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12 oldest continuously inhabited cities

aerial shot of damascus

Photo: jasminam/iStockphoto

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Damascus, Syria

Damascus is widely believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, with evidence of habitation dating back at least 11,000 years. Its location and persistence have made the city a nexus for civilizations come and gone. Today its metropolitan area is home to about 2.5 million people, and in 2008 it was named the Arab Capital of Culture.