- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 24 Hour
- Reading permission
Urbanization -- a historic view
Aggregation of people into large urban centers marks one of the transformations of fundamental importance in human history. Starting about 6,000 years ago in various parts of the world, large towns, and eventually cities, grew out of what were formerly agrarian village societies. This process involved much more than an increase in the size of communities. It also included marked changes in the way people interacted, in people’s relationship with the environment, and in the way people structured their societies. |
The urban revolution appears to have happened first from about 5500 to 3500 BC in Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, southwestern Iran, and eastern Syria,where irrigation technology was developed around 5500 BC. During the next 2000 years, the people advanced slowly. Between 3500 and 2900 BC, the number of Mesopotamian settlements that housed over 1000 people increased. From 2900 to 2350 BC, a period called the early dynastic period, saw a significant growth in populations of some settlements, which could be called cities by their sheer sizes.
Around the same time period as the early dynastic period of Mesopotamia, similar changes occured in the Yellow River Valley of China where one of the greatest early civilizations of Eurasia developed. On the alluvial plain of the Yellow River, formerly Neolithic farming villages allied themselves into federations ruled by chiefs, which in turn coalesced into an early state in the Age of the Five Rulers (2700-2200 BC).
Known from their myths, their early writings on oracle bones, and archaeological excavations, the Shang dynasty is one of China’s best-understood early civilizations. It took generations to centralize authority, and the capital moved to several cities while the rulers were chosen from several different lineages. However, power ultimately was vested in one royal family, and the city of Anyang became the permanent capital. All the while, the people of the Shang dynasty developed a bronze industry that produced amazing vessels and tools in great quantity.