ABSTRACT: The first cities emerged in the Middle East around the year 3000 BC. The geo-archaeological approach allows us to study environmental processes in an archaeological context and thus to identify the past urban hazards. There is much to be gained: these studies are fundamental to a better understanding of present-day hazards, to urban development, but also to remembering our heritage. Cities have always been susceptible to nature’s risks and natural disasters, but have also-through urban development and through the close proximity of great numbers of human beings-, thrown up their own hazards.