If you divided the Earth into plots of (say) 1 square mile each, and looked at the history of each one over (e.g.) the last 2000 years, which one would have seen the most years with war? If there is a methodological way to answer this, that would be cool. If not, educated opinions would also be interesting. Where would you look for evidence?

EDIT for clarity:

To be more exact: For each square mile, for each year, give a "Yes" if that plot of land had warfare on it and a "No" if it did not.

Of all the plots of land, which one had the most "Yes"s?

So, e.g., the square mile where I live (New York City, but upper west side) might have only a few "Yes"s or even none - I am not sure if any battle of the American Revolution was fought near here and I am also not sure if any war amongst native American tribes was fought here.

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    Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War is arguably the longest war. It was between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly and lasted 335 years but there was no casualty. – Caesar Apr 13 '13 at 19:38
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    Looked into this further and I found that the Ottoman Empire (Today Turkey) and San Marino have been at war since 1915 and are still technically at war. – Caesar Apr 13 '13 at 19:48
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    In Europe Poland or the Rhine valley perhaps? – Drux Apr 13 '13 at 21:19
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    Jerusalem has to be in the running – none Apr 13 '13 at 22:51
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    @PeterFlom no casualties after the first few months as the sandbar it was fought over sank into the sea and all fighting stopped. The war was forgotten until a historian found out about it 350 years later and a peace treaty was officially signed. – jwenting Apr 15 '13 at 6:30

As someone in the comments has said, Jerusalem must be on the top of the list.

From Wikipedia

During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

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    But were there so long wars as many hundred years war between England and France, as in the case of Calais? The time was the subject of the question, not times – Gangnus Apr 16 '13 at 13:36
  • @Gangnus If you do study the hundred year war you will find that for the majority of the time nothing happened which is why I don't consider it as a contender. – Caesar Apr 16 '13 at 14:29
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    All destroys, sieges and capturing started from attack. And 55 attacks? Not much really. In Stalingrad there were several attacks a day in many places and the uninterrupted battle lasted 23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943. All victim of Jerusalem's battles would fit into one Stalingrad's day. All battles of the far past were merely a handful of combats in comparison with WWI and II. – Gangnus Feb 28 '14 at 12:32
  • The question asks the most years with war. It doesn't say anything on how many battles there were in one year. – Gangnus Feb 28 '14 at 12:34

Such place should be looked:

  1. on the border of some nations, as Calais,
  2. where peoples and states changed and fighted frequently (Crimea: Taurs, Skifs, Sarmats, Greeks, Romans, Bospor, Gots, Byzanc, Armenians, Karaims, Tmutarakan, Genoa, Tartars, Russians)
  3. Where very many little tribes/people live together. Than it will be New Guinea, having more languages than all other Earth altogether, and where all tribes were in constant war forever.
  4. Some node, important for many nations/people/cultures. (Jerusalem)
  5. The longest uninterrupted battle in one place (Troy)
  6. The hardest battle with most killed or died due to the siege (Leningrad in 1941-43).
  7. The hardest battle due to importance and KIA/prisoners (Stalingrad in 1942 - the turnpoint of WW2)
  8. If you were not limit the size of the "plot", I think, the Europe or Asia would fit, too. Uninterruptable wars for all the human history.:-)

Which do you mean?

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  • what's Troa (mentioned in your answer #5)? – Louis Rhys Apr 16 '13 at 9:58
  • Troja of course, sorry – Gangnus Apr 16 '13 at 10:03
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    @LouisRhys: Troy was found by Heinrich Schliemann. Whether all the event described by Homer were correct is another matter. ^_~ – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Apr 16 '13 at 10:35
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    Any history is partly mythology. And deeper into the past, the larger this part becomes – Gangnus Apr 16 '13 at 10:43
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    @Sardathrion - A place that could very well have been Homer's Troy, assuming Homer's Troy was an actual place, has been unearthed by Archeologists (and labelled "Troy"). Just saying "Troy was found" in this context is both too simplistic and quite likely wrong. – T.E.D. Apr 16 '13 at 13:59

When you say "with war", I'm assuming you don't mean to count all the land of a country at war. For example, I'm not sure Kent is any more "fought over" because of the many Anglo-Indian Wars. I imagine you mean what land has had soldiers fighting on it most, both in terms of time and also intensity (how expensive to human life this ground has been).

Given this idea of "most fought over land" I believe this land is to be found on the western front, this is the greatest example of extended and brutal military campaigns with very little movement and an obvious starting point. More specifically I think the land around Verdun was the "most fought over".

The largest military operations include The Battle of Verdun. Firstly, this battle was clearly of the scale to qualify the land as very fought over (755,000–976,000 causalities). It's admittedly not the largest battle on this list (beat by other battles of ww2 and ww1, including the Somme), however what makes it stand out is that there was very little movement of forces after the battle. This is often said of the western front in general, but if you look at the other major battle, The Battle of the Somme, you'll find that as the battle closed the Germans withdrew 40 miles to the Hindenburg line. No such retreat occurred in Verdun, the sector around it's fortification systems remained the focus of fighting from the German invasion of France in 1914 to Armistice 1918. If you look at this map you can see how Verdun remained in constant contention during ww1.

edit: If it's just brutality in a small space the obvious answer is Leningrad or Stalingrad.

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    What about Stalingrad? – Tea Drinker Apr 13 '13 at 22:16
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    I thought about Stalingrad and also the Siege of Leningrad, which both cost more lives and were probably as concentrated. In fact, I almost went for these and considered the Brusilov Offensive, however given that the questioner was quite keen about the length of fighting, I though I'd do Verdun. – Nathan Cooper Apr 13 '13 at 22:19
  • Well, Verdun had that battle, which was huge, but how much of the time over the last couple thousand years? – Peter Flom Apr 13 '13 at 23:10
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    Well it's name, Verdun, does mean "Strong fort". Look at the history section. – Nathan Cooper Apr 14 '13 at 8:53

I would guess Megiddo, Israel. Megiddo was an ancient fortified city; one of the most famous battlegrounds in the world. Historians believe that more battles were fought at this location than anywhere else on earth: Assyrians, Canaanites, Egyptians, Greeks, Israelites, Persians, Philistines, and Romans. Although Megiddo was not a fortress in the days of World War I, a critical battle enabling the British to wrest control of the Holy Land from the Turks took place there.

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    If you can provide some references to back this up, this would be a good answer. – Kobunite Feb 28 '14 at 9:16

The town of Winchester, VA, changed hands 70 times during the American Civil War. In just 4 years.

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