How Much Do You Know About the Ancient Cities of the World?

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
What is the capital of Assyria?
Aleppo
Megiddo
Nineveh
Assyria was a regional empire whose power was displaced by that of Babylon. It features strongly in the Bible.
Damascus

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What wonder of the ancient world was in Babylon?
Temple of Artemis
Statue of Zeus
Great Lighthouse
Hanging Gardens
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the great wonders of antiquity and would have been dazzling even by today's standards. Sadly, Babylon was destroyed when Cyrus the Great of Persia took over.

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Which Yemeni city noted for its magnificent old buildings of stone and white gypsum is a modern capital at an elevation of over 7,000 foot?
Aden
Sana'a
Sana'a is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Yemen was once very prosperous, but sadly now it is the site of an intractable war.
Jeddah
Amman

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Which ancient city was the home of a library that may very well have contained instructions for a steam engine?
Alexandria
The Great Library was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and probably contained instructions for proto-computers and proto-steam engines. Alexandria was also home to the Great Lighthouse.
Rhodes
Byblos
Megara

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Which modern city is the longest continuously inhabited city in the world?
Jericho
Damascus
Damascus, capital of Syria, has been a city since before cities were a thing: It is at least 10,000 years old, and possibly older. That means it is pretty much the same age as civilization.
Aleppo
Sidon

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Which city in the Holy Land was the site of a battle fought by Joshua and Caleb against its residents?
Megiddo
Acre
Jerusalem
Jericho
Jericho was where Joshua and Caleb, lieutenants of Moses, fought a battle so the Hebrews could enter the Holy Land and finally stop wandering in the desert.

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Which ancient city was part of the Songhai and Mali Empires, and later of Morocco?
Jenne
Timbuktu
The Songhai and Mali Empires were each enormously powerful and important West African civilizations, whose history is sadly very poorly taught in the West, despite the fact that they were as advanced as their more northerly counterparts.
Gao
Taghaza

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Which ancient British city was founded on seven hills around AD43?
Verulanium
Caesaromagus
Durnovaria
Londinium
Londinium is now known as London, and it is very old. There were seven villages there before the Romans showed up and they melded together to become the city.

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Which ancient city was founded by Dido, also known as Elissa?
Tipasa
Rusicade
Carthage
Carthage was founded by Dido, who came up with a clever trick to claim the maximum amount of land. Sadly the city was later destroyed, but the ruins have been identified. It was one of many great North African civilizations.
Phoenicia

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Which city in Syria is one of the top five longest-inhabited in the world and is the end of the ancient Silk Road?
Aleppo
Aleppo is a very ancient city but sadly has recently suffered from a war in which a great many parts of it were bombed.
Sidon
Mosul
Baghdad

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Which city, home to the Acropolis, is 7,000 years old?
Athens
Athens is the home of one of the great Greek city-states and has been inhabited for 7,000 years.
Sparta
Argos
Delphi

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Which city rivals Athens' claim to be the oldest in Europe?
Sparta
Argos
Argos is where the famous Argonauts come from, and in a display of multiculturalism, is also the site of Greek pyramids.
Corinth
Chalcis

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Which ancient Thracian city is now the second largest in Bulgaria?
Varna
Plovdiv
Plovdiv is many thousands of years old and was once home to the Roman theater of Philippopolis, which seated a remarkable 6,000 people, in a testament to Roman acoustic engineering.
Sofia
Vidin

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Which ancient city through which papyrus was exported to Greece is the origin of the world "Bible"?
Thebes
Argos
Delphi
Byblos
Byblos is in Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast, and you can still visit it.

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Which ancient city was named for the beloved steed of Alexander the Great?
Iskenderun
Kandahar
Merv
Alexandra Bucephela
Bucephalus was the beloved steed of Alexander, and a city was founded to honor him when he died.

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To which of the following ancient empires did Sidon in Lebanon NOT belong?
Assyrian
Babylonian
Egypt
Persian
Sidon belonged to Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Ottoman Empires.

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Which ancient city is home to the Gebri castle and sacred to the Zoroastrians?
Ray
Ray has been inhabited for 8,000 years and is in modern day Iran.
Isfahan
Shiraz
Urmia

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Which city in Montezuma County, Colorado, contains some of the finest Ancestral Puebloan architecture?
Mesa Verde
Mesa Verde is a beautiful example of pre-colonial Native American building and proves definitively that the historical notion of America as an empty space to be settled or a primitive pack of tribes to be conquered is revisionism at its worst.
Kayenta
San Juan
Chaco

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Which ancient city is known today as Mexico City?
Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan was the capital of the Aztec Empire which predated the European arrival in Central America. The Aztecs were an advanced civilization built around the alliance of three city-states: Tenochtitlan, Tlacopan, and Texcoco. Modern Mexico City stands where Tenochtitlan did, and all sorts of ruins may be found there.
Texcoco
Tlacopan
Tepanec

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Which city, one of the Seven Ancient Capitals, is considered to be the geographical center of ancient China?
Xi'an
Luoyang
It sits on the great central plain of China where the Luo and Yi rivers meet.
Beijing
Nanjing

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Which city, inhabited for between 3,000 and 5,000 years, is the holiest city in Hinduism?
Ayodhya
Varanasi
Varanasi is on the banks of the holy River Ganges and is sacred in Hinduism.
Haridwar
Dwarka

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Which city that has been the centers of one war or another for about 5,000 years is sacred to all three Abrahamic faiths?
Jerusalem
Jerusalem has basically been at war since the dawn of civilization, sadly, but it's a beautiful and historic city well worth a visit. Most of the time, most of it is peaceful.
Megiddo
Damascus
Beirut

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Which city in Myanmar was capital of the Pagan Kingdom from the 9th to the 13th centuries?
Sittwe
Bagan
Bagan is insanely beautiful, with about 2,000 Buddhist temples dating back millennia.
Pyay
Lashio

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Which crucial Arab port city has a harbor that lies in the crater of a dormant volcano and is home to the famous Cisterns of Tawila?
Aden
Aden has switched hands many times. It is one of the most important ports in the Arabian peninsula and benefits from overlooking the most important trade route in the world, through Suez.
Dubai
Riyadh
Jeddah

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What Chinese city is 1800 years old and was the capital of five Chinese dynasties as well as the Mongol Empire?
Shanghai
Shenzhen
Hong Jong
Beijing
The capital of China today has been its capital on and off, as well as also being the capital preferred by Kublai Khan, the Mongol conqueror.

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Which 2,500-year-old city was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire?
Borazjan
Shushtar
Sardis
Persepolis
Persepolis is sadly no longer around but it is near Shiraz in Iran and you can visit the ruins.

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Which city in modern day Benin was the capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey?
Abomey
Dahomey is modern day Benin. People from further inland were sadly often kidnaped by Dahomey's soldiers, who sold them as slaves to Arab and European powers.
Accra
Bohicon
Djougou

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Which city in the Guayllabamba river basin, now capital of Ecuador, was formerly an Incan city?
Quito
Quito is the second-highest capital city in the world after La Paz.
Cuenca
Otavalo
Salinas

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Which city near Samawah, Iraq, was a Sumerian city on the now dried-up Euphrates River?
Nippur
Larak
Murad
Uruk
The Sumerians built the first civilization of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and surrounds) and Uruk was one of their cities.

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Which city, home to the Temple of Bel (also known as the pagan deity Baal), contained one of the oldest stone arches known to human history?
Kirkuk
Palmyra
Palmyra's beautiful ruins were blown up by ISIS, who plan to destroy all pre-Islamic architecture. The arch has been recreated in the UK.
Mosul
Baghdad

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Which city is the setting of Aeschylus' play "The Persians"?
Tehran
Susa
Susa is mentioned in the Biblical books of Esther, Nehemiah and Daniel. It is where King Ahasueros, the husband of Esther, reigned.
Isfahan
Dorud

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Which Egyptian oasis city once known as Shedet to its founders was known by the Ancient Greeks as "Crocodilopolis"?
Faiyum
Faiyum, formerly Shedet, was where the sacred crocodile Petsuchos was worshiped, hence the Greek nickname.
Alexandria
Cairo
Giza

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Which 2300-year-old city on the River Vaigai is in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu?
Kerala
Madurai
Madurai was part of the Mauryan Empire which once ruled most of India.
Mumbai
Pune

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Of which empire was Karakorum the capital?
Chinese
Mongol
Karakorum is a city that was once heart of the Mongol Empire and is at high elevation on the steppe.
Russian
Uighur

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What wonder of the ancient world was in Rhodes?
Hanging Gardens
Pyramids
Colossus
The statue Colossus stood over the harbor like a mighty guardian, but sadly it was destroyed.
Great Wall

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