The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (2023)

Oneolithic revolution, around 10,000 BCE. BC is one of the most important periods in human history, as it marks the beginning of a true civilization. Our nomadic hunter-gatherer ancestors began to settle and develop agriculture at this time.

Although some of the earliest known settlements discovered date back to this period, many of the sites on this list predate them by tens of thousands of years. These ancient archaeological sites were temporary settlements and contain some of the earliest works of art. Almost all of the archaeological sites on this list are protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

9. Tell es-Sultan (Jericho)

To change:more than 10,000 years (around 9,000 BCE)
Location:Jericho, West Bank
Year discovered/excavated:1868
Main uses: :village

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (1)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

Sag es Sultanand theOldest part of Jerichoand is often referred to as the oldest city in the world. The first hunter-gatherers settled around 9000 BC. at Tell es-Sultan and continued to fortify and expand the site. Around 7000 B.C. C. Tell es-Sultan was a large fortified city: at this time the wall and the tower of Jericho were built to protect the settlement.

The first round of excavations at Tell es-Sultan began in 1868, which was followed by several successive excavations. Flint tools and mud-brick houses were discovered at Tell es-Sultan.

Tell es-Sultan is currently inUNESCO Tentative Listand strives for protected World Heritage status.

8. Gobekli Tepe

To change:over 11,000 years (c. 9600 BCE)
Location:Turkey Southeast Anatolia Region
Year discovered/excavated:1963
Main uses: :Certainly unknown, probably the oldest temple in the world.

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (2)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

Gobekli TepeIt is over 11,000 years old and is currently believed to be the site of thethe oldest temple in the world. The site was first discovered in 1963 and the broken limestone slabs were initially thought by anthropologists to be tombstones. They didn't care for Göbekli Tepe because they thought it was just an abandoned medieval burial ground.

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However, the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt rediscovered the site in 1994 and knew immediately that the site was something else. Schmidt led the excavation team until his death in 2014 and believed that Göbekli Tepe must have been a very old Neolithic temple. In 2018, Göbekli Tepe was namedUNESCO World Heritage.

7. Caramel

To change:over 12,000 years (c. 10,900 BCE)
Location:Government Aleppo, Syria
Year discovered/excavated:late 1970s; Excavations started in 1999
Main uses: :Settlement with the oldest towers in the world

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (3)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

testsaw candyit was discovered in the late 1970s, but excavations of the site did not begin until 1999. Archaeological excavations have revealed that the Tell Qaramel settlement dates from 10900 to 8800 BC. existed. There is recent research that suggests that Tell Qaramel may be even older.

The researchers unearthed various artifacts from Tell Qaramel, including flint, bone and stone objects such as limestone vases and ornate chlorite. There are also several round towers at Tell Qaramel with the oldest dating to around 10650 BC. You are oroldest towers in the worldand predates the famous Tower of Jericho by several centuries.

6. Lascaux Cave

To change:about 17,000 years ago (about 15,000 BC)
Location:Montignac, France
Year discovered/excavated:1940
Main uses: :Cave complex with one of the largest collections of rock paintings in the world

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (4)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

I don't have that thougholdest cave paintingsno world,Lascaux-Kellerit is probably the most famous prehistoric cave painting site in the world. Since its discovery in 1940, Lascaux has been extensively studied. The cave walls are covered with images of animals, human figures and signs. There are more than 6,000 animal representations, including horses, deer, aurochs, ibex, and bison.

Recently, acomplete replica of the Lascaux caveit was opened to the public. The replica represents the entirety of the original cave open to the public, reproduced using the techniques and art of the Perigord Facsimile Studio (PFS) and the Artistic Concrete Atelier (AAB).

5. Altamira cave

To change:more than 27,000 years (around 25,000 BCE)
Location:Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain
Year discovered/excavated:1868; excavated only in 1879
Main uses: :Rock settlement with some of the oldest cave paintings in the world

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The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (5)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

Oaltamira caveIt is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Spain. However, Altamira was not always a well-known or respected place. When Altamira was first excavated in 1879, many scholars questioned the authenticity of the cave paintings because they were so different from those found in France. Because of this, Altamira was forgotten for many years before being revisited in 1902 and finally taken seriously.

Altamira was open to the public for many years but closed in 2002Mold has started to form on some paints.. The researchers found that tourists and the use of artificial lights harm Altamira. In 2014, Altamira was partially reopened to the public. Each week, five randomly chosen visitors are allowed to visit Altamira, as long as they wear protective suits.

4. Murujuga

To change:about 30,000 years (about 28,000 BC)
Location:Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia
Year discovered/excavated:N/A; used by indigenous peoples for thousands of years
Main uses: :Sacred land of the Indians with one of the largest collections of petroglyphs

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (6)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

Murujugao The Burrup Peninsula is a sacred place for the Aboriginal people of Australia. The site is also home to some of the oldest petroglyphs (rock carvings) in the world; it is also one of the largest collections of rock least one million individual works of art.

The petroglyphs, which date back around 30,000 years, although Aboriginal people may have lived in the area for over 50,000 years, represent several species of animals that are now extinct in Australia. The researchers say the rock carvings show that this part of Australia's environment has changed over time. In recent years, the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation has been vying for UNESCO World Heritage status for the site.

3. Chauvet Cave

To change:about 36,000 years (about 34,000 BC)
Location:Ardèche, France
Year discovered/excavated:1994
Main uses: :Rock settlement with some of the best preserved rock paintings in the world

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (7)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

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OChauvet Cavein France it is one of the most important prehistoric art sites in the world. The Chauvet Cave cave paintings are among the best and most well-preserved and clearly depict animals such as rhinos, lions, and deer.

While there has been some disagreement as to the age of the site, more recent research is ongoing.Chauvet human occupation until about 36,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests that there was a second period of use at Chauvet Cave between 31,000 and 28,000 years ago, lasting 2,000 to 3,000 years. To protect the Chauvet Cave and the paintings, it was closed to the public shortly after its discovery in 1994. A replica of the Chauvet Cave so that visitors can safely admire the paintings, drawings and engravings.

2. El Castillo Cavern

To change:over 40,800 years (c. 38,000 BCE)
Location:Höhlen von Monte Castillo, Puento Viesgo, Kantabrien, Spain
Year discovered/excavated:1903
Main uses: :Rock settlement with the oldest known rock paintings

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (8)photo source:Wikimedia Commons

the castleIt is famous for being the home ofthe oldest cave paintings in the world, which are more than 40,800 years old. The cave was first discovered by H. Alcalde del Río in 1903 and El Castillo has been extensively explored ever since.

The cave paintings were analyzed again in 2012 and their data transferred. The new data suggests that the cave paintings may have been created by Neanderthals rather than early modern humans. However, the research team says more evidence is needed to support this claim.

1. Cave of Theopetra

To change:about 135,000 years ago (about 133,000 BCE)
Location:Thessaly, Greece
Year discovered/excavated:1987
Main uses: :Cave settlement with the oldest known man-made structure

The 9 Oldest Archaeological Sites in the World - (9)photo source:Flickr via Mirrorfinder

Several in a row in 2012Decades of research and excavations, the researchers revealed that people lived in itCaverna Theopetramore than 135,000 years ago, making it the oldest archaeological site in the world.

The research team led by N. Kyparissi-Apostolica originally thought that human occupation of the cave dated back at least to50,000 years ago. However, they discovered children's footprints that pushed the use of Theopetra back more than 80,000 years.

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Theopetra Cave is a treasure trove of artifacts from various eras, including the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic periods. The site also houses a23,000 year old wallwhich was probably built to protect cave dwellers from cold winds - is one of theoldest known man-made structuresnot world.


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