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The first civilizations emerge in river valleys Mesopotamia (Essay Sample)


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The intensification of fieldwork in northern Mesopotamia, the upper region of the Tigris-Euphrates basin, has revealed two cycles of expansion and reduction in social complexity between 4400 and 2000 BC. These cycles include developments in social inequality, political centralization, craft production and economic specialization, agropastoral land use, and urbanization. Contrary to earlier assessments, many of these developments proceeded independently from the polities in southern Mesopotamia, although not in isolation. This review considers recent data from excavations and surveys in northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, and southeastern Turkey with particular attention to how they are used to construct models of early urban polities (Ur, et al 2011).
For many years, the southern Mesopotamia of Ur and Uruk, ancient Sumer, has been seen as the origin centre of civilisation and cities: ‘The urban implosion of late-fourth- and early-third-millennium Mesopotamia resulted in a massive population shift into large A long campaign of study, culminating in the new discoveries from 2006 reported here, show that northern Mesopotamia was far along the road to urbanism, as seen in monumentality, industrialisation and prestige goods, by the late fifth millennium BC. The ‘world's earliest cities’ are as likely to have been in north-eastern Syria as southern Iraq, and the model of a core from the south developing a periphery in the north is now ripe for revision (Oates, et al 2007).

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