Planet Earth’s First Cities
How Ancient Peoples Built and Developed Civilizations
by Lucy Benton, age 11
Remains from one of the world’s oldest cities date back to the year 6250 BC. These remains came from Catal Huyuk. During this time, the people in this city got into their houses through a hole in the roof instead of using a door.
At first people traveled from place to place, never staying in one location too long. Those people were called nomads. They were hunter-gatherers.
Soon families started settling in one area. Those families grew into villages and villages grew into cities. The cities had rulers and laws.
In Egypt, the rulers were called pharaohs. Pharaohs ruled for around 3,000 years, passing down their kingdom from generation to generation. Pharaohs made many amazing monuments and tombs to honor themselves. Ancient Egypt had a strong civilization. A civilization is an organized way of life. It consists of rules, laws, and a formal writing system.
Another one of the earliest cities is Jericho, located in Israel. Jericho came into existence around 11,000 years ago. Settlers of Jericho built immense stone structures around 23 feet tall. There were many more cities like Jericho in the Middle East.
Sumer is a city located in between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, near the Persian Gulf. One of the first writing forms created was found in Sumer. The writing form was called “Cuneiform”. It had wedged shaped marks usually written on clay slabs or tablets.
Sumer was eventually overthrown by Babylon. Babylon was a very successful city. The height of its success was under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. He invented beautiful hanging gardens. The hanging gardens were planted on top of Ziggurats. A Ziggurat is a building where people worship their gods and goddesses.
These are just a few of the many ancient cities. Ancient civilizations had a big influence on current cities. Today you can find bigger and more advanced cities all over the world.
[Sources: The Big Book of Knowledge; Atlas of World History]