Urbanization in the Ancient Near East

This past year, archaeologists found that Tell Brack, an ancient city in Syria, was founded around the same time as Sumerian cities from around 6,000 years ago. This is contrast to the assumption that cities were initially founded in southern Mesopotamia, and the idea of urbanization spread out from there.

Of course, Tell Brak became a city in its own distinct manner: the pattern of urbanization at Tell Brak proceeded outside in (though from the picture, this might be due to a hill in the middle of the city).

Coincidentally, one of the archaeologists on the team has the surname Ur, which must certainly provide Ancient Near East scholars hours of amusement.

(via kottke)