Map Pack 1 - Emergence


From around the 4th millennium BC in the ancient Near East, large urban centres began to arise for the first time in human history. As the shore of the Persian Gulf receded, the marshlands of Sumer began to dry up, and the Sumerians built large cities on the fertile, reclaimed land.

Slightly later, a similar energetic expansion of villages and towns into cities was taking place along the length of the Egyptian Nile.

These cities grew into dynastic city-states and by 2500 BC, both Sumer and Egypt contained many cities with populations of several thousand. By this date, vast monuments such as the Giza pyramids and the Sumerian ziggurats of Eridu, Uruk and Ur had already been built.