Some of the oldest countries in the world have existed for over 3000 years. Before any territory can be called a country, it must be a territory with its government (whether internal or foreign), independent, and have a population. The Earth as we now know it was formerly thought to be one continent called Pangea.
Pangea was used to describe how all the continents were connected about 240 million years ago before volcanic rifts grew and formed new ocean basins that separated one territory from another. These separate territories formed continents and nations as we know them today.
Some of the roughly 200 countries we have today around the globe have survived the test of time despite these obstacles. These nations have endured over time, making them the oldest in the world, despite shifting borders, governing structures, and capital cities.
Oldest countries in the world
1. Iran (3200 BCE)
Iran was called Persia Up till the mid-20th century. The country has one of the oldest continuous significant civilizations on the planet.
Historical and urban settlements there first appeared around 7000 BCE. Iran was formerly a member of Cyrus the Great’s Achaemenid Empire, the largest and first-ever world empire, which was first united in 625 BCE by the ancient Medes.
The country received the moniker “liberated state” after that year, during the Safavid dynasty. From 1501 until 1979, Iran was a Shia monarchy headed by an emperor almost continuously. Iran is usually regarded as the oldest country in the world due to these factors.
2. Egypt (3100 BCE)
Egypt has existed for about 3000 years. Excavations in recent years have uncovered a lost metropolis. These recent discoveries at Sohag are thought to be older than 7,000 years. The new discoveries allow us to date the early dynasty periods of ancient Egypt to a time earlier than five millennia.
According to archaeologists, these recently discovered homes and cemeteries may be a component of a long-gone metropolis that is just coming to light. Rumors describe the region as a distinct settlement that may have been supplanted by the ancient metropolis of Abydos.
3. Vietnam (2879 BCE)
This country’s history dates back more than 20,000 years. Two hominid skeletons were discovered in 1965 during excavations that point to the Middle Pleistocene and show that prehistoric Vietnam predated China by 500,000 years.
Some of the first communities in the globe originated in this country. As a result, the Vietnamese are among the world’s oldest farming communities and a serious candidate to hold the record for the oldest nation on Earth.
4. Armenia (2492 BCE)
The country of Armenia has a 3,500-year history, with the sixth century BCE being the earliest recorded mention of it. Despite this, the country wasn’t founded until 782 BCE.
Armenia once spanned the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Lake Urmia in Iran during the height of its dominance. In 301 CE, its inhabitants were among the first to accept Christianity as the official religion. The country continues to follow its own Armenian Apostolic Church today.
5. Korea (2333 BCE)
The history of the entire Korean peninsula, today divided into North and South Korea, is thought to be 5,000 years old. Korea was the first country to develop moveable metal-type printing; it was known as “Gojoseon” from 2333 BCE to 108 BCE. Since then, this invention has revolutionized communication. Additionally, it made a substantial contribution to the growth of the global culture.
The Goguryeo kingdom was regarded as one of the most vital East Asian states from 37 BCE to 668 CE. This peninsula was once a serious contender for the title of the oldest country in the world, even though it may not be today.
6. China (2070 BCE)
During the Shang Dynasty, which lasted from 1700 to 1046 BCE, North Central China was united for the first time in Chinese history. The first instances of dynastic succession are observed at this time. Even so, there is still scant proof of its existence.
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Historians disagree about whether the Xia Dynasty, an older civilization, ever existed. Sites that correspond to the descriptions of earlier historians’ stories have been found during 20th-century digs.
Some academics disagree with the Xia Dynasty’s existence based on these reports, while others claim that it was the first dynasty in ancient China. As of right now, no site has been found that conclusively shows the Xia Dynasty existed.
7. India (2000 BCE)
India has had communities for at least 250.000 years. India’s earliest known civilization emerged during the Bronze Age, leaving behind signs of hominoid activity. The “Indus Valley Civilization,” also known as the “Harappan Civilization,” in this society.
Between 3,300 and 1,300 BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization was a thriving civilization. It is also thought to go by the name “Meluhha,” which is recorded in Old Mesopotamian writings. Professionals believe that the country had a thriving urban civilization at least 5,500 years ago based on these theories.
8. Georgia (1300 BCE)
Georgia is recognized as the origin of winemaking in the modern era. The world’s oldest wine jars are located here. These jars, some of which are at least 8,000 years old, are regarded as archaic proof of ancient winemaking.
Early political and social structures are also supported by archaeological discoveries based on ancient sources. These discoveries come from the seventh century BCE. Georgia is, therefore, a serious candidate to hold the title of oldest nation in the world.
9. Israel (1300 BCE)
Israel has survived the Middle Bronze and Iron Ages despite being located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Its area contains proof of the early exodus of hominids from Africa.
After years of confrontation with the influential Egyptian culture, the kingdom finally accepted its identity around 1200 BC and adopted the name Israel.
In 200 years, the Israelites were able to expand from 25 settlements to more than 300. As society continued to advance, the country transformed into Israel as we know it today.
10. Sudan (1070 BCE)
The Republic of Sudan has existed for at least 3,000 years. According to archaeological studies, groups in the last stage of cultural evolution had migrated to Sudan by the seventh millennium BCE. These people lived in fortified mudbrick communities. They lived employing excellent hunting, fishing, grain collection, and cattle herding skills.
Evidence suggests that during the fifth millennium BCE, these populations left the Sahara desert and moved to Sudan to become farmers.
11. Ethiopia (10th Century BCE)
Ethiopia has been around for at least two thousand years. It is one of the oldest independent republics in the world and the oldest independent nation in Africa. Today’s Ethiopia, which is made up of more than 80 ethnic groups, was never colonized. With the exception of Italy’s occupation from 1936 to 1941.
In comparison to other countries, Ethiopia is still a young country. Many academics have the unverified view that this area was inhabited by early archaic humans 150–200 thousand years ago. These ideas have a long history thanks to finding the world’s oldest hominid remains. These fossils, which were discovered in 1994 and are known as Ardipithecus ramidus, date back as far as 4.2 million years.
12. Afghanistan (678 BCE)
According to archeological discoveries, Afghanistan has supported human habitation for at least 50,000 years. Many people think that 3000 BCE was when these civilizations initially emerged.
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Afghanistan is, therefore, home to some of the first farmers on the entire planet. The country is best known for being a prominent hub for important early activities. Afghanistan is easily comparable to Egypt’s historical significance for these reasons.
13. Greece (8th Century BCE)
Humanity has lived in Greece for at least 40,000 years in basic hunter-gatherer and agrarian societies. Greece has prospered throughout the millennia and is one of the oldest nations in history and on the entire planet. In actuality, Greece saw the emergence of Europe’s earliest advanced civilizations around 3200 BCE. was founded.
Athens, the capital of the country, hosted the first democratic government ever, which was founded In 508 BCE. Furthermore, Greece was a pioneer in organizing the first Olympic Games during the Archaic era of its history.
The length of modern long-distance races is a result of their battle at Marathon against the invading Persian army.
14. Japan (660 BCE)
Japan was established by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BCE, making it at least 2,600 years old. This makes it one of the oldest countries that still exists today.
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As a center of literary heritage revered for its Buddhist influences, Japan’s history is contested due to the country’s dependence on myth. In actuality, the existence of Japan is only documented in Chinese chronicles from the third century CE.
15. France (600 BCE)
Despite having just been a nation for a little more than a thousand years, France is known for some of Europe’s most significant historical occurrences. Consider the Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolution of 1789, and the German invasions of 1914 and 1940.
Battles with the Habsburgs and English kings resulted in the consolidation of France’s strength and the expansion of its realm.
16. Mongolia (290 BCE)
The Mongolian Empire, established by Genghis Khan in 1206, included both Turkic and Mongol-speaking tribes.
Vibrant pink, brown, and red ochre paintings have been discovered during archaeological investigations in the country’s Khovd Province. These paintings, which date back as far as 20,000 years, feature historical animals.
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Some contemporary nations have stayed more stable and can trace their ancestry back. These countries’ dates of origin can be found on this list.
If you want to see and enjoy the richness of these oldest countries, you can visit some of them listed in this article.