I'm curious what the first recorded instance of a military putting a city or village to the torch.

Certainly, war predates history, as does the tactic of destroying a dwelling, but I'm focused on when the first recorded instance was...

I think I would include a pre-history event IF there were strong archaeological proofs, solid dates... etc.

  • The Fall of Troy? ;)
    – TheHonRose
    Nov 26, 2015 at 2:31
  • 2
    What do you mean by "solid dates"? I doubt you would find anything solid in pre-history.
    – terminex9
    Nov 26, 2015 at 4:57

1 Answer 1


The oldest I know of is the destruction of Hamoukar in Syria. In 2005, archaeologists reported finding "collapsed mud-brick walls that had undergone heavy bombardment and ensuing fire" dating to around 3500 B.C. You can read more about the discovery here.

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