Written by Staff Writer
HELSWORTH, Mich., Dec. 21 (CNN) — Sweden is reclaiming its position as the world’s most ancient capital city, according to a new study.
The IKEA Table Says, a collaboration between Michigan State University, Tufts University and Klar Nobel, located in Sweden, ranked the capital of every city at least as old as 1585 or with its only imperial capital.
Helsworthy, nestled between the the Stockholm archipelago, was ranked 44th on the list.
The 4,605-year-old city’s distinct architecture can be seen by visiting the Abel Ranten des Vrechaus Museum . It features displays of ancient stone tools and showcases a 1,200-square-meter fireplace that dates to 4,650 years ago.
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The only new city was Nokhtaly in Austria, which ascended to number four on the list. And Saaremaa in Finland, which was ranked 27th in 2018, came in seventh place, as it reclaimed its second place position. The year before it was ranked 12th.
To compare countries’ capitals, researchers looked at the earliest evidence of a capital building and structures (on average with a sample size of 100) as well as time, surface and population density.
“This study combined the best available research on Europe’s ancient capitals and investigated which names have stood the test of time,” Darby McPherson, assistant professor at Tufts University, told CNN in an email.
And while the name of the capital might not change, its geographical features and other historical factors can.
The study took into account the historical features of cities, as well as how many people lived there in each year that they existed.
Smaller cities achieved more historical significance and therefore fared better in the ranking than major centers that continue to swell with the influx of urban population.
“Each of these cities had historical importance and increased in importance, indicating that, when it comes to a debate of whom to rank as the world’s oldest capital city, smaller ones make sense,” said McPherson.