This chapter discusses the origins of cities: why they occurred, where they occurred, when they occurred and what happened to them. The contemporary archaeological belief is that anatomically modern humans first emerged in Africa about 120,000 years ago. For most of their 500,000 years of existence, humans were nomadic wanderers existing on naturally occurring foodstuffs in the form of berries, fruits, roots, and nuts with supplementary intakes of meat and fish. The key factors that led to the “urban revolution” can be divided into four broad categories. These categories, which urban ecologists who study urban growth patterns like to describe as the “ecological complex,” are population, organization, environment, and technology. The rise of cities can be seen in terms of power between those who lived in the city and those who lived on the land, with the former seeking to dominate the latter to ensure their continued existence.