When studying the ancient world, a city refers to an area of large population. These cities are also the center of commerce and government. In Ancient Mesopotamia, the cities were not only large urban centers but also had a very distinct pattern to their setup. Each was usually surrounded by a massive wall. In the center of the city would be a large temple or ziggurat. Due to their size and the way they were governed, many are often referred to as city-states. A city-state is a city that is like a small independent country, due to having its own laws and government.
The Sumerian people were the first to begin building cities along the rivers of lower Mesopotamia. They specialized, cooperated, and made many advancements in technology, all prompted by the needs that were presented by living together. The wheel, plow, and system of writing are some examples of their achievements. Among the many Sumerian cities were Ur, Uruk, Nippur, and Kish. These cities established economic and political control over the surrounding countryside. These became the foundation for the development of civilization.
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