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Your countrys oldest town or city?

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Carcharodon View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Feb 2011 at 01:09
Which is you countries first, or oldest town or city?
 
In Sweden we use to count Birka on the small island of Bjoerkoe in Maelaren, close to Stockholm, as our first town. It was a small place, with less than 1000 inhabitants and oriented on trade. There were also other trading centers that probably could rival Birka in what is todays Sweden but it is the best known and most investigated of these places. It is often compared with Hedeby in Denmark/Germany and kaupang in Norway. It lasted from the 8th to the 10th centuries.
Sometimes it is referred to as The Viking town.
 
Here is a model of how this small town could have looked like. It was surrounded by a wall and also protected by a nearby hillfort. It had a harbour that was protected with wooden poles.
 
Model of Birka
 
Information from Swedish National Heritage Board:


Edited by Carcharodon - 24 Feb 2011 at 01:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2011 at 01:45
Good question. The oldest "official" town or city in my country is Santiago, founded in 1541 by the Spaniards. However, there were already towns in the country, particularly in the northerst part of it.

For instance, Arica, is settled since 11.000 years ago. During the Tiahuanaco empire there was a small town there with the same name called Ariqui (4th - 11th century A.D.). There are many other pre-columbian towns in the north, and other cities "founded" by the Spaniards may have been preceed by small Indian towns.
A famous pre-hispanic small town of the north is San Pedro de Atacama, which is today a protected touristic town.

Pre-columbian town in Northern Chile, culture Atacamenos. They were mud brick towns.


There are still this kind of towns in the same region, like in San Pedro, although today influenced by Inca and Colonial Spanish architecture.













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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2011 at 22:15

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

For instance, Arica, is settled since 11.000 years ago. During the Tiahuanaco empire there was a small town there with the same name called Ariqui (4th - 11th century A.D.). There are many other pre-columbian towns in the north, and other cities "founded" by the Spaniards may have been preceed by small Indian towns.
A famous pre-hispanic small town of the north is San Pedro de Atacama, which is today a protected touristic town.

Pre-columbian town in Northern Chile, culture Atacamenos. They were mud brick towns.

How many inhabitants could such a town have had during its haydays?






Edited by Carcharodon - 25 Feb 2011 at 21:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2011 at 22:25
I don't have the info, but a hundred would be my guess, given the historical condition and the age. You can see above, mud brick constructions of pre-Colombian origins. They were small towns.

This is a reconstruction of the Atacamenos peoples' houses

As you can see, ancient peoples of the region used round houses. Both Incas and Spaniards preffered squared houses, so that's why modern towns of the region have squared houses.




Edited by pinguin - 24 Feb 2011 at 22:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 04:45
Oldest town in Luxembourg is Echternach, founded around an abbey c. 700 CE. But the area was settled considerably before: under the Romans it was kind of an outlier from Trier and there are Roman remains.
 
Of course there were also settlements way back into prehistory.
 
 
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 25 Feb 2011 at 04:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 08:13
Did the Saracens penetrate far enough into Europe to found some type of settlement?  I think that they did so in other places, in France at least, about 700 CE?
 
It seems that they are reported to have settled for all time, in Switzerland!  Somewhere near to Zion/Sion/Sitten!
 
Regards,
 
Ron


Edited by opuslola - 25 Feb 2011 at 08:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 08:29
Yes those Saracens reached the Alps and immediately became bankers...notice the absence of images...
 
Those "Arabic" numerals gives the game "away".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 08:41
Are you making fun of me again?  If not, then your post above is quite funny!
 
Just what do you know of Sion?  And the Wallace/Valais valley?
 
Sitten, it seems, has a very strange history, as does the surrounding area?
 
Have you ever viewed photos of it?  It is one of the most strange and apparently unknown areas of Europe!  Unless you ski?
 
Here is the 1572 equivalent!
 
 
The modern photo is not too much different!
 
 
I have a better one somewhere!
 
Regards,
 
Ron


Edited by opuslola - 25 Feb 2011 at 08:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 13:13
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Yes those Saracens reached the Alps and immediately became bankers...notice the absence of images...
 
Those "Arabic" numerals gives the game "away".


LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 22:50
The oldest still existing town in Sweden is Sigtuna in the province of Uppland. It was founded in late 10th century and replaced Birka. Swedens first coins were made here in 995. Today Sigtuna is a small town with around 8000 inhabitants.
 
Sigtuna in old times
 
Some pictures from todays Sigtuna:
 
The homepage of the Sigtuna museum:
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 26 Feb 2011 at 21:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2011 at 01:20
Interesting, indeed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Hidden Face Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2011 at 02:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2011 at 05:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2011 at 09:12
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Did the Saracens penetrate far enough into Europe to found some type of settlement?  I think that they did so in other places, in France at least, about 700 CE?
 
It seems that they are reported to have settled for all time, in Switzerland!  Somewhere near to Zion/Sion/Sitten!
 
Regards,
 
Ron
 
The consquests reached s far as Autun in Burgundy. After Tours the Ummayyads withdrew behidd the pyrennes but some Berber clients stayed until the 760s.
 
There was a group of pirates that raided the Riviera and settled in Fraxinet for about 100 years. During that time they cut the passes to Italy (including the Great St. Bernard) and when the city (was actually a republic) fell those outposts were isolated and ended according to Arab historians around 1000 AD. Their Swiss settlement was actually St. Moritz not Sion according to a local historian (forgot his name).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 06:26
If we speak of dating cities/towns of Greece and not simple settlements, then it must be Argos (~ 5000 BC) and Athens (5000 BC).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 10:33
so, Al Jassas, it seems that you tend to side with me?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 21:40
Who's arguing otherwise?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 21:49
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

If we speak of dating cities/towns of Greece and not simple settlements, then it must be Argos (~ 5000 BC) and Athens (5000 BC).

Are they so old? I thought the first permanent built settlements (not caves) were the likes of Sesklo and Dimini, none of which if memory serves right, remained inhabited beyond the Mycenean era (which still is impressive).

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?
it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 15:54
Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

If we speak of dating cities/towns of Greece and not simple settlements, then it must be Argos (~ 5000 BC) and Athens (5000 BC).

Are they so old? I thought the first permanent built settlements (not caves) were the likes of Sesklo and Dimini, none of which if memory serves right, remained inhabited beyond the Mycenean era (which still is impressive).



Yes, they are. Dimini and Sesklo are both qualified as towns as well. The thing is that they do not exist anymore and therefore I didn't mention them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2011 at 10:32
Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

If we speak of dating cities/towns of Greece and not simple settlements, then it must be Argos (~ 5000 BC) and Athens (5000 BC).

Are they so old? I thought the first permanent built settlements (not caves) were the likes of Sesklo and Dimini, none of which if memory serves right, remained inhabited beyond the Mycenean era (which still is impressive).



They are even older. In the Old World there are permanent settlements from 12.000 years ago, at least. In the Americas you can find them from circa 7.000 years ago. Nothing new under the sun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2011 at 22:38
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:


They are even older. In the Old World there are permanent settlements from 12.000 years ago, at least. In the Americas you can find them from circa 7.000 years ago. Nothing new under the sun.


Since Carch mentioned Towns/Cities I choose to pick existing towns and date them based on what you call a town/city and their continuous habitation.

Athens for example has settlements from 11000 BC or something but those were later abandoned and did not qualify as towns/cities. Sesklo was a town with typical Helladic town structure (Acropolis etc) but it was discontinued as well.

If we speak of settlement of worlds longest habitation (and direct inheritance from first to last generation) then you should check this settlement in Thessaly. Again, Theopetra as it is called, is by no means a town that survives today nor is it classified as a town.

Athens & Argos are both towns (later cities) that have continuous habitation since the dates mentioned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2011 at 17:41
I think China's old city may be Beijing for it has many places of interest which have even been listed as the precious world heritage~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2011 at 09:22
St. Augustine, FL, is normally listed as the oldest city in the USA, but just for whistles and laughs, maybe the oldest city might (if one takes a mile or two into consideration) well be Caseyville, Il.?

Ever heard of Cahokia Mounds?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahokia

Certantly this fertile area could have never ever been totally vacant of people, and there still exists a city close by, so by the process of elimination, I would propose that it never ceased to exist.

Of course, I could well state the same for my home town of Memphhis, TN, since there also exists ancient mounds upon the Bluffs that overlook the Mississippi River at this point.

That is, with such a good location, why would all people ever leave it?

Edited by opuslola - 09 Apr 2011 at 09:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2011 at 12:59
Cahokia! Interesting civilization. Are there natives related to Cahokia living in the region? I mean, natives like the Navajo in the South West that are related to the Anazasi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2011 at 13:10
When the French reached the site of Cahokia in the 17th century, the original builders were long gone and the inhabitants of that time, the Illiniwek, were not mound builders and the name Cahokia itself is but a convenience for the naming of the site. We know not the affilitation of the original builders or even their name for the complex hence the general terms Mound Builders and Mississippi Culture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2011 at 07:00
Dockor, you did notice that I was being somewhat facitious when I made the response, but regardless, such a great site, most likely would have to some degree have always been occupied.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2011 at 10:11
There are gleaming white beaches in my area of BC, which would almost make one think of the tropics. But actually this is not sand.
 
We know that aboriginal tribes have camped out, and at times build significant settlements here for at least (carbon dated) the last 3-4 thousand years, and probably they go back further than that. Seafood was a big resource for them, and clams were eaten over many centuries, their empty shells then discarded on the beach. The erosion of many storms and big waves over the years turned the shells into (almost, if you don't look too closely) gleaming white sand. These are called midden beaches.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2011 at 11:29
Captain Vancouver, Indeed?

There also exists large mounds of oyster shells upon the Alabama coast, in the USA. Unfortunately they have not as yet received enough treatment by the elements to have been mistaken for sand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2011 at 11:52
In Chile we have mounds of oyster shells from 7.000 BC more or less. Those aren't human buildings, though, but more like ancient garbage dumps.
One interesting thing to comment is that the earliest settlers of the Americas followed coastal lines and survived in mainly in collecting sea food at the beaches. They came from North America to South America walking all the way from the Pacific coasts... Amazing.


Edited by pinguin - 10 Apr 2011 at 11:54
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