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Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Basin .. How did the early cities emerge?

The first cities appeared in the region of Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley (northeastern Afghanistan, passing through a large area of ​​Pakistan, and even western and northwestern India) in the fourth millennium BC.

These cities witnessed a complete renewal of the building techniques used by agricultural societies in the Neolithic period, according to a report by the Spanish site curiosfera.


The houses in the Neolithic villages were called “Tibi Asiab”, between 7 thousand and thousand BC, while the so-called “Germo or Hassouna” appeared between 6 thousand and 5 thousand BC. Pressed clay was used to construct walls and reeds to build roofs, and the development of kiln dried bricks was characteristic of the urbanization period.

The first urban agglomerations appeared in Mesopotamia around 3900 and 3500 BC, in the cities of Eridu, Al-Warka, Heet, Waljish and Ugarit, and stone was scarce in the region, so there is no trace of most of the monuments built in that period.

The region’s clay soil allowed the early development of the brick industry, but since wood in Mesopotamia is just as scarce as stone, its use as fuel in kilns was very restricted.

For this reason, the use of this type of brick was exceptional and intended for the construction of the façade of major landmarks such as palaces and temples, while the interior walls were constructed simply of bricks or sun dried bricks.

As the materials that were used in the construction were not resistant to corrosion and natural conditions, only a few monuments and landmarks from that period have survived.

The inventors of asphalt and concrete

The Mesopotamian civilization was a pioneer in the field of invention of asphalt and concrete, and at the height of the Bronze Age between 3 thousand and 2500 BC, asphalt was adopted in Mesopotamia for the development of sewage systems, canals and drainage, and in the construction of the first models of vaults and domes.

Indus Valley Civilization

During this period also, the great cities of the Indus Valley, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were born, and what distinguished these cities most were their strict urban planning, where the streets intersected at right angles.

Bricks were used systematically to build houses of all kinds, and due to the abundance of wood in the area, most of the houses had wooden floors, according to the Spanish site.

The first Egyptian cities

Cities in ancient Egypt were of no significance compared to the giant pyramids built of stone, and due to the lack of fuel that could be used to make kiln dried bricks (a common technique since the fourth millennium), homes were built with non-dried bricks.

As for the huge stone pyramids, it was built during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser about 2800 BC, with the stepped pyramid of Saqqara, which was built according to the plan of Imhotep, before it went through the remarkable development known.

Imhotep was a minister, wise man and astrologer, in addition to being a great architect, and he served as prime minister during the reign of the second king of the third Egyptian family Djoser between 2686 and 2613 BC.

Building techniques in ancient Egypt

It is likely that the stone blocks were lifted and transported from the quarry to the workplace by pulling sledges or pulleys with huge ropes made of palm fibers. The slope of the building was within 45 degrees.

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