The first civilization in human history was that of the Sumerians in the 4th millennium BC. Before then most population lived in small family-orientated roving tribes as hunter gatherers. The emergence of the first cities on the Middle Eastern flood plains was a pivotal event in the course of human development. Why did it happen?
It is likely that the rise and development of farming was the stimulating factor in mass organisation of population. By 6000 BC, farming settlements were dispersed around the Middle Eastern from Egypt to Iran. most were small villages while others, like Jericho, were the size of small towns. Jericho was situated in a large oasis of around 10 acres of mud-brick homes surrounded by towering walls holding a population of around 2,500 population. Water tanks were used for irrigation and there was a massive stone tower for defence.
In about 6000 BC, irrigation began to be used around the Zagros mountains where farmers combined to dig tanks to store water with ditches channelling it to fields in the growing season. Using that method they were able to maintain their fields well watered for long periods and thus increasing their yields of crops.
The plains around the south of Mesopotamia have rich soils deposited by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers over the period of thousands of years. Using irrigation they were turned into highly productive farm lands able to feed large populations.
Archaeological discoveries can trace the growth of early southern Mesopotamian communities from 6000 BC all the way to historic times indicateing how they developed from their growth from farming villages into the first cities in history over a period of two and a half thousand.
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Orignal From: What Were the Stimulating Factors in the Emergence of the First Human Civilization?