Cities of the ancient Near East

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The earliest cities in history appear in the ancient Near East. The area of the ancient Near East covers roughly that of the modern Middle East; its history begins in the 4th millennium BC and ends, depending on the interpretation of the term, either with the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC or that by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.

The largest cities of the Bronze Age Near East housed several tens of thousands. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age with some 30,000 inhabitants was the largest city of the time by far. Ur in the Middle Bronze Age is estimated to have had some 65,000 inhabitants; Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had a population of some 50–60,000, while Niniveh had some 20–30,000, reaching 100,000 only in the Iron Age (ca. 700 BC).

The KI 𒆠 determinative was the Sumerian term for a city or city state.[1] In Akkadian and Hittite orthography, URU𒌷 became a determinative sign denoting a city, or combined with KUR𒆳 "land" the kingdom or territory controlled by a city, e.g. 𒄡𒆳𒌷𒄩𒀜𒌅𒊭 LUGAL KUR URUHa-at-ti "the king of the country of (the city of) Hatti".


Further information: Geography of Mesopotamia and Mesopotamia

Lower Mesopotamia[edit]

NC Mesopotamia sites.jpg

(ordered from north to south)

Upper Mesopotamia[edit]

Map of Syria in the second millennium BC

(ordered from north to south)

Zagros ( West and South )[edit]

(ordered from north to south)

Tepe Sialk[edit]


Settlements of Bronze Age Anatolia, based on Hittite records.

(ordered from north to south)

The Levant[edit]

In alphabetical order:

NC Egypt Levant sites.jpg

Arabian Peninsula[edit]

The Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, separated by just a few miles of the Red Sea, have a history of related settlements, especially near the coast.

Kerma (Doukki Gel)[edit]

Horn of Africa[edit]


This is a list of ancient Egyptian sites, throughout all of Egypt and Nubia. Sites are listed by their classical name whenever possible, if not by their modern name, and lastly with their ancient name if no other is available.


The nomes of Ancient Egypt, in lower Egypt
The nomes of Ancient Egypt, in upper Egypt

A nome is a subnational administrative division of Ancient Egypt.

Lower Egypt[edit]

Upper Egypt[edit]

Lower Egypt (The Nile Delta)[edit]

Middle Egypt[edit]

The area from about Al Fayyum to Asyut is usually referred to as Middle Egypt.

Upper Egypt[edit]

Northern Upper Egypt[edit]

Southern Upper Egypt[edit]

Lower Nubia[edit]

Map of Nubia

Upper Nubia[edit]

The Oases and Mediterranean coast[edit]


Eastern Desert[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

The ancient Near East
Portal:Ancient Near East
Regions and States
Mesopotamia • Akkadian Empire • Assyria • Babylonia • Neo-Assyrian Empire • Neo-Babylonian Empire • Sumer

Egypt • Ancient Egypt
Persia • Achaemenid Empire • Elam • Medes
Anatolia • Hittites • Hurrians • Neo-Hittite states • Urartu
The Levant • Ancient Israel • Phoenicia

Archaeological Periods
Chronology • Bronze Age • Bronze Age collapse • Iron Age
Akkadian • Aramaic • Assyriology • Cuneiform script • Elamite • Hebrew • Hittite • Hurrian • Phoenician • Sumerian • Urartian
Babylonian literature • Hittite texts • Sumerian literature
Babylonian mythology • Hittite mythology • Mesopotamian mythology • Egyptian mythology
Other topics
Assyrian law • Babylonian astronomy • Babylonian law • Babylonian mathematics • Cuneiform law