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Author Topic: What is the oldest continually inhabited dwelling place in the world?  (Read 13753 times)

Offline thedoc

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Andrew asked the Naked Scientists:
   
What is the oldest continually inhabited house / home / dwelling place in the world?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/08/2012 11:30:10 by _system »


 

Offline CliffordK

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It looks like there was a similar question on TNS a while ago.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=26149.0

Here is a list of truly ancient cities, with  Jericho, Israel topping the list, Continuously Inhabited Since: 9000 BC.

The Pantheon in Rome is a unique temple/church in that it dates back to 126 AD, and has been pretty much in continuous use since construction, not going through years of decay, followed by reconstruction.  There may also be some ancient Roman arenas and theaters with long usage.  The Verona Arena is still in use today, although I'm not certain if there were periods of disuse.  Perhaps other theaters and arenas also have long usage.

One of the oldest settlements in North America with about 15,000 years of history was Celilo Falls, was submerged in 1957 by the construction of the Dalles Dam.
 

Offline Lmnre

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What is the oldest continually inhabited house / home / dwelling place in the world?
To have survived so long, it make sense that it has been away from
  • significant warfare/unrest (where it would be destroyed by human forces)
  • significant natural disasters (where it would be destroyed by natural forces)
  • significant population centers (where it would be destroyed by humans ~ urban fires, sieges, attacks).
So, a small, isolated, peaceful community. This thinking
  • excludes coastal areas (due to natural disasters and population centers)
  • excludes grasslands (due to storms, tornadoes, derechos, flooding, etc)
  • excludes tropical regions (due to natural disasters ~ hurricanes, monsoons, etc)
Think mountain locations, like Lhasa and Machu Picchu, although Lhasa has 1M people and Machu Picchu was abandoned. Probably located in temperate to polar regions.
« Last Edit: 03/08/2012 22:35:02 by Lmnre »
 

Offline CliffordK

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I think one of the issues is that people's needs change.  And, technology changes.  So, in the distant past, people would have had one-room shacks, outdoor plumbing, no electricity, open windows, etc.  Wood structures deteriorate quickly if not maintained.

I was wondering about caves, but eventually most people have looked for something better. 

Palaces, of course, would have been bigger.  But, owners change, governments change, economies and prosperity change.  And, of course, there is war.  And they seem to be allowed to fall into ruin. 

Another issue that is happening in Italy is that buildings seem to be sinking with respect to the surrounding land for some reason.  Some of the medieval churches are significantly below ground level.  Thus, archaeologists are often found digging for stuff.

I would wonder about whether there are any desert oases that have had long-term communities.  The agricultural area along the Nile river has been farmed for thousands of years.
 

Offline yor_on

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Wherever we stand there should be bones under us, on Earth that is :) The mass of the living is nothing compared to the mass of the dead, paraphrasing Elias Canetti there I think? But it stuck in my mind. So wherever you are, that's real old in terms of them bones under you ::)) Heh..
 

Offline CliffordK

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Wherever we stand there should be bones under us, on Earth that is :) The mass of the living is nothing compared to the mass of the dead, paraphrasing Elias Canetti there I think? But it stuck in my mind. So wherever you are, that's real old in terms of them bones under you ::)) Heh..
That may not in fact be true.
Because of the exponential growth of the human  population, the number of people alive today is similar to the number of people that have died on Earth in the past...  or within an order of magnitude of that figure.

Ahh, found some notes on it.
http://www.livescience.com/18336-human-population-dead-living-infographic.html
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/dead.asp

So, with a population of 7 Billion today.
And, 60 to 100 billion for the number who have died in the past. 

 

Offline yor_on

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No, that can't be right, can it? To assume so and find a thousand people living then should mean a thousand dead, somewhat later a million living, a million dead. Do you see what you are suggesting here Clifford???

Reincarnation :)
 

Offline yor_on

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If we by reincarnation assume that the only thing needed for it is that the 'hosts' for a mind is equivalent to those that die in any given instant..
=

And my spellchecker sux badly...
 

Offline imatfaal

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Wherever we stand there should be bones under us, on Earth that is :) The mass of the living is nothing compared to the mass of the dead, paraphrasing Elias Canetti there I think? But it stuck in my mind. So wherever you are, that's real old in terms of them bones under you ::)) Heh..
That may not in fact be true.
Because of the exponential growth of the human  population, the number of people alive today is similar to the number of people that have died on Earth in the past...  or within an order of magnitude of that figure.

Ahh, found some notes on it.
http://www.livescience.com/18336-human-population-dead-living-infographic.html
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/dead.asp

So, with a population of 7 Billion today.
And, 60 to 100 billion for the number who have died in the past. 



There are between 20 and 30 people dead for every one alive.  There was a lovely run through of the calcs on More or Less BBC radio 4's statistics review - I will dig out a link
 

Offline yor_on

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Yep, that would be interesting.
 

Offline Bill S

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Quote
    So, with a population of 7 Billion today.
    And, 60 to 100 billion for the number who have died in the past.



There are between 20 and 30 people dead for every one alive.

I make that between 8.5 & 14, but maths was never my strong point. :)
 

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