There are different opinions about which is the oldest building on the Earth. The questions about the antiquity of buildings can be presented in different ways. The term 'oldest building' can refer to the remains of ancient structures or old constructions that are still being used. The debate about which is the most ancient building in the world would, therefore, continue without any concrete or true answer.
Which is the Oldest Building in the World?
It is a commonly accepted fact that temples of Malta are the oldest man-made structures found in the world. These temples on the islands of Malta, located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, were unearthed in the year 1980 CE. They are constructed with limestone slabs and date back to around 3000 BCE. Although the temples of Malta are considered to be the oldest, there are many more buildings and smaller constructions that compel us to carry out much more research on the topic of oldest structures around the world.
Excavations in Eridu and Ur
In recent times, much older buildings (older than the temples of Malta) have been discovered in the ancient city of Eridu, in what is now known as Tell Abu Shahrain, in Iraq. Buildings excavated at this place date back to about 5000 BCE. Old structures are also found in the city of Ur (the modern-day Tell el-Mukayyar). A square-shaped temple at this place, which dates back to around 4500 BCE, was built by the Sumerian King Aannipadda of Ur. This city was excavated under the supervision of Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, director of the expedition jointly conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the British Museum.
World's Oldest Building that is Still in Use
The Hagar Qim on the island of Malta is probably the oldest structure that is still in use. It was built in 3000 BCE, i.e., around the same time the Stonehenge was built. The Hagar Qim is a megalithic temple complex, and it features amongst the most unique architectural masterpieces recognized by the World Heritage Sites committee.
Pantheon, the temple to all the gods of the Roman mythology, in Italy's capital city, Rome, speaks a lot about the history of Italy. This building can be termed as the oldest man-made structure in continuous use after its construction (in 120 A.D.) The Roman Pantheon architecture can therefore be considered as one of the best.
Buildings in France and Africa
The architectures and their descriptions provided in the above sections are not quite old enough if we consider the following examples. The structures found in Village des Bories, near the modern-day village of Gordes in France, are actually huts with fireplaces inside them. Apart from the outlines of these huts, not much can be discerned about them. These constructions are known to be from a period dating back to 120,000 BCE. In the continent of Africa, circular structures erected with stone blocks are older than these French huts and date back to the period of 1,750,000 BCE. The African history and culture is, therefore, much older.
There have been much older civilizations in the past. The wheel of time moves continuously, and it gives rise to new civilizations and destroys the older ones. The fact that we have limited access and means to find about much older civilizations forces us to accept the ones described above as the oldest buildings, and the question about which is the oldest building in the world, therefore, remains unanswered.