The emergence of the first urban societies

Almost half of the world's population currently lives in a city. The first cities are already thousands of years ago. The first cities arose in the South of Mesopothamië. The name Mesopothamië comes from the Greek and means "between the rivers". Mesopothamië lies between the rivers the Euphrates and the Tigris. This was part of the fertile Crescent. The people had settled here because the soil was very fertile. That was because the river flooded every year and fertile silt left behind. This gave rise to 5600 years BC the first villages.

This flooding was initially so very convenient. But soon the farmers found it annoying that they were dependent on the nature. They came up with a way to to watering their land itself. If one artificial water add to a field called this irrigated agriculture. This allowed they more grow food. So they could feed more people. So it was that around 5600 BC the first villages were formed.

Around 4000 BC, the Sumerians first (a people from Central Asia) to these villages. There were more and more people who have other occupations exercised than Jack because there is now enough food was. The food was stored and there was in acted. As a result, some people got more power than others. For the first time in history there were people with political power over other people.

Thanks to the trade arose around 3500 BC the first urban communities. This is called City States. There were about 10,000 people in such a city state. The oldest city States were called Uruk and Nippur. Uruk had around 3000 BC though 50,000 inhabitants. In addition to these two city States were there in Sumer (Southern Mesopothamië) still about 28 urban communities.

Usually became such a city State ruled by a King. It was believed that the King had received the power of their god. At this time there were many things that people don't understand. They did not know why the rain from the air fell or why the Sun came back on every morning. They were very religious. In every city stood a temple where the god or gods were worshipped. This temple called a Ziggurat. This was a high construction work because they are so closer to the gods in heaven. In this Ziggurat worked priests. These men often had almost as much power as the King because they were in contact with the gods.

Mainly farmers lived in the cities. They had to cede a large portion of the harvest each year in Exchange for protection and maintenance of the water system. The grain was distributed among the residents of the city. There came more and more artisans live in the city and also lived there slaves. Some powerful people had slaves who worked for them. These slaves were often people from other towns and villages that were captured during wars.

At the end of this epoch of history were some people also artist or writer. Around 3300 years BC, the Sumerians develop Cuneiform. This they used initially to economic affairs. With the invention of writing came to an end the epoch that we call prehistoric times. A time that began with hunters, and ended up with craftsmen, artists and writers.


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