Where Was Philadelphia in Ancient Times?

Philadelphia, also known as Philly, is a city with a rich history that dates back to colonial times. But have you ever wondered where the city was in ancient times? In this article, we will explore the origins of Philadelphia and its place in ancient history.

The Founding of Philadelphia

Philadelphia was founded on October 27, 1682, by William Penn. Penn was a prominent Quaker who received a land grant from King Charles II of England. He named the city Philadelphia, which means “brotherly love” in Greek.

Ancient Times in Philadelphia

Before the arrival of Europeans to the area now known as Philadelphia, it was inhabited by various Native American tribes. These tribes included the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians who lived in the region for thousands of years before European settlement.

The Lenni Lenape people lived off the land and waterways that surrounded them. They hunted and fished for food and used natural resources like plants to create medicine and clothing. The tribe had a rich culture that included storytelling, music, dance, and art.

The Lenape Creation Story

According to Lenni Lenape tradition, they were created by a supreme being named M’sing. He first created their ancestors from a pile of dust before breathing life into them. The ancestors then formed clans that were responsible for different aspects of life.

The Lenni Lenape people believed that all things were connected and had spiritual significance. They practiced various rituals to honor nature and maintain balance in the world.

The Arrival of Europeans

In 1609, European explorers led by Henry Hudson arrived in present-day New York Harbor and claimed it for the Dutch. Over time, other Europeans followed suit and began settling in North America.

In 1681, William Penn received his land grant from King Charles II. He envisioned Philadelphia as a place of religious tolerance and freedom, where people of all faiths could live together in peace.


Philadelphia has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. From the Lenni Lenape people who first inhabited the area to the European settlers who founded the city, Philadelphia has been shaped by a variety of cultures and traditions.

Today, Philadelphia remains a vibrant and thriving city that honors its past while embracing its future. Whether you’re exploring its historic landmarks or enjoying its modern attractions, there’s something for everyone in the City of Brotherly Love.