Emergence and Evolution of the City
Cities arc a relatively recent innovation when compared with the length of human existence. The earliest humans arc believed to have emerged anywhere from 40,000 to 1,000,000 years ago, and permanent human settlements arc believed to have begun first about 8000 B.C.E.However, some scholars date the development of the first between 3500 and 3100 B.C.£., depending largely on whether a formal writing system is considered as a requisite Dior city life (Jobber, 1965; Deck~ 2008; Flanagan. 10(2). According to the sociologist Gideon (1965), three preconditions must be present in or for a city.
1. Favorable physical environmental. including climate and soil conducive to the development of plant and animal life and an adequate water supply to sustain both.
2. All advanced technology (for that era) that could produce a social surplus in both agricultural and non agricultural goods.
3. A well-dew/oped social . including a power structure, in order to provide social stability to the economic system. Based on these prerequisites, Sjoberg places the first cities in the Middle Eastern region of Mesopotamia or in areas immediately adjacent to it at about 3500 R.C.E. However, not all scholars concur, some place the
earliest city in Jericho (lo cat d in present-day Jordan) at about 8000 B.c.E., with a population of about 600 people (see Kenyon, 1957). he earliest cities were not large by today’s standards. The population of the larger Mesopotamian centers was between 5,000 and 10,000 (Jobber, 1965). The population of ancient Babylon (probably founded around 2200 B.C.E.) may have grown as large as 50,000 people; Athens may have held 80,000 people .2008). Four to five thousand years ago, cities with at least 50,000 people existed in the Middle: East On what today is Iraq and Egypt) and Basra (in what today is Pakistan and China), as well as in Europe. About 3,500 years ago, cities began to reach this size in Central and South America.