List of cities of the ancient Near East

The earliest cities in history appear in the ancient Near East. The area of the ancient Near East covers roughly that of the modern Middle East; its history begins in the 4th millennium BC and ends, depending on the interpretation of the term, either with the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC or that by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.

The largest cities of the Bronze Age Near East housed several tens of thousands of people. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age, with some 30,000 inhabitants, was the largest city of the time by far. Ur in the Middle Bronze Age is estimated to have had some 65,000 inhabitants; Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had a population of some 50,000–60,000. Niniveh had some 20,000–30,000, reaching 100,000 only in the Iron Age (ca. 700 BC).

The KI 𒆠 determinative was the Sumerian term for a city or city state.[1] In Akkadian and Hittite orthography, URU𒌷 became a determinative sign denoting a city, or combined with KUR𒆳 "land" the kingdom or territory controlled by a city, e.g. 𒄡𒆳𒌷𒄩𒀜𒌅𒊭 LUGAL KUR URUHa-at-ti "the king of the country of (the city of) Hatti".

Mesopotamia

Lower Mesopotamia

Meso2mil-English
NC Mesopotamia sites

(ordered from north to south)

Upper Mesopotamia

Syria2mil
Map of Syria in the second millennium BC

(ordered from north to south)

Iran

NC Iran sites

Anatolia

Hatti
Settlements of Bronze Age Anatolia, based on Hittite records.

(ordered from north to south)

The Levant

In alphabetical order:

NC Egypt Levant sites

Arabian Peninsula

MapHymiariteKingdom
The Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, separated by just a few miles of the Red Sea, have a history of related settlements, especially near the coast.

Kerma (Doukki Gel)

Horn of Africa

See also

References

  1. ^ Electronic Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary (EPSD)

External links

Kamid al lawz

Kamid al lawz (or Kamid el-Loz) is located in West Bekaa, Lebanon. Its population numbers several thousand, mostly Sunni, people.

List of cities in Israel

This list includes localities that are in Israel that the Israeli Ministry of Interior has designated as a city council. Jerusalem includes occupied East Jerusalem. The list is based on the current index of the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Within Israel's system of local government, an urban municipality can be granted a city council by the Interior Ministry when its population exceeds 20,000. The term "city" does not generally refer to local councils or urban agglomerations, even though a defined city often contains only a small portion of an urban area or metropolitan area's population.

List of oldest continuously inhabited cities

This is a list of present-day cities by the time period over which they have been continuously inhabited. The age-claims listed are generally disputed. Differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" as well as "continuous habitation" and historical evidence is often disputed. Caveats (and sources) to the validity of each claim are discussed in the "Notes" column.

Qatna

Qatna (modern: Arabic: تل المشرفة‎, Tell al-Mishrifeh) is an ancient city located in Homs Governorate, Syria. Its remains constitute a tell situated about 18 km (11 mi) northeast of Homs near the village of al-Mishrifeh. The city was an important center throughout most of the second millennium BC and in the first half of the first millennium BC. It contained one of the largest royal palaces of Bronze Age Syria and an intact royal tomb that has provided a great amount of archaeological evidence on the funerary habits of that period.

First inhabited for a short period in the second half of the fourth millennium BC, it was repopulated around 2800 BC and continued to grow. By 2000 BC, it became the capital of a regional kingdom that spread its authority over large swathes of the central and southern Levant. The kingdom enjoyed good relations with Mari, but was engaged in constant warfare against Yamhad. By the 15th century BC, Qatna lost its hegemony and came under the authority of Mitanni. It later changed hands between the former and Egypt, until it was conquered and sacked by the Hittites in the late 14th century BC. Following its destruction, the city was reduced in size before being abandoned by the 13th century BC. It was resettled in the 10th century BC, becoming a center of the kingdoms of Palistin then Hamath until it was destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BC, which reduced it to a small village that eventually disappeared in the 6th century BC. In the 19th century AD, the site was populated by villagers who were evacuated into the newly built village of al-Mishrifeh in 1982. The site has been excavated since the 1920s.

Qatna was inhabited by different peoples, most importantly the Amorites, who established the kingdom, followed by the Arameans; Hurrians became part of the society in the 15th century BC and influenced Qatna's written language. The city's art is distinctive and shows signs of contact with different surrounding regions. The artifacts of Qatna show high-quality workmanship. The city's religion was complex and based on many cults in which ancestor worship played an important role. Qatna's location in the middle of the Near East trade networks helped it achieve wealth and prosperity; it traded with regions as far away as the Baltic and Afghanistan. The area surrounding Qatna was fertile, with abundant water, which made the lands suitable for grazing and supported a large population that contributed to the prosperity of the city.

Ur

Ur was an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia, located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar (Arabic: تل المقير‎) in south Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate. Although Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, the coastline has shifted and the city is now well inland, on the south bank of the Euphrates, 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) from Nasiriyah in modern-day Iraq.The city dates from the Ubaid period circa 3800 BC, and is recorded in written history as a city-state from the 26th century BC, its first recorded king being Mesannepada.

The city's patron deity was Nanna (in Akkadian, Sin), the Sumerian and Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) moon god, and the name of the city is in origin derived from the god's name, URIM2KI being the classical Sumerian spelling of LAK-32.UNUGKI, literally "the abode (UNUG) of Nanna (LAK-32)".The site is marked by the partially restored ruins of the Ziggurat of Ur, which contained the shrine of Nanna, excavated in the 1930s. The temple was built in the 21st century BC (short chronology), during the reign of Ur-Nammu and was reconstructed in the 6th century BC by Nabonidus, the Assyrian-born last king of Babylon. The ruins cover an area of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) northwest to southeast by 800 metres (2,600 ft) northeast to southwest and rise up to about 20 metres (66 ft) above the present plain level.

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