What is the oldest building in the world? A list of the 20 most popular

What is the oldest building in the world? A list of the 20 most popular

Ancient architecture has stood the test of time. Many buildings built Before Christ have seen it all, including war and natural calamities. Still, the buildings have stood tall and now serve as prehistoric sites to remind the modern world of the origins of its people and architecture in general. Buildings erected in the Neolithic period were so strong that some of them are still freestanding today in 2022. But, what is the oldest building in the world?

oldest building in the world
La Hougue Bie, Jersey. Photo: @loveheritage
Source: Twitter

From the great pyramids of Egypt to the ancient South Indian temples and the finest monuments built by the Mughals, ancient buildings had specific uses. For example, the Italians used the Colosseum as an amphitheatre, while the Greeks used the Parthenon as a temple.

What is the oldest building in the world?

Understanding the meaning of a building is crucial to determining the oldest building in the world. The reason is that although some buildings are old, many of them today are in ruins but have remained as prehistoric and archaeological sites.

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1. Göbekli Tepe, Turkey – (10,000 – 7,500 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Göbekli Tepe, Turkey. Photo: @GobeklitepeTeam
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey
  • Continent: Western Asia
  • First built: 10,000 – 7,500 BCE
  • Use: Temple during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period

Göbekli Tepe is a monumental round-oval and rectangular megalithic structure located in the city of Şanlıurfa in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. It is the oldest building in Europe, erected between 10,000 and 7,500 BCE.

The building in Western Asia served as a temple during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period. Today, the Göbekli Tepe is a heritage site that provides insight into the way of life and beliefs of the hunter-gatherer populations who lived in Upper Mesopotamia.

2. Tower of Jericho, Palestine – (8,000 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Tower of Jericho, Palestine. Photo: @evilvillain1231
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Modern-day Jericho in the West Bank
  • Continent: Asia
  • First built: 8,000 BCE
  • Use: Irrigation

On the West Bank, near the coast of the Mediterranean in Western Asia, there is a house built out of stone called the Tower of Jericho. Built around 8,000 BCE, the Tower of Jericho worked as a defensive tower.

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Further evidence points out that the people used it for irrigation functions, marking the summer solstice. It was a symbol of motivating people to participate in a communal lifestyle.

3. Mehrgarh, Pakistan – (7,000 BCE)

oldest building in the world
The Mehrgarh, Pakistan. Photo: @GovtofPakistan
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Balochistan, Pakistan
  • Continent: Asia
  • First built: 7,000 BCE
  • Use: Settlement area

Mehrgarh is a Neolithic archaeological site located on the Kacchi Plain of Balochistan in Pakistan, South Asia. Built around 7,000 BCE, it served as a settlement area and is one of the earliest known sites showing herding and farming evidence.

4. Solnitsata, Bulgaria – (5,500 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Solnitsata, Bulgaria. Photo: @odietrich
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Bulgaria
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 5,500 BCE
  • Use: Settlement

Solnitsata is a prehistoric settlement in present-day Bulgaria, near the modern city of Provadia. It is believed to be the oldest city in Europe, having its roots around 5,500 BCE. Although it was a town, archaeologists believe it had around 150 people. Solnitsata had 10-foot-tall, 6-foot-thick stone walls, indicating the presence of buildings used to house people.

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5. Barnenez, France – (4,850 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Barnenez, France. Photo: @_TheExplorers
Source: Twitter
  • Country: France
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 4,850 BCE
  • Use: Passage grave

Barbebez, or Cairn of Barnenez, is a Neolithic monument built around 4,850 BCE. The monument overlooks the Bay of Morlaix in the Brittany region of France and is the largest megalithic mausoleum in Europe. Furthermore, it is the oldest man-made structure in the world and was initially used as a passage grave.

6. Tumulus of Bougon, France – (4,800 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Tumulus of Bougon, France. Photo: @HerveCochetel
Source: Twitter
  • Country: France
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 4,800 BCE
  • Use: Passage grave

Tumulus of Bougon is an outstanding megalithic necropolis built around 4,500 BCE. It is near La-Mothe-Saint-Héray, between Exoudon and Pamproux in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. The structure consists of several tombs with varying dates, with each tumulus serving as a passage grave during the Neolithic era.

7. Saint-Michel Tumulus, France – (4,500 BCE)

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oldest building in the world
Saint-Michel Tumulus, France. Photo: @fakehistoryhunt
Source: Twitter
  • Country: France
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 4,500 BCE
  • Use: Passage grave

Saint-Michel Tumulus is a megalithic grave mound in the east of Carnac in Brittany, France. Built around 4,500 BCE, the Saint-Michel Tumulus is the largest grave mound and one of the oldest in continental Europe. The builders used it as a passage grave during the Neolithic era.

8. Anu Ziggurat of Uruk, Iraq – (4,000 – 3,800 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Anu Ziggurat of Uruk, Iraq. Photo: @fakehistoryhunt
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Iraq
  • Continent: Asia
  • First built: 4,000 – 3,800 BCE
  • Use: Temple

Anu Ziggurat of Uruk is a gigantic White Temple located in Al-Warka, Muthanna Governorate, Iraq. The temple was built between 4,000 and 3,800 BCE atop the ziggurat. The Sumerians used the temple as a place of praise and worship and believed that their gods lived inside it. Only the priests and other respected individuals in the society could enter it.

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9. Monte d'Accoddi, Italy – (4,000 – 3,650 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Monte d'Accoddi, Italy. Photo: @Megalith_Hunter
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Italy
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 4,000 – 3,650 BCE
  • Use: Open-air temple

Monte d’Accoddi is a trapezoidal platform on an artificial mound located in northern Sardinia, in the territory of Sassari. It was built between 4,000 and 3,650 BCE and served as an open-air temple. Furthermore, it had no entrances, thus making archaeologists assume that it was an altar, temple, step pyramid, or served an observational function.

10. La Hougue Bie, Jersey – (4,000 – 3,500 BCE)

oldest building in the world
La Hougue Bie, Jersey. Photo: @loveheritage
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Jersey
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 4,000 – 3,500 BCE
  • Use: Passage grave

La Hougue Bie is one of the oldest historic sites in the Jersey parish of Grouville. It was built between 4,000 and 3,500 BCE to serve as a passage grave. Today, it is one of the largest and best-preserved passage graves in Western Europe. Furthermore, the site has a museum and a 12th-century chapel above it.

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11. Knap of Howar, Scotland – (3,700 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Knap of Howar, Scotland. Photo: @welovehistory
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Scotland
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,700 BCE
  • Use: Homestead

Knap of Howar is the oldest house in the world. The house was built around 3,700 BCE and is the oldest preserved stone house in the Northwest of Europe. The inhabitants used it as a homestead and kept cattle, sheep, and pigs, and cultivated barley and wheat around it.

12. Ġgantija, Malta – (3,700 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Ggantija Malta. Photo: @MagicalEurope
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Malta
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,700 BCE
  • Use: Temple

Ġgantija is a megalithic complex located on the Mediterranean island of Gozo in Malta. Built around 3,700 BCE, the inhabitants used it as a temple.

The Ġgantija has existed for over 5,000 years, making it the second-oldest existing manmade religious structure in Europe and the world after Turkish Göbekli Tepe.

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13. Dolmen of Menga, Spain – (3,700 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Dolmen of Menga, Spain. Photo: @shadowsandstone
Source: Getty Images
  • Country: Spain
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,700 BCE
  • Use: Tomb

Dolmen of Menga dates back around 3,700 BCE. It is one of the largest known ancient megalithic structures in Europe, located in Antequera, Province of Málaga, Andalusia, Spain. The structure served as a tomb and is now a heritage site.

14. West Kennet Long Barrow, England – (3,650 BCE)

oldest building in the world
West Kennet Long Barrow, England. Photo: @Forgot_Heritage
Source: Twitter
  • Country: England
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,650 BCE
  • Use: Tomb and later burial site

West Kennet Long Burrow is a chambered long burrow constructed around 3,650 BCE near Silbury Hill and Avebury stone circle. It was initially built by pastoralist communities who used it as a tomb. It then later became a burial site for both humans and animals.

15. Listoghil, Ireland – (3,550 BC)

oldest building in the world
Listoghil, Ireland. Photo: @carrowmore101
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Ireland
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,550 BC
  • Use: Passage tomb

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Listoghil is the largest central monument among prehistoric tombs built around 3,550 BCE in County Sligo, Ireland. The structure served as a passage tomb for the inhabitants in the 19th century. Furthermore, it has a substantial megalithic chamber used for other ritual activities.

16. Stoney Littleton Long Barrow, England – (3,550 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow, England. Photo: @Roman_Britain
Source: Twitter
  • Country: England
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,550 BCE
  • Use: Tomb

Stoney Littleton Long Burrow is a Neolithic chambered tomb constructed around 3,550 BCE. Multiple burial chambers at the site indicate that the inhabitants used it as a tomb. The tomb’s location is near the Wellow village in Somerset, England.

17. Sechin Bajo, Peru – (3,500 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Sechin Bajo, Peru. Photo: @ancientorigins
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Peru
  • Continent: South America
  • First built: 3,500 BCE)
  • Use: Plaza

Sechin Bajo is an archaeological site constructed around 3,500 BC. Located in the valley of the Sechin River northwest of Lima, Peru, the site is among the oldest centres of civilisation in the Western Hemisphere and the earth.

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Furthermore, it is the oldest known building in the Americas and was used as a plaza during the beginnings of civilisation. While Lima is not the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, it is the second-oldest continuously inhabited European-settled capital city in South America after Quito.

18. Dholavira, India – (3,500 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Dholavira, India. Photo: @narendramodi
Source: Twitter
  • Country: India
  • Continent: Asia
  • First built: 3,500 BCE
  • Use: Settlement area

Dholavira is an archaeological site in the state of Gujarat, Western India. Its construction existed around 3,500 BC and served as a settlement. As a settlement area, it had everything, including defence-work, wells, large open spaces, gateways, built-up areas, and a street system. Dholavira belonged to the Indus Valley Civilization.

19. Midhowe Chambered Cairn, Scotland – (3,500 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Midhowe Chambered Cairn, Scotland. Photo: @welovehistory
Source: Twitter
  • Country: Scotland
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,500 BCE
  • Use: Tomb for communal burial

Midhowe Chambered Cairn is a Neolithic cairn built around 3,500 BCE. It is one of 15 Neolithic chambered cairns on the island of Rousay and by far the largest in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The Midhowe Chambered Cairn served the Neolithic people as a tomb for communal burial.

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20. Gavrinis Passage Tomb, France – (3,500 BCE)

oldest building in the world
Gavrinis Passage Tomb, France. Photo: @lastbritons
Source: Twitter
  • Country: France
  • Continent: Europe
  • First built: 3,500 BCE
  • Use: Place for religious rights

Gavrinis Passage Tomb has its origins around 3,500 BCE. Located on a small island of the Gulf of Morbihan in Britanny, France, the tomb is a megalithic monument known for its European Neolithic art. Initially, the Gavrinis Passage Tomb served as a place for religious rights.

What is the oldest human structure? The Göbekli Tepe is the oldest human structure in the world built between 10000 and 7500 BC.

The oldest building in the world is the Göbekli Tepe, located in the city of Şanlıurfa in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. Generally, each civilisation in different eras had a unique style of putting up their buildings based on their social needs, religious beliefs, and philosophies. Today, old buildings serve as the aesthetic and cultural history of a people and city. Furthermore, they help give people a connection to the past.

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Yen.com.gh shared an interesting article about the oldest sport that is still active today. Sports have been a part of the human lifestyle from his early days. Although it was done as a way of enjoying and entertaining people, today it has been turned into a full-time career by many sportsmen all over the world.

Next time you watch or play any of these sports, remember just how many centuries of people have been enjoying them before you. There's a history that made them what they are.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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