko Macedonia  North Macedonia 217 BC[citation needed] Founded as Stobi by Philip V of Macedon.
Bratislava Pannonia  Slovakia 2nd century BC[citation needed] Founded by Celtic Boii tribe. The first written reference to a Slavic settlement dates to 907.
Valencia Iberia  Spain 138 BC Roman colony founded as Valentia Edetanorum.
Sremska Mitrovica Illyria  Serbia 1st century BC[citation needed] Founded as Sirmium. Neolithic settlements date to 5000 BC and are with other archeological findings evidence to continuous habitation.
Smederevo Illyria  Serbia 1st century BC[citation needed] Founded as Semendria.
Ptuj Pannonia  Slovenia 1st century BC[citation needed] Ptuj is the oldest city in Slovenia. There is evidence that the area was settled in the Stone Age. In the Late Iron Age it was settled by Celts. By the 1st century BC, the settlement was controlled by Ancient Rome.
Évora Lusitania  Portugal 53 BC (Roman conquest)[citation needed] Evidence of Lusitanian settlement prior to Roman occupation.
Paris Lutetia  France 52 BC[citation needed] Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation as early as 4200 BC.[153] During the Gallic Wars, Caesar's armies set fire to Lutetia "a town of the Parisii, situated on an island on the river Seine."[154] While only a garrison at best on the Île de la Cité during some periods after 1st and 2nd century, was renamed Paris in 360 AD[155][156]
Zürich (Lindenhof) Gaul   Switzerland c. 50 BC[citation needed] Lakeside settlement traces dating to the Neolithic.
Cologne Germania Inferior  Germany 38 BC[citation needed] Founded in 38 BC by the Ubii, a Germanic tribe, as Oppidum Ubiorum. In 50 AD, the Romans adopted the location as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium and the city became in 85 AD the capital of the Roman province "Germania Inferior".
Trier Gallia Belgica  Germany 30 BC[citation needed] Oldest Roman city in Germany.
Lugo Gallaecia  Spain c. 25 BC Lucus Augusti was founded in 25 BC under the order of the emperor Augustus.
Cáceres Lusitania  Spain c. 25 BC There have been settlements near Cáceres since prehistoric times. Evidence of this can be found in the caves of Maltravieso and El Conejar. The city was founded by the Romans in 25 BC.
Mérida Lusitania  Spain c. 25 BC Emerita Augusta was founded as a Roman colony in 25 AD under the order of the emperor Augustus to serve as a retreat for the veteran soldiers (emeritus) of the legions V Alaudae and X Gemina. The city, one of the most important in Roman Hispania, was endowed with all the comforts of a large Roman city and served as capital of the Roman province of Lusitania since its founding and as the capital of the entire Diocese of Hispania during the fourth century.
Nijmegen  Netherlands c. 17 BC[citation needed] Oldest city in the Netherlands.
Augsburg Raetia, Roman Empire  Germany 15 BC Third oldest city in Germany after Cologne and Trier. Located in the Swabian region of Bavaria. Founded by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum.
Chur Raetia Prima   Switzerland 15 BC[citation needed] habitation since the 4th millennium BC (Pfyn culture).
Worms Germania Superior  Germany 14 BC[citation needed] The name of the city derives from the Latin designation Borbetomagus which is of Celtic origin.
Skopje Macedonia (Roman province)  North Macedonia 13–11 BC Founded in the time of Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus as Scupi.
Strasbourg Germania Superior  France 12 BC First official mention as the Roman camp of Argentoratum. The area had been populated since the Middle Paleolithic.[157]
Tongeren Germania Inferior  Belgium 10 BC[citation needed] Oldest city in Belgium.


Name Historical region Present location Continuously inhabited as a city since Notes
Sydney New South Wales  Australia 1788 AD Oldest city in Australia and oldest city in Oceania. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity occurred in and around Sydney for at least 30,000 years, in the Upper Paleolithic period.[158][159] However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools found in Sydney's far western suburbs' gravel sediments were dated to be from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would mean that humans could have been in the region earlier than thought.[160][161] The first people to occupy the Sydney region were an Indigenous Australian group called the Eora.[162][163]
Hobart Tasmania  Australia 1803 AD Second-oldest city in Australia. Prior to British settlement, the area had been occupied for at least 8,000 years, but possibly for as long as 35,000 years,[164] by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe.[165]
George Town Tasmania  Australia 1804 AD Third oldest city in Australia.
Newcastle New South Wales  Australia 1804 AD Fourth oldest city in Australia.
Launceston Tasmania  Australia 1806 AD Fifth oldest city in Australia.
Kerikeri Northland  New Zealand c. 1818 AD Oldest European-founded settlement in New Zealand.
Bluff Southland  New Zealand 1824 AD Previously known as Campbelltown, the oldest European-founded settlement in the South Island.
Brisbane Queensland  Australia 1825 AD Oldest city in Northern Australia, State Capital.
Albany Western Australia  Australia 1827 AD Oldest city on the West Coast of Australia.
Perth Western Australia  Australia 1829 AD The area had been inhabited by the Whadjuk Noongar people for over 40,000 years, as evidenced by archaeological findings on the Upper Swan River.[166]
Melbourne Victoria  Australia 1835 AD Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was occupied for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years.[167] At the time of European settlement, it was inhabited by under 20,000 hunter-gatherers from three indigenous regional tribes: the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong.[168][169]
Adelaide South Australia  Australia 1836 AD State Capital.
Wellington Wellington Region  New Zealand 1839 AD New Zealand's capital city from 1865 until the present day.
Auckland Auckland Region  New Zealand 1840 AD New Zealand's capital city from 1841–1865.
Darwin Northern Territory  Australia 1869 AD Territory Capital.
Levuka Ovalau  Fiji 1877 AD[170] Oldest municipality in Fiji.[170]
Canberra Australian Capital Territory  Australia 1913 AD Capital city of Australia. Artifacts suggests early human activity occurred at some point in Canberra dating at around 21,000 years ago.[171]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Anthony R. Birley, Septimus Severus Archived 2016-06-17 at the Wayback Machine Routledge 2002 ISBN 978-1-134-70746-1), p. 2
  3. ^ Baines, John; Malek, Jaromir (March 1983). Atlas of Ancient Egypt (Cultural Atlas). New York, NY: Facts On File Inc. p. 240. ISBN 9780871963345.
  4. ^ fr:Constantine (Algérie)#P.C3©riode antique
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  6. ^ Dr.Federica,Crivellellero. " Archeologists in Eritrea target unfunded ' rescue excavations, Sudan Tribun Dec 5,2004
  7. ^ Véron, A.; Goiran, J. P.; Morhange, C.; Marriner, N.; Empereur, J. Y. (2006). "Pollutant lead reveals the pre-Hellenistic occupation and ancient growth of Alexandria, Egypt". Geophysical Research Letters. 33 (6). Bibcode:2006GeoRL..33.6409V. doi:10.1029/2006GL025824.
  8. ^ Jean-Daniel Stanley et al., "Alexandria, Egypt, before Alexander the Great: A multidisciplinary approach yields rich discoveries"; GSA Today 17 (8), August 2007; doi:10.1130/GSAT01708A.1.
  9. ^ "Fort Babylon In Cairo". Archived from the original on 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  10. ^ Lee V. Cassanelli, The shaping of Somali society: reconstructing the history of a pastoral people, 1600–1900, (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1982), p. 75.
  11. ^ "Fes". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 3 March 2007
  12. ^ "Embassy of The Kingdom of Morocco in London". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  13. ^ "Agadez - Wikitravel".
  14. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Ancient Kano City Walls and Associated Sites – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Archived from the original on 2019-09-13. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  15. ^ Saad, Elias. "Social history of Timbuktu: 1400–1900. The role of Muslim scholars and notables. (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1980)
  16. ^ Mann, Kristin (2007). Slavery and the Birth of an African City. Indiana University Press.
  17. ^ Anderson, David and Rathbone, Richard. "Africa's Urban Past." Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) pp. 85–87
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