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The Astonishing Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

History has always inspired humanity to move ahead; here is the list of the top 10 oldest known surviving buildings in history. The top 10 oldest buildings ever made or known to humankind has existed for thousands of years. We do not include any mythological or unverified buildings here. Perhaps there are still older buildings that to this date remain undiscovered. Let’s wait to see more of such excavations.

Here is the definitive list of the top 10 oldest known surviving buildings.

10. Dholavira

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

2,450 BCE

India, Asia

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

The remains of a Harrapan city in India is one of the oldest buildings. The city of Dholavira is located in Khadir island of Rann, Kutchch that belonged to an advanced Harappan civilization. Its remains are seen as a fortified quadrangular city set in a harsh arid land concerning its remains. It is believed that the city of Khadir (modern-day name) was once a thriving metropolis for a long time and had access to the sea before the decrease in sea level. The city showcases some large usage of dressed stone in its constructions.

Some rooms were built of dressed stone, and in some cases, highly polished square and circular stone pillars with a central hole were erected. This remains to be the oldest man-made architecture in India.

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09. The pyramids of Egypt

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

2,800-2,300 BCE

Egypt, Africa

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

The Egyptian pyramids are archaeological masterpieces made of ancient masonry located in Egypt, Africa. Pyramids were primarily built as a tomb for the Pharaohs and their consort during the Old and Middle ages. According to sources, there are at least 118 pyramids throughout the country. The earliest known pyramid, which is still disputed since being a one-step pyramid structure, was probably built during the First Dynasty 3808 BCE (disputed). The most popular pyramid is found at Giza on the outskirts of Cairo. Those pyramids are regarded as the largest manmade structures ever existed for centuries.

The Pyramid of Khufu, the largest pyramid, is the only surviving Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As far as concrete evidence is considered, Shunet El Zebib built-in 2700 is the oldest pyramid. The Egyptian pyramids should ideally be ahead of the list, but this is the perfect spot considering an average of all the constructions.

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08. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa (Indus Valley Civilization)

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

2,700 BCE

Pakistan, Asia

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the oldest and well-recognised civilizations in the world. However, unlike other civilizations, this was a modernised and advanced one with two prominent cities in Pakistan. It is believed that the civilization arose somewhere between 2700-2500 BCE and ended with apparent deconstruction in 1500 BCE. The cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were built of fire-baked bricks. It is believed that the need for wood for brick-making denuded in the countryside, which might be one of the reasons for the downfall of this civilization.

Unlike other civilizations, the Indus Valley civilizations have a brick-lined sewer system. Along with architecture, many paintings and other artistic items were also discovered from this area, recognised as par excellence. However, the written records of this civilization have not yet been deciphered.

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07. Stonehenge

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

3,000 BCE

Great Britain, Europe

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. It is perhaps the most famous prehistoric site, with hundreds of tourists rushing to visualise this historical masterpiece. It was built in several stages, and the first monument was an early henge monument built around 3000 BC. The unique circular pattern was erected some 500 years later, in the Neolithic period, about 2500 BC. During the early Bronze age, Stonehenge was commonly used as a place for burial, and many bodily remains have been found on the site. However, Stonehenge remains a mystery for a lot of reasons.

It is still unclear how this construction was made in the first place; stones weighing 25 tons were topped by connecting horizontal lintel stones. The purpose of this construction also remains unknown, but this masterpiece survived thousands of years.

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06. Anu ziggurat of Uruk

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings – Anu Ziggurat with graphical representation

3,500 BCE

Iraq, Asia

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

Uruk or Warka, situated in modern Iraq, is one of the first cities in the world. The Mesopotamians built multiple phased constructions to recognise their theocratic government (a government-run by the religious leader) to shine above the region’s citizens. Archaeologists found a terrace, and the oldest Ziggurat was discovered, the Anu Ziggurat. The terrace extended at least ten times until it reached a height of 12 m. The building was covered with the white plastered walls, divided by niches, multiple postaments, maybe shelves in an adjacent room, and multiple staircases, which led to the roof or a second storey.

The erection of the building was radiocarbon-dated between 3517 and 3358 BCE. The proportions and wall deco­ra­tions of our reconstruction were adopted from this model, which had nearly the same ground plan as the actual building.

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05. Ġgantija

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

3,700 BCE

Malta, Europe

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

Ġgantija is a megalithic temple complex from the Neolithic on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. Consisting of two temples that date back to between 3600 and 3200 BC, the Ġgantija Temples are categorised as one of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Indeed, these ancient structures represent a phenomenal cultural, artistic and technological development in a very early period in human life. Each temple consists of several apses flanking a central corridor. In addition, there is evidence of the internal walls having been plastered and painted over, as proven by two plaster fragments with red ochre, now on display at the Ġgantija Temples Interpretation Centre.

Several libation holes are present on the floor, which may have been used for liquid offerings. It is possible that during ceremonial activities, the audience might have assembled outside the temple complex, for which there are large forecourts in front of both the temples, which might have been purposely raised by the same temple builders.

04. Dolmen de Menga

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

3,800 BCE

Spain, Europe

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

The Dolmen de Viera is a single-chamber megalithic tomb—located in Antequera, province of Málaga, Andalusia, Spain. It is 27.5 metres (90 ft) long, 6 metres (20 ft) wide and 3.5 metres (11 ft) high, and was built with 32 megaliths, the largest weighing about 180 tonnes (200 tons). The Menga Dolmen is located at the top of detrital sedimentary materials that come from the Upper Tortonian. It is constructed with abundant sands, some lightly cemented, mostly uniform in size and subrounded.

However, despite the long history of research, the architectural design of the Menga Dolmen has never been properly studied from a broader engineering perspective that analyzes its building materials, dimensions, and geometry.

03. Tumulus of Bougon

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

4,800 BCE

France, Europe

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

The Tumulus of Bougon (Necropolis of Bougon) is a group of barrows built in the late Neolithic period. This site is located in a commune named Bougon, in the Deux-Sèvres department of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in the western region of France. It is learnt that the Tumulus of Bougon were constructed during various times that spanned a period of over 1200 years from 4700 to 3500 BC. Thus, the Tumulus site has been recognised as one of the oldest known examples of megalithic or any architecture on the Atlantic coast of France.

The tumulus cemetery was re-discovered by archaeologists during the 19th century, which was excavated over the years. Today, the Tumulus of Bourgon is open to the public, and a museum, which displays, amongst other things, the archaeological finds from the site, is located less than a kilometre from it.

02. Barnenez

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

4,850 BCE

France, Europe

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

Towards the Bay of Morlaix, the Cairn de Barnenez is the largest and the oldest megalithic mausoleum in Europe. An immense dry-stone cairn at Barnenez in the Finestère region of Brittany, France, is a place of eleven passage graves. While analysing the construction of the cairn and the form of its passage graves indicates that the monument, it was understood that the construction might have been completed in several phases.

Although some initial radiocarbon dates among a long series, when recalibrated, the Barnenez tombs were built very early in the fifth millennium BCE. The cairn was restored between 1954 and 1968. At the same time, vegetation was removed from the mound, and systematic excavation took place in and around the monument.

01. Göbekli Tepe

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings
Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

10,000 BCE

Turkey, Asia

Top 10 oldest known surviving buildings

Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey lies the oldest man-made construction and possibly the first temple in the world. Göbekli Tepe is an early Neolithic archaeological site near the town of Şanlıurfa in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. Its oldest layer dates to around 10,000 BCE, the end of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. The newer phase, radiocarbon dated to between 8300 and 7400 BCE, belongs to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. The tell or artificial mound has a height of 15 m (50 ft) and is about 300 m (1,000 ft) in diameter, approximately 760 m (2,500 ft) above sea level.

More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are known (as of May 2020) through geophysical surveys. There are speculations that the site has been damaged due to the use of concrete and “heavy equipment” during the construction of a new walkway. Nevertheless, the site is open for visitors.

Amal Varghesehttp://moonjis.com
Lecturer by profession, a philologist by qualification and a scribbler by passion. Like John Lennon says, "I believe in everything until it is disapproved, so I believe in fairies, myths and dragons", everything around me is an illusion and a reality. I am basically you, but I am a confined me.
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