chapter  2
Pages 22

The first cities in the Near East-Mediterranean basin appeared in southern Mesopotamia, or Sumer, the creation of a people we call the Sumerians (Figure 2.1). We have seen that environmental changes in south-west Asia during the previous 5,000 years led to human control over food production; with this mastery came major social changes, including fixed settlements. The socio-economic development of these towns and villages is marked by the gradual appearance of the ten criteria proposed by Childe as a mark of the true city. All ten factors finally emerge in Sumer during the later fourth millennium BC.