Oldest European cities

Maciamo

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Here is a list of towns and cities in Europe that were founded at least 3000 years ago (prior to 1000 BCE). The list is of course not exhaustive. Feel free to complete it if you have additional information. Abandonned/destroyed cities are ok too.

I have added the probable main haplogroup(s) of the people who founded the city.

  • 7,000 BCE : Choirokoitia (Cyprus) => G2a, J2 and E1b1b
  • 6,500 BCE : Sesklo (Thessaly, Greece) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • 6,000 BCE : Starčevo (Serbia) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • 5,500 BCE : Pločnik (Serbia) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • 5,000 BCE : Varna (Bulgaria) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • 5,000 BCE : Hallstatt (Austria) => E1b1b, G2a and J2 (and I2b ?)
  • 5,000 BCE : Bratislava (Slovakia) => E1b1b, G2a and J2 (and I2b ?)
  • 4,800 BCE : Dimini (Thessaly, Greece) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • c. 4,500 BCE : Lerna (Peloponnese, Greece) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • 4,500 BCE : Glauberg (Hesse, Germany) => E1b1b, G2a and J2 (and I2b ?)
  • 4,000 BCE : Plovdiv (Bulgaria) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • 4,000 BCE : Phaistos (Crete, Greece) => J2
  • 3,900 BCE : Michelsberg (Baden, Germany) => E1b1b, G2a and J2 (and I2b ?)
  • 3,800 BCE : Dobrovody (Ukraine) => I2a2, E1b1b , G2a and J2
  • 3,700 BCE : Talianki (Ukraine) => I2a2, E1b1b , G2a and J2
  • 3,700 BCE : Maydanets (Ukraine) => I2a2, E1b1b , G2a and J2
  • 3,250 BCE : Kasenovka (Ukraine) => I2a2, E1b1b , G2a and J2
  • 3,200 BCE : Skara Brae (Scotland) => G2a and I2b
  • 3,000 BCE : Troy (Turkey) => R1b and J2
  • 3,000 BCE : Myrtos Pyrgos (Crete, Greece) => J2
  • 3,000 BCE : Akrotiri (Cyprus) => , G2a, J2 and E1b1b
  • 3,000 BCE : Athens (Greece) => E1b1b, G2a, I2, J2
  • 2,700 BCE : Knossos (Crete, Greece) => J2
  • 2,500 BCE : Kastri, (Kythera, Greece) => J2
  • 2,300 BCE : Gournia (Crete, Greece) => J2 (and R1b ?)
  • 2,300 BCE : Manika (Euboea, Greece) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • 2,000 BCE : Mantua (Italy) => E1b1b G2a, I2a
  • 1,900 BCE : Mycenae (Greece) => R1a (or R1b)
  • 1,900 BCE : Mallia (Crete, Greece) => J2 (and R1b ?)
  • 1,900 BCE : Kato Zakros (Crete, Greece) => J2 (and R1b ?)
  • 1,600 BCE : Hagia Triada (Crete, Greece) => J2 (and R1b ?)
  • 1,600 BCE : Chania (Crete, Greece) => J2 (and R1b ?)
  • 1,400 BCE : Larnaca (Cyprus) => G2a, J2 and E1b1b
  • 1,300 BCE : Heuneburg (Württemberg, Germany) => R1b
  • 1,200 BCE : Lisbon (Portugal) => G2a and I2 and R1b
  • 1,100 BCE : Cadiz (Spain) => J2, E1b1b, G2a
  • 1,100 BCE : Chios (North Aegean, Greece) => J2, E1b1b (and R1b ?)
  • 1,000 BCE : Würzburg (Bavaria, Germany) => R1b

The oldest towns outside the Aegean follow the Neolithic expansion of haplogroup E-V13 and J2 from Thessaly along the Danube basin (see map below). Unsurprisingly E-V13 is most commonly found from northern Greece to Serbia, with Kosovo peaking at 45% of the population. It reaches 19% in Macedonian Greeks, 23% in Albania, 24% in Serbia, and 40% in the Sesklo/Dimini region of Thessaly.

Haplogroup T originated in the Horn of Africa, like E1b1b and probably arrived in Europe through Thessaly with E1b1b. Its highest incidence in Europe is in Serbia (7%), probably due to an early founder effect among the early farmers in the region. Haplogroup T averages 2% along the Danube (up to Austria), but is hardly found in North-West Europe.

Europe-diffusion-farming.gif


EDIT : here is a list of late Neolithic to early Bronze Age fortified villages and small towns from Iberia.

  • c. 3,500 BCE : Leceia (Estremadura, Portugal) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 3,200 BCE : Los Millares (Andalusia, Spain) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 3,000 BCE : Castelo Velho de Freixo de Numão (North Portugal) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 3,000 BCE : Almizaraque (Andalusia, Spain) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 2,800 BCE : Zambujal (Portugal) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 2,600 BCE : Vila Nova de São Pedro (Estremadura, Portugal) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 2,500 BCE : Santa Justa (Algarve, Portugal) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 2,500 BCE : Monte da Tumba (Setubal, Portugal) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 2,400 BCE : Pragança (Estremadura, Portugal) => J2, G2a and E1b1b
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Antas (Andalusia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : El Argar (Murcia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Lugarico Viejo (Andalusia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a2 and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Ifre (Murcia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Zapata (Murcia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Puntarrón Chico (Murcia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Cabezo Redondo (Murcia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Gatas (Andalusia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Cerro de la Virgen de Orce (Andalusia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,800 BCE : Cerro de la Encina (Andalusia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
  • c. 1,700 BCE : Cuesta del Negro (Andalusia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a and J2
  • c. 1,550 BCE : Fuente Álamo (Andalusia, Spain) => E1b1b, G2a, J2, I2a and R1b ?
 
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And then there's Goslar im Harz which might not be the oldest city in Europe but is certainly is old enough (and well preserved) to impress anyone into a 2-week coma.
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Good job, Maciamo!
 
I believe that the grooved ware people had villages such as Skara Brae in the Boyne Valley as well as on Orkney on the British Isles dated to 6000 BC. These were quite sofisticated cultures and way beyond what one may normally think of a Neolithic society. Similar to the ancient sites of Meso america and South America.
 
I believe that the grooved ware people had villages such as Skara Brae in the Boyne Valley as well as on Orkney on the British Isles dated to 6000 BC. These were quite sofisticated cultures and way beyond what one may normally think of a Neolithic society. Similar to the ancient sites of Meso america and South America.

Could you provide a link with more information on those villages ? Do you have the location names ?
 
I believe that the grooved ware people had villages such as Skara Brae in the Boyne Valley as well as on Orkney on the British Isles dated to 6000 BC. These were quite sofisticated cultures and way beyond what one may normally think of a Neolithic society. Similar to the ancient sites of Meso america and South America.

Very interesting. Can you provide some archaeological references?
 
The grooved ware people? sound like a bunch of hippies.
 
Interesting that Scotland has a city listed.
 
Oldest continuously inhabited cities in europe are.

Plovdiv - Today's Bulgaria ( ancient Thracians)
Naples - Todays Italy
Chania- Creete
Thebes - Myeacenean (ancient Greece)- Greece
Athens- ancient Greece - Greece
Lisbon -Portugal
Cadiz- Spain
Rome- Ancient Rome- Italy
Kerkyra- Corfu-ancient ionian islands.
Varna- Todays Bulgaria, ancient Thracs.
Durres- Albania
Berat- Albania
Kavala, Todays Greece- Ancient Greece.
 
En Espa�a os habeis olvidado de algunas cuantas:
Huelva (andaluc�a occidental).- 4.500-5.500 AC (R1b1 y H)
Millares (andalucia oriental en Almeria).- 4.000 AC (R1b1 y H)
Caravia (Asturias).- 2.500-900 AC (R1b1 y H)
Daimiel-Motilla de Azuer (Albacete).- 2.200 AC (r1b1 y H)
La Garma-Ribamontan del Monte (Cantabria).- 2.000 AC (r1b1 y V)
Argar-Antas (andalucia oriental en Almeria).- 2.000 AC (influencia del egeo, E1b1)
Cogotas-Carde�osa (Avila).- 1.500 AC (R1b1 y H)
Kutzemendi-Vitoria (Alava-Pais Vasco).- 1.500 AC (r1b1 y H)
Carmona (Sevilla-Andalucia).- 1.300-900 AC (r1b1 y H)
y muchas m�s...
 
En Espa�a os habeis olvidado de algunas cuantas:
Huelva (andaluc�a occidental).- 4.500-5.500 AC (R1b1 y H)
Millares (andalucia oriental en Almeria).- 4.000 AC (R1b1 y H)
Caravia (Asturias).- 2.500-900 AC (R1b1 y H)
Daimiel-Motilla de Azuer (Albacete).- 2.200 AC (r1b1 y H)
La Garma-Ribamontan del Monte (Cantabria).- 2.000 AC (r1b1 y V)
Argar-Antas (andalucia oriental en Almeria).- 2.000 AC (influencia del egeo, E1b1)
Cogotas-Carde�osa (Avila).- 1.500 AC (R1b1 y H)
Kutzemendi-Vitoria (Alava-Pais Vasco).- 1.500 AC (r1b1 y H)
Carmona (Sevilla-Andalucia).- 1.300-900 AC (r1b1 y H)
y muchas m�s...

I am afraid that there is something very wrong with your dates. Did you mean "before present" instead of "AC" (which means "before Christ") ? Even so this is still totally wrong.

Huelva was founded by the Phoenicians around 600 BCE. That's 2600 years ago, not 7500 years ago ! Or perhaps you confuse the founding date of a city with the oldest trace of human habitation ?

Your assumptions about haplogroups are wrong too. R1b was the last major haplogroup to reach Iberia, so whoever founded these cities were already admixture of many haplogroups.
 
Gobeki Tepe (Turkey, Close to Troy) 11,500 years ago

Göbekli Tepe (Turkish for "Hill with a potbelly"; Kurdish: Girê Navokê) is a hilltop sanctuary built on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge about 15 km northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa (formerly Urfa) in southeastern Turkey. The site, currently undergoing excavation by German and Turkish archaeologists, was erected by hunter-gatherers in the 10th millennium BC (ca 11,500 years ago), before the advent of sedentism. Together with the site of Nevalı Çori, it has revolutionised understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic.

Source: Wiki Gobeki Tepi

R1b1b - P297 - R1b1b* - 10,000 BC - "Early Byblos Proto-Indo-European PIE" - Northern Mesopotamia SE Turkey to NW Iran just south of Mt Ararat - "early Byblos" culture and first Megaliths (see the world's the oldest Megalithic structure at Göbekli Tepe just 20 miles from the slopes of the Karaca shield volcano where wheat was first cultivated). Moving north from Jordan and Arabia through Syria and Iraq to the wetter uplands between lakes Van and Urmia. Here Indo-European (IE) develops with a "Celtic-leaning dialect" group developing by 8,100 BC (possibly as early as 10,000 BC - Foster and Toth) as one of many IE dialects. Interestingly, this date is almost the same as the 7,900 BC estimated by Starostin for the origin of Vasconic (Basque). It appears this group may have been multi-lingual with some element in their population speaking a Vasconic that was retained as a high-prestige "religious language" much as Sumerian was by the Semitic-speaking Akkadians in the adjacent region for a very long period. Another group R1b1a moves east to Lebanon (upto 25-50% of the Lebanese Christian community) around 10,000 BC and sails over the Mediterranean to Sardinia, while a third group R1b1bc moves into Turkey proper.

Source: CelticHeritage.org Professor Steve Jones

Byblos (Βύβλος) is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal (earlier Gubla). It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jbeil (جبيل Ǧubayl) and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades. It is believed to have been founded around 5000 BC, and according to fragments attributed to the semi-legendary pre-Trojan war Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, it was built by Cronus as the first city in Phoenicia.[1] Today it is believed by many to be the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world.

Source: Wiki Byblos
 
New "Oldest" cities are being unearthed as we speak.

3 December 2009

A lost European Culture, pulled from obscurity
Before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade. For 1,500 years, starting earlier than 5000 BCE, they farmed and built sizable towns, a few with as many as 2,000 dwellings. They mastered large-scale copper smelting, the new technology of the age. Their graves held an impressive array of exquisite headdresses and necklaces and, in one cemetery, the earliest major assemblage of gold artifacts to be found anywhere in the world.
The striking designs of their pottery speak of the refinement of the culture's visual language. Until recent discoveries, the most intriguing artifacts were the ubiquitous terracotta 'goddess' figurines, originally interpreted as evidence of the spiritual and political power of women in society. New research, archaeologists and historians say, has broadened understanding of this long overlooked culture, which seemed to have approached the threshold of 'civilization' status. Writing had yet to be invented, and so no one knows what the people called themselves.
The little-known culture is being rescued from obscurity in an exhibition, 'The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley, 5000-3500 B.C.,' which opened last month at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. More than 250 artifacts from museums in Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania are on display for the first time in the United States. The show will run through April 25.

Source: The New York Times (30 November 2009)
 

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