Jericho: The Oldest City on Earth?

Six thousand years before the present the colossal city of Uruk by far the largest in the worlds dominated the southern Mesopotamian plains of modern day Iraq. With a population of at least 50,000 people Uruk wouldn’t be surpassed in size or in numbers for an astonishing 3,000 years to come. Until well into the Classical Age the legendary homeland of Gilgamesh was surrounded by a colossal mud brick wall said to have been erected by the great hero king himself once enclosed the cities impressive six kilometre radius.

Impressive as this wall was Uruk didn’t exist in a vacuum the city was simply the latest, albeit the most successful in a long line of similar experiments in living, dating all the way back to the Stone Age. More than 5,000 years before the founding of Uruk, other though no less impressive settlements had began to coalesce and form in this region of the world. These were the very first known examples of static communal living in history.

The most well-known of these settlements, perhaps due to its often cited links to the biblical walls of Jericho of the Old Testaments remains arguable the most impressive of all, Jericho.

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  1. gobekli tepe is more than double the age of this site