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. The age claims listed are generally disputed. Differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" as well as "continuously inhabited" and historical evidence is often disputed. Caveats (and sources) to the validity of each claim are discussed in the "Notes" column.
Several cities listed here, which are 5000 years or older, popularly claim to be "the oldest city in the world".
- Argos, Greece (6th–5th millennium BC)
- Athens, Greece (5th–4th millennium BC)
- Attica, Greece (5th–4th millennium BC)
- Byblos, Lebanon (5000 BC)
- Susa (Shush), Iran (4200 BC)
- Sidon, Lebanon (4000 BC)
- Damascus, Syria (3rd millennium BC)
- Gaziantep, Turkey (3650 BC)
- Luxor, Egypt (3200 BC)
- Jericho, West Bank (3000 BC or earlier)
- Rey, Iran (3000 BC)
- Beirut, Lebanon (3000 BC)
- Plovdiv, Bulgaria (3000 BC)
Northern and the Horn
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Luxor (as Waset, better known by its Greek name Thebes)||Ancient Egypt||Egypt||-3200 c. 3200 BC||First established as capital of Upper Egypt, Thebes later became the religious capital of the nation until its decline in the Roman period.|
|Carthage||Carthage||Tunisia||-814 c. 814 BC||Founded by the Phoenicians in 814 BC.|
|Tripoli (as Oea)||Libya||-700c. 700 BC||Founded in the 7th century BC, by the Phoenicians.|
|Benghazi (as Euesperides)||Cyrenaica||Libya||-525c. 525 BC||Founded in the 5th century BC, by the Greeks.|
|Axum||Kingdom of Axum||Ethiopia||-400 !c. 400 BC||Ancient capital of the Kingdom of Axum|
|Berbera||Bilad al-Barbar||Somalia||-400 !c. 400 BC||The city was described as 800 stadia beyond the city of the Avalites, described in the eighth chapter of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which was written by a Greek merchant in the 1st century AD.|
|Alexandria||Egypt||-332 !332 BC||Founded by Alexander the Great|
|Mogadishu||Bilad al-Barbar||Somalia||-200 !c. 200 BC||Successor of the ancient trading power of Sarapion|
|Djenné-Jeno||Mali||-200 !c. 200 BC||One of the oldest known cities in sub-Saharan Africa|
|Old Cairo||Egypt||100 !c. 100||Babylon Fortress moved to its current location in the reign of Emperor Trajan, forming the core of Old or Coptic Cairo[unreliable source?]|
|Zeila/Avalite||Bilad al-Barbar||Somalia||-400 !c. 1st century AD||Major trading city in the Horn of Africa|
|Kismayo||Bilad al-Barbar, after the 13th century part of the Ajuran Empre||Somalia||100 ! 4th century||The Kismayo area was originally a small fishing settlement and expanded to a major trading city on the Somali coast.|
|Fes (as Fes-al-Bali)||Morocco||789 !789||Founded as the new capital of the Idrisid Dynasty|
|Marrakesh (Murakuc)||Morocco||1070 !1070||Founded by the Almoravid Dynasty[unreliable source?]|
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Igodomigodo||Kingdom of Benin||Nigeria||-400 !c. 400 BC||City of Benin, the oldest cities in Nigeria|
|Lagos||Kingdom of Benin||Nigeria||16th Century||Initially established as a war camp for soldiers from the Kingdom of Benin.|
|Ife||Osun State||Nig Nigeria||-350 !c. 350 BC||Earliest traces of habitation date to the 4th century BC.|
|Kano||Kano State||Nigeria||11th Century||The foundation for the construction of Kano City Walls was laid by Sakri Gijimasu from 1095 - 1134, and was completed in the middle of 14th Century during the reign of Zamnagawa.|
|Zanzibar||Swahili Coast||Tanzania||1st–3rd centuries||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)|
|Sofala||Swahili Coast||Mozambique||900 !c. 700||One of the oldest harbours documented in Southern Africa,|
|Pate||Swahili Coast||Kenya||8th century||According to the Pate Chronicle, the town of Pate was founded by refugees from Oman in the 8th century|
|Mombasa||Swahili Coast||Kenya||900 AD||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||Founded by Arabic settlers, possibly during the 10th century, as the capital of a sultanate connected commercially to Zanzibar in Tanzania|
|Malindi||Swahili Coast||Kenya||13th–14th centuries||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|
|Lamu||Swahili Coast||Kenya||1370||One of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa and is the best preserved Swahili town being a UNESCO site, first attested in writing by an Arab traveller Abu-al-Mahasini, who met a judge from Lamu visiting Mecca in 1441|
|Quelimane||Swahili Coast||Mozambique||1400AD||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||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|
|Cape Town||Dutch Cape Colony||South Africa||1652||Founded by Dutch settlers from Dutch East India Company and is the oldest city in South Africa|
|Kumasi||Ashanti Empire||Ghana||c. 1680||Founded as Akan village and capital of the Kumaseman State, later becoming capital of Ashanti Empire,|
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Cholula||Old Cholula||Mexico||-150 !~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.|
|Mexico City||Mexica culture||Mexico||1325||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||Hispaniola||Dominican Republic||1496||Oldest European settlement in the New World|
|Panama City||Cueva Civilisation. After European colonisation: New Spain||Panama||15th century||Oldest European settlement on the Pacific.|
|Flores||Maya civilisation, then New Spain||Guatemala||1st millennium BC||Formerly Nojpetén, the capital of the Itza kingdom, it has been occupied continuously since prehispanic times. Earliest archaeological traces date back to 900-600 BC, with major expansion of the settlement occurring around 250-400 AD. Ethnohistoric documents claim the founding of Nojpetén in the mid-15th century AD.|
|San Juan||New Spain||Puerto Rico||1508||Oldest continuously inhabited city in a US territory|
|Nombre de Dios, Colón||New Spain||Panama||1510||Oldest European settlement on the mainlands of the Americas|
|Baracoa||New Spain||Cuba||1511||Oldest European settlement in Cuba|
|Vera Cruz||New Spain||Mexico||1519||Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement continental America.|
|St. Augustine, Florida||New Spain||US||1565||Oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city of the current 50 U.S. states; oldest city in state of Florida.|
|Havana||New Spain||Cuba||1592||Oldest major city in Cuba, granted city status in 1592 by Philip II of Spain|
|Santa Fe, New Mexico||New Spain||US||1607||Oldest continuously inhabited state or territorial capital in the continental United States.|
|Quebec City||New France||Canada||1608||Second oldest city in Canada and oldest French-speaking city in the Americas.|
|Albany, New York||New Netherlands||US||1614||Followed by Jersey City, New Jersey (Communipaw) in 1617 and New York City (as New Amsterdam) in 1624 or 1625. (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, Massachusetts||Plymouth Colony||US||1620||Fourth oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city in the United States|
|St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador||Newfoundland Colony||Canada||incorporated in 1883, inhabited continuously since sometime after 1630||some claims to being the oldest city in Canada|
|Saint John||New France||Canada||1631||Oldest incorporated city in Canada|
|Trois-Rivières||New France||Canada||1634||Fourth oldest city in Canada|
|Montreal||New France||Canada||1642||Fifth oldest city in Canada|
|Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan||New France||US||1668||Oldest European-founded city in the Midwestern United States and third oldest US city west of the Appalachian Mountains.|
|Detroit, Michigan||New France||US||1701||First European settlement above tidewater in North America.|
|Winnipeg||British America||Canada||1738||Founded as Fort Rouge. Oldest city in the Canadian Prairies.|
|San Diego||New Spain||US||1769||Birthplace of California and oldest city on the West Coast of the United States|
|Victoria||British North America||Canada||1843||Oldest city on the West Coast of Canada|
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Quito||Quitu culture||Ecuador||980||Quito's origins date back to 2000 BC,[dubious ] when the Quitu tribe occupied the area.|
|Cusco||Inca Empire||Peru||c. 1100[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.|
|Cumaná||New Granada||Venezuela||1515||Oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continent|
|Santa Marta||New Granada||Colombia||1525||Oldest still-inhabited city founded by Spaniards in Colombia.|
|São Vicente, São Paulo||Governorate General of Brazil||Brazil||1532||First Portuguese settlement in South America|
|Cali||New Granada||Colombia||1536||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.|
|Lima||Peru||Peru||1535||Second oldest continuously inhabited European-settled capital city in South America|
|Piura||Peru||Peru||1532||Oldest European-founded city in Peru|
|Santiago||Captaincy General of Chile||Chile||1541||Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement in Chile.|
|Santiago del Estero||Río de la Plata||Argentina||1553||Oldest continuously inhabited city in Argentina|
Central and Southern
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes
|Madurai||Pandyan Kingdom||Tamil Nadu,India||2500 BC||There are accounts of Megasthenes (c. 350 – 290 BC) a Greek ethnographer in the Hellenistic period, author of the work Indica, having visited Madurai (then, a bustling city and capital of Pandya Kingdom). Mahavamsa, the Sri Lankan chronicle mentions that King Vijaya married a princess from Madurai, and his period is mentioned to be around 543 BC. It was the longstanding continuous capital city till Britain conquers that in 1850's.|
|Kanchipuram||Pallava kingdom||Tamil Nadu, India||-600 ! 1400 BC||Kanchipuram or Kachchi is the Great city in beginning of 8th century but continuously surviving. Today,it is the city with more than 2 lak people.|
|Varanasi||Kashi||Uttar Pradesh, India||-600 ! 1800 BC||Recent excavations at Aktha and Ramnagar, two sites very near to Varanasi, show them to be from 1800 BC|
|Balkh (as Bactra)||Bactria||AfgBalkh Province, Afghanistan||-1500 ! 1500 BC|
|Samarqand||Sogdiana||Uzbekistan||-700 ! 700 BC|
|Ujjain||Malwa||Madhya Pradesh, India||-600 ! c. 600 BC||Rose to prominence in ca 600 BC as capital of Avanti.|
|Rajagriha (Rajgir)||Magadha||IndBihar, India||-600 ! 600 BC|
|Vaisali||Magadha||IndBihar, India||-500 ! 500 BC[unreliable source?]|
|Patna||Magadha||IndBihar, India||-450 ! 5th century BC||As Pataliputra was founded by Ajatashatru.|
|Tiruvannamalai||Pallava kingdom or Hoysala kingdom||Tamil Nadu, India||1200 BC||Capital of Hoysala kingdom and its surviving for more than 2000 years.Today,it has population of more than 5 lakhs but was recorded more than 10 lakh population in past.|
|Mahasthangarh, Bogra||Pundravardhana||BanBogra District, Bangladesh||- 300BC ! 4th century BC[dubious ]||Remains of the ancient city of Pundranagara.|
|Anuradhapura||Kingdom of Rajarata||North Central Province, Sri Lanka||-300 ! 4th century BC|
|Peshawar||Gandhara||PakKhyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan||-350 !c. 2nd century BC||Ongoing excavations in the Gor Khuttree region have uncovered evidence of the earliest building in the city.|
|Bamyan||Bactria||AfgBamyan Province, Afghanistan||- 1st century AD ! 1st century AD|
|Kathmandu-Patan, Lalitpur||Nepal||Kathmandu valley, Nepal||- 2nd century AD ! c. 2nd century AD||The epigraphically attested history of Kathmandu valley begins in the 2nd century. Folklore speaks of a hoarier past.|
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Luoyang (as Xibo, Luoyi, Zhongguo, Henan, Dongdu, Shendu)||Shang Dynasty||ChiHenan, China||-1600 !c. 1600 BC|
|Xi'an (as Haojing, Fenghao, Chang'an, Jingzhao, Daxing)||Zhou Dynasty||ChiShaanxi, China||-1100 !c. 1100 BC|
|Handan||Jin||ChiHebei, China||-1080 !c. 1080 BC|
|Beijing (as Ji, Youzhou, Fanyang, Yanjing, Zhongdu, Dadu)||Ji, Yan||ChiBeijing, China||-1000 !c. 1045 BC||Paleolithic homo sapiens lived in the caves from about 27,000 to 10,000 years ago.|
|Zibo (as Yingqiu, Linzi, Qiling, Zichuan, Boping)||Qi||ChiShandong, China||-1045 !c. 1045 BC||The Lord of Qi, Jiang Ziya, set the capital of his manor at Yingqiu(营丘), which is today's Linzi District.|
|Jinzhou (as Jinan, Yingdu, Jiangling, Jingsha, Nanjun)||Chu||ChiHubei, China||-689 !c. 689 BC|
|Hefei (as Luyi, Ruyin, Luzhou, Hezhou, Lujiang)||Zhou Dynasty||ChiAnhui, China||-650 !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||ChiJiangsu, China||-514 !514 BC|
|Taiyuan (as Jinyang)||Jin||ChiShanxi, China||-497 !c. 497 BC|
|Nanjing (as Yecheng, Moling, Jianye, Jiankang, Jinling, Yingtian, Jiangning)||Wu||ChiJiangsu, China||-495 !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||ChiSichuan, China||-400 !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||ChiHunan, China||-365 !c. 365 BC|
|Kaifeng (as Daliang, Bianzhou, Dongjing, Bianjing)||Wei||ChiHenan, China||-364 !c. 364 BC||The State of Wei founded a city called Daliang (大梁）as its capital in this area.|
|Liaoyang (as Xiangping, Changping, Liaodong, Pingzhou, Liaozhou, Dongdu, Dongjing)||Yan||ChiLiaoning, China||-279 !c. 279 BC|
|Guangzhou (as Panyu)||Qin Dynasty||ChiGuangdong, China||-214 !214 BC|
|Hangzhou (as Lin'an, Yuhang, Qiantang)||Qin Dynasty||ChiZhejiang, China||-200 !c. 200 BC||The city of Hangzhou was founded about 2,200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty.|
|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 Naniwa)||Japan||Japan||c. 400 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-kyō)||Japan||Japan||710 AD||Built as a new capital city in 710.|
|Kyoto (as Heian-kyō, and sometimes known in the west as Miyako)||Japan||Japan||794 AD||Shimogamo Shrine was built in the 6th century, but the city was officially founded as Heian-kyō when it became the capital in 794.|
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Hanoi||Jiaozhou||Vietnam||454 AD||First mentioned as Tống Bình in 454 AD, the Đại La citadel was built in 767 during the reign of Emperor Daizong of Tang; Ly Cong Uan renamed it Thăng Long in 1010.|
|Palembang||Srivijaya||Indonesia||600 !c. 600 AD||Oldest city in the Malay Archipelago, capital of the Srivijaya empire.|
|Luang Prabang||Muang Sua||Laos||600 ! 698 AD|
|Siem Reap||Khmer Empire||Cambodia||800 ! 801 AD||Capital of the Khmer Empire.|
|Bagan||Kingdom of Pagan||Myanmar||800 ! 849 AD|
|Manila||Kingdom of Tondo and Kingdom of Maynila||Philippines||900 !900 AD||Oldest known settlement in the Philippines as documented by the Laguna Copperplate Inscription; when the Spanish, led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, arrived, it was still inhabited and led by at least one datu.|
|Bandar Seri Begawan||Kingdom of Po-ni and Bruneian Empire||Brunei||900 ! 977 AD||Oldest city in Borneo.|
|Butuan||Kingdom of Butuan||Philippines||1000 ! 1001 AD||Oldest city in Mindanao.|
|Yangon||Konbaung Dynasty||Myanmar||600 ! 1043 AD||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.|
|Kediri||Kediri Kingdom||Indonesia||600 ! 1042 AD||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.|
|Singapore||Kingdom of Singapura||Singapore||1100 ! 1170 AD|
|Banda Aceh||Aceh Sultanate||Indonesia||1205 AD||
Originally named Kutaraja, which means "City of the King".
Derived its name from the words "suro" (shark) and "boyo" (crocodile), two creatures which are in a local myth.
|Phnom Penh||Khmer Empire||Cambodia||1372 AD|
|Malacca||Malacca Sultanate||Malaysia||900 ! 1396 AD|
|Hội An||Nguyễn dynasty||Vietnam||14th century|
|Bogor||Sunda Kingdom||Indonesia||1482 AD|
|Teluk Intan||Perak Sultanate||Malaysia||1511 AD|
|Pattani||Pattani Kingdom||Thailand||1516 AD|
|Medan||Sultanate of Deli||Indonesia||1590 AD|
|Oudong||Kingdom of Cambodia||Cambodia||1601 AD|
|Makassar||Sultanate of Gowa||Indonesia||1607 AD|
|Klang||Johor-Riau Sultanate||Malaysia||900 ! 1643 AD||Klang remained under Johor's control until 1742.|
|Bangkok||Ayutthaya Kingdom||Thailand||900 ! 1688 AD||Modern Bangkok was built after the Siege of Bangkok from French imperialists.|
|Alor Setar||Kedah Sultanate||Malaysia||1735 AD||
Founded in 1735 by Kedah's 19th Ruler, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II and is the state's eighth administrative centre since the establishment of the Kedah Sultanate in 1136.
|Dili||Portuguese Timor||East Timor||900 ! 1769 AD||Dili was settled about 1520 by the Portuguese, who made it the capital of Portuguese Timor in 1769.|
|George Town||Straits Settlements||Malaysia||900 ! 1786 AD||Founded by Sir Captain Francis Light after the Penang was ceded from Kedah to British Colony.|
Continuous habitation since the Chalcolithic (or Copper Age) is vaguely possible but highly problematic to prove archaeologically for several Levantine cities (Damascus, Byblos, Aleppo, Jericho, Sidon and Beirut).
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.
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited as a "city" since||Notes|
|Damascus||Levant||Syria||Chalcolithic 3rd millennium BC||Damascus is often claimed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Excavations at Tell Ramad on the outskirts of the city have demonstrated that the general area was inhabited as early as 9000 BC. However, it is not documented as an important city until the arrival of the Aramaeans.|
|Byblos (Jubayl)||Levant||Lebanon||Chalcolithic (3000 BC)||Settled from the Neolithic (carbon-dating tests have set the age of earliest settlement around 7000), a city since the 3rd millennium BC. Byblos had a reputation as the "oldest city in the world" in Antiquity (according to Philo of Byblos).|
|Aleppo||Levant||Syria||Chalcolithic (4,300 BC or earlier)||Evidence of habitation at the current site of Aleppo dates to about c. 8,000 years ago, although excavations at Tell Qaramel, 25 kilometres (16 miles) north of the city show the area was inhabited about 13,000 years ago, the Temple of Hadad inside the Citadel date to c. 2400 BC.|
|Susa (Shush)||Khuzestan||Iran||4200 BC||Archaeological excavations indicate that the site has been inhabited since at least 5000 BC. The emergence of acropolis in Susa is determined by C14 dating from 4395–3955 BC, roughly dated about 4200 BC as time of foundation. Susa was a large city during Ancient and Medieval periods, but marginalized in the 13th century due to Mongol invasion. The city further degraded from the 15th century when a majority of its population moved to Dezful and it remained as a small settlement until the 20th century.|
|Sidon||Levant||Lebanon||4000 BC||There is evidence that Sidon was inhabited from as long ago as 4000 BC, and perhaps, as early as Neolithic times (6000 – 4000 BC).|
|Gaziantep||Anatolia||Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey||c. 3650 BC||Although most modern scholars place the Classical Antiochia ad Taurum at Gaziantep, some maintain that it was located at Aleppo. Furthermore, that the two cities occupy the same site is far from established fact. Assuming this to be the case, the founding date of the present site would be about 1000 BC.|
|Jericho||Levant||West Bank||Chalcolithic (3000 BC or earlier)||Traces of habitation from 9000 BC. Fortifications date to 6800 BC (or earlier), making Jericho the earliest known walled city.
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.
|Rey||Media||Iran||3000 BC||A settlement at the site goes back to the 3rd millennium BC. Rey (also Ray or Rayy) is mentioned in the Avesta (an important text of prayers in Zoroastrianism) as a sacred place, and it is also featured in the book of Tobit.|
|Jerusalem (Old City)||Levant||Israel/West Bank||2800 BC|
|Jenin||Levant||West Bank||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.|
|Homs||Levant||Syria||(2,300 BC)||Excavations at the Citadel of Homs indicate that the earliest settlement at the site dates back to around 2300 BC.|
|Erbil||Mesopotamia||Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq||2300 BC||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||Kirkuk Governorate, Iraq||3000–2200 BC|
|Jaffa||Levant||Israel||c. 2000 BC||Archaeological evidence shows habitation from 7500 BC.|
|Hebron||Levant||West Bank||c. 1500 BC||"Hebron is considered one of the oldest cities and has been continuously inhabited for nearly 3500 years."|
|Gaza||Levant||Gaza Strip||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.|
|Hamadan (as Ecbatana)||Median Empire||Iran||c. 800 BC|
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Sydney||New South Wales||Australia||1788||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. 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. The first people to occupy the Sydney region were an Indigenous Australian group called the Eora.|
|Hobart||Tasmania||Australia||1803||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, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe.|
|George Town||Tasmania||Australia||1804||Third oldest city in Australia|
|Newcastle||New South Wales||Australia||1804||Fourth oldest city in Australia|
|Launceston||Tasmania||Australia||1806||Fifth oldest city in Australia|
|Kerikeri||Northland||New Zealand||1818 !c. 1818||Oldest European settlement in New Zealand|
|Brisbane||Queensland||Australia||1825||Oldest city in Northern Australia, State Capital|
|Albany||Western Australia||Australia||1827||Oldest city in the West Coast of Australia|
|Perth||Western Australia||Australia||1829||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.|
|Melbourne||Victoria||Australia||1835||Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was occupied for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years. 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.|
|Adelaide||South Australia||Australia||1836||State Capital|
|Darwin||Northern Territory||Australia||1869||State Capital|
|Canberra||Australian Capital Territory||Australia||1913||Capital city of Australia. Artefacts suggests early human activity occurred at some point in Canberra dating at around 21,000 years ago.|
|Name||Historical region||Location||Continuously inhabited since||Notes|
|Argos||Neolithic, Mycenaean Greece||Greece||-5000 !6th–5th millennium BC||The city has been cycling between village and city status for 7,000 years, recorded history begins in latter 1st millennium BC.|
|Athens||Neolithic, Mycenaean Greece||GreAttica, Greece||-4500 !5th–4th millennium BC[page needed]||Earliest human presence 11th–7th millennium BC, recorded history begins in 1400 BC.|
|Plovdiv||Thrace||BulPlovdiv Province, Bulgaria||-3000 !3000[not in citation given] – 4000 BC||Thracian foundation. Earliest evidence of a settlement dates back to 6000 BC.|
|Kutaisi||Colchis||Imereti province, Georgia||-2000 !c. 2000 BC||Founded as Aia. Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis as early as the 2nd millennium BC. It is widely believed by historians that when Apollonius Rhodius was writing about Jason and the Argonauts and their legendary journey to Colchis, Kutaisi/Aia was the final destination of the Argonauts and the residence of King Aeëtes.|
|Chania||Crete||GreCrete, Greece||-1700 !c. 1700–1500 BC[unreliable source?]||Minoan foundation as Kydonia|
|Thebes||Mycenaean Greece||GreBoeotia, Greece||-1600 !c. 1600–1250 BC||Mycenaean foundation|
|Larnaca||Alashiya||Cyprus||-1400 !c. 1400 BC||Mycenaean, then Phoenician colony|
|Trikala||Mycenaean Greece||GreThessaly, Greece||-1201 !before 1200 BC||founded as Trikke|
|Chalcis||Mycenaean Greece||Greece||-1201 !before 1200 BC||mentioned by Homer|
|Lisbon||Iron Age Iberia||Portugal||-1200 !c. 1200 BC||A settlement since the Neolithic. Allis Ubbo, arguably a Phoenician name, became Olissipo(-nis) in Greek and Latin (also Felicitas Julia after Roman conquest in 205 BC).|
|Cádiz||Iron Age Iberia||SpaAndalusia, Spain||-1100 !1100 BC||founded as Phoenician Gadir, "Europe's oldest city"|
|Patras||Mycenaean Greece||Greece||-1100 !c. 1100 BC||founded by Patreus|
|Nicosia||Cyprus||c. 1050 BC||Mycenaean foundation as Ledra. Archeological evidence of continuous habitation since the beginning of the Bronze Age 2500 years BC.|
|Zadar||Illyricum||Croatia||-1000 !c. 1000 BC||founded by Liburnians. Oldest continusly inhabited city in Croatia. Main Liburnian settlement.|
|Mtskheta||Caucasian Iberia||Georgia||1000 !c. 1000 BC||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||GreNorth Aegean, Greece||-950 !10th century BC|
|Chios||Chios||GreNorth Aegean, Greece||-1100 !c. 1100 BC|
|Yerevan||Urartu||Armenia||-800 ! 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.|
|Seville||Iron Age Iberia||Spa Andalusia, Spain||-750 ! 8th century BC||founded as Tartessian Spal.|
|Málaga||Iron Age Iberia||Spa Andalusia, Spain||-800 ! 8th century BC||founded as Phoenician Malaka.[page needed]|
|Mdina||Antiquity Malta||Mlt Malta||-750 ! 8th century BC||founded as Phoenician Melite.|
|Cagliari||Sardinia||ItaSardinia, Italy||-750 ! 8th century BC||Founded by Phoenicians from Tyre as Krly, Caralis in Roman times, Callaris in Middle Ages.|
|Rome||Latium||ItaLazio, Italy||-753 !753 BC||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.|
|Messina (as Zancle)||Sicily||ItaSicily, Italy||-750 !8th century BC|
|Reggio di Calabria (as Rhégion)||Magna Graecia||ItaCalabria, Italy||-743 !743 BC[page needed]||Continuous habitation since approximately 1500 BC, as we have notice about the Ausonian-Italic pre-Greek settlement and about the sculptor Léarchos of Reggio (early 15th century BC) and King Iokastos (late 13th century BC).|
|Palermo (as זִיז, Ziz)||Phoenicia||ItaSicily, Italy||-734 !734 BC||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||ItaSicily, Italy||-734 !734 BC||A colony of the Greek city of Corinth|
|Volterra||Tuscany||ItaTuscany, Italy||-725 !c. 725 BC||An Etruscan mining settlement|
|Crotone (as Kroton)||Calabria||ItaMagna Graecia, Italy||-710 !710 BC||Greek colony|
|Taranto (as Taras)||Magna Graecia||ItaApulia, Italy||-706 !706 BC||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||GreIonian Islands, Greece||-700 !700 BC||A colony of the Greek city of Corinth|
|Naples||Magna Graecia||Italy||-680 !c. 680 BC||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.|
|Istanbul/Byzantion||Thrace Anatolia||Turkey||-667 ! 685 BC Anatolia
667 BC Thrace
|Neolithic site dated to 6400 BC, over port of Lygos by Thracians c. 1150 BC. Greek colony.|
|Ibiza (as 'Ybsm)||Balearic Islands||Spain||-654 ! 654 BC||Founded by the Phoenicians, according to Diodorus Siculus, book 5, chap. 16. Date consistent with archaeological finds.|
|Durrës||Illyria||Albania||-627 !627–625 BC||Formery Epidamnos|
|Kerch (as Panticapaeum)||pre-Roman Crimea||Ukraine||-600 !7th century BC||Greek colony|
|Feodosiya (as Theodosia)||pre-Roman Crimea||Ukraine||-600 !7th century BC||Greek colony|
|Edessa, Greece||Macedonia||Greece||-601 !before the 6th century BC||Greek city, capital of the kingdom of Macedon up to the 6th century BC|
|Marseilles (as Massilia)||Gaul||France||-600 !600 BC||A colony of the Greek city of Phocaea|
|Varna||Thrace||BulBulgarian Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria||-570 !585 BC – 570 BC||founded as Odessos by settlers from the Greek city of Miletus|
|Sant Martí d'Empúries (as Emporion)||Iberia||Catalonia, Spain||-575 !ca. 575 BC||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.|
|Kavala||Macedonia||Greece||-550 !6th century BC||Greek colony. Founded as Neapolis|
|Mangalia||Dacia||Romania||-550 !6th century BC||founded as Callatis|
|Constanţa||Dacia||Romania||-550 !6th century BC||founded as Tomis|
|Mantua||Po Valley||ItaLombardy, Italy||-550 !6th century BC||Village settlement since c. 2000 BC; became an Etruscan city in the 6th century BC.|
|Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (as Tyras)||Pontic Greeks||Bessarabia, Ukraine||-550 !6th century BC|
|Serres||Macedonia||Greece||-450 !5th century BC||Greek city. First mentioned in the 5th century BC as Siris|
|Lamia||Greece||Greece||-501 !before the 5th century BC||Greek city. First mentioned 424 BC|
|Veria||Macedonia||Greece||-432 !c. 432 BC||Greek city. First mentioned by Thucydides in 432 BC|
|Rhodes||Rhodes, Aegean Sea||GreDodecanese, Greece||-408 !c. 408 BC||Greek city|
|Sofia||Moesia||BulSofia Valley, Bulgaria||-350 !4th century BC||Celtic foundation as Serdica.|
|Metz||Gaul||France||-350 !4th century BC||founded as the oppidum of Celtic Mediomatrici. However, Human permanent presence has been established in the site since 2500 BC.|
|Roses (as Rhode)||Iberia||SpaCatalonia, Spain||-350 !4th century BC||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||-350 !4th century BC||Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the Caucasian Albania as early as the 4th century BC.|
|Stara Zagora||Thrace||Bulgaria||-342 !342 BC||It was called Beroe in ancient times and was founded by Phillip II of Macedon although a Thracian settlement neolithic inhabitation have been discovered as well.|
|Thessaloniki||Macedonia (ancient kingdom)||Greece||-315 !315 BC||Greek city. Founded as a new city in the same place of the older city Therme.|
|Berat||Macedonia (ancient kingdom)||Albania||-314 !314 BC||Founded by Cassander as Antipatreia|
|Vukovar||Illyria||Croatia||300 BC300 BC||Vučedol culture|
|Belgrade||Illyria||Serbia||-279 !279 BC||Vinča culture prospered around Belgrade in the 6th millennium BC. Founded as Singidunum.|
|Niš||Illyria||Serbia||-279 !279 BC||Founded as Navissos. Neolithic settlements date to 5000–2000 BC.|
|Cartagena (as Carthago Nova)||Iberia||Spain||-228 !228 BC||Carthaginian colony, founded by Hasdrubal Barca|
|Barcelona (as Barcino)||Iberia||SpaCatalonia, Spain||-250 !3rd century BC||Unknown origin. Several neolithics tombs (5000–4500 BC) and remains from the Iberian period have been found, as well as several drachma coins inscribed with the word "Barkeno". There is also a hypothesis about a small Greek settlement called Kallípolis to have existed in the area. However, the first archaeological remains of buildings are from the Roman period.|
|Tarragona (as Tarraco)||Iberia||SpaCatalonia, Spain||-250 !218 BC||Roman colony, founded by Gnaeus and Publius Cornelius Scipio|
|Stobi/Gradsko||Macedonia||Republic of Macedonia||-217 !217 BC||founded as Stobi by Philip V of Macedon|
|Valencia||Iberia||Valencia, Spain||138 BC||Roman colony founded as Valentia Edetanorum|
|Bratislava||Pannonia||Slovakia||2nd century BC||Founded by Celtic Boii tribe. The first written reference to a Slavic settlement dates to 907.|
|Sremska Mitrovica||Illyria||Serbia||-50 !1st century BC||Founded as Sirmium. Neolithic settlements date to 5000 BC and are with other archeological findings evidence to continuous habitation.|
|Smederevo||Illyria||Serbia||-50 !1st century BC||Founded as Semendria.|
|Ptuj||Pannonia||Slovenia||1st century BC !1st century BC||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 !53 BC (Roman conquest)||Evidence of Lusitanian settlement prior to Roman occupation.|
|Paris||Lutetia||France||-52 !52 BC||Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation as early as 4200 BC. During the Gallic Wars, Caesar's armies set fire to Lutetia "a town of the Parisii, situated on an island on the river Seine." 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|
|Ljubljana||Italia||Slovenia||50 BC !50 BC||Area first settled by people living in pile dwellings around 2000 BC. Around 50 BC, the Romans built a military encampment that later became a permanent settlement called Iulia Aemona.|
|Zürich (Lindenhof)||Gaul||Switzerland||-50 !c. 50 BC||lakeside settlement traces dating to the Neolithic.|
|Trier||Gallia Belgica||Germany||-30 !30 BC||Oldest city in Germany.|
|Augsburg||Raetia, Roman Empire||Germany||15 BC||Second oldest city in Germany after Trier. Located in the Swabian region of Bavaria. Founded by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum.|
|Chur||Raetia Prima||SwiGrisons, Switzerland||-15 !15 BC||habitation since the 4th millennium BC (Pfyn culture).|
|Worms||Germania Superior||Germany||-14 ! 14 BC||The name of the city derives from the Latin designation Borbetomagus which is of Celtic origin.|
|Tongeren||Germania Inferior||Belgium||-10 !10 BC||Oldest city in Belgium.|
|Solothurn||Gaul||Switzerland||20 !c. 20 AD||Evidence of pre-Roman, Celtic settlement; newly founded by the Romans between 14 and 37 AD, called the "oldest city in Gaul besides Trier" in a verse on the city's clock tower.|
|London (as Londinium)||Britannia||England||43 !43 AD||Archaeological evidence near Vauxhall Bridge indicates that the wider area has been occupied for at least 3,500 years.|
|Bath (as Aquae Sulis)||Britannia||England||43 !43 AD||The city was established as a spa town by the Romans in 43 AD|
|Cologne||Germania Inferior||Germany||50 ! 50 AD||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.|
|Winchester (as Venta Belgarum)||Britannia||England||70 !c. 70 AD||Winchester was built as a Roman town in c. 70 AD.|
|Maastricht||Germania Inferior||Netherlands||70 !c. 70 AD||Oldest city in the Netherlands.|
|York (as Eboracum)||Britannia||England||72 !c. 72 AD||The city was founded in or around AD 72 when the 9th Roman Legion set up camp there.|
|Skopje||Macedonia (Roman province)||Republic of Macedonia||96 !81–96 AD||Founded in the time of Domitian as Scupi.|
|Novi Sad||Illyria||Serbia||50 !1st century AD||Founded as Cusum.|
|Baku||Azerbaijan||Absheron peninsula||The 1st century AD||The first written evidence for Baku dates to the 1st century AD|
|Trenčín (as Laugaricio)||Slovakia||before 179 AD||First mentioned in 179 AD on a roman inscription on Trenčín castle rock, when roman army was stationed in settlement Laugaricio. Settlement was probably Germanic, since 7th century Slavic.|
|Vienna||Pannonia||Austria||c. 300 AD||"It is uncertain when Vindobona became a municipium; this elevation seems to have taken place at the beginning of the 3d c. A.D."|
|Verdun||Lotharingia||France||350 !4th century||seat of the bishop of Verdun from the 4th century, but populated earlier.|
|Kiev||State of the Antes||Ukraine||482 !482 AD||Founded by Slavic tribe leader Kyi. Some sources[clarification needed] suggest Kiev was founded in 640 BC.|
|Tbilisi||Caucasian Iberia||Kartli province, Georgia||500 !c. 500||According to the widely accepted legend the city was founded by King Vakhtang I Gorgasali of Georgia. New archaeological studies of the region have revealed that the territory of Tbilisi was settled by humans as early as the 4th millennium BC. The earliest actual (recorded) accounts of settlement of the location come from the 4th century, when a fortress was built during King Varaz-Bakur's reign.|
|Aberdeen||Pictland||Scotland||580 !c. 580||A settlement was established by c. 580 when records show the city's first church was built then. However, there is archaeological evidence of settlements in the area dating back to 6000BC.|
|Edinburgh as Din Eidyn||Gododdin||Scotland||580 !c. 580||Edinburgh is mentioned as a settlement in the poem Y Gododdin, traditionally dated to around the late 6th and early 7th centuries. The Poem uses The Brythonic name Din Eidyn (Fort of Eidyn) for Edinburgh and describes it as the capital of Gododdin. It is not until around 638 that the city starts being referred to as Edin-burh or Edinburgh, after the city was conquered by the Angles of Bernicia|
|Prague||Bohemia||Czech Republic||550 !c. 6th century||The first written record dates back to the 10th century.|
|Inverness||Pictland||Scotland||550 !c. 6th century||A settlement was established by the 6th century when St Columba visited the Pictish King Brude at his fortress there.|
|Glasgow||Dál Riata or Alt Clut||Scotland||550 !c. 6th century||A settlement was founded in the 6th century by St Mungo, who is the city's patron Saint.|
|Ioannina||Byzantine Empire||Greece||565 !527–565||founded by emperor Justinian I|
|Kraków (Wawel Hill)||Lesser Poland||Poland||650 !8th century||The first written record dates back to the 10th century.|
|Aarhus||Denmark||700 !c. 770 |
|Deventer||Netherlands||700 !956|
|Ribe||Jutland||Denmark||710 ! 704–710||Oldest town in Denmark|
|Staraya Ladoga||Russia||753 !753|
|Kalisz||Greater Poland||Poland||9th century||Founded as a provincial capital castellany and a minor fort. Kalisz has long been considered the oldest city of Poland, having been mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, but the claim is now doubted by some (cf. Calisia)|
|Heraklion||Crete||Greece||824 !824||founded by the Saracens|
|Nitra||Principality of Nitra||Slovakia||c. 828||Slavic settlement since 5th century reached its peak when it became centre of Principality of Nitra. There was built first known Christian church in Central and Eastern Europe.|
|Dublin||Ireland||IreIreland||841 !841||Dublin was founded as a city by the Vikings in the 9th century, but there were two older Irish settlements which existed on the same spot several centuries before they arrived; Áth Cliath ("ford of hurdles") and Duiblinn ("Black Pool").|
|Madrid||Castile||Spain||mid. 9th century||Developed around a fortress built by emir Muhammad I of Cordoba.|
|Veliky Novgorod||Russia||859 !859|
|Polatsk||Belarus||862 !862|
|Xanthi||Thrace||Greece||878 !before 879||first medieval reference as Xantheia|
|Uzhhorod (as Ungvar)||Duchy of Laborec||Ukraine||898 ! before 895||first mentioned in Gesta Hungarorum|
|Halych||Galicia||Ukraine||898 ! 898||first mentioned in Gesta Hungarorum|
|Gniezno||Greater Poland||Poland||before 940||Early Slavonic settlements are dated to the 8th century. An important Piast stronghold that gave birth to a medieval town is believed to be erected at least around 940 AD|
|Vitebsk||Belarus||947 !947|
|Poznań||Greater Poland||Poland||before 968||Settled from at least the 9th century AD, Poznań is one of the suggested places of the AD 966 Baptism of Poland. Poznań Cathedral was raised to the status of a cathedral around 968.|
|Brussels||Belgium||979||Founded by Charles, duke of Lower Lorraine. A chapel on an island in the river Senne was built around 580.|
|Sigtuna||Sweden||980 !980||Is reputed as the oldest town in Sweden, the name is derived from an old royal estate Fornsigtuna situated nearby.|
|Skara||Sweden||988 !988|
|Lund||Denmark||Sweden||990 !c. 990|
|Trondheim||Norway||Norway||997 !997||Founded by king Olav Tryggvason. Archaeological findings of city settlement back to the 8th century.|
|Gdańsk||Pomerania||Poland||997 !997||Gdańsk became capital of Duchy of Pomerania (approximate date).|
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Cydonia is one of the five great cities of Minoan Crete, although exact location of the ancient city was not even resolved until the latter half of the 20th century. The most powerful centre of western Crete, Cydonia produced Bronze Age pottery and Linear B writings circa 1700 to 1500 BC, and was one of the first cities of Europe to mint coinage. A temple of Britomartis was erected on Mount Tityros near the city. HISTORY Cydonia was likely established as a Neolithic settlement in the fourth millennium BC. Archaeological excavations in the old town of present day Chania have revealed the remains of Middle Minoan Period Cydonia. These explorations are difficult, since the entire Venetian city of Chania was developed over Cydonia, with virtually no recorded medieval or modern mention of the ancient city specifics until the first finds in 1965. (Andreadaki,) Ancient mention of the civilisation in Cydonia is also made by Polybius, Strabo, Scylax and by Hanno in the Periplus. (Smith, 1878) Interestingly Pashley was able to work out rather accurately the location of ancient Cydonia without any archaeological data; he deduced the location near the port and Old Town from passages in the classical literature. (Pashley, 1837)
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