Talk:List of cities of the ancient Near East

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Is it posible to have de supossed founding time of every city on the list?[edit]

Is it posible to have de supossed founding time of every city on the list? These are the first cities, it will show a nice pattern. Best regards, --2001:4C50:21D:F400:F992:6A7D:FDC5:CE4C (talk) 08:15, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Sites that need articles[edit]

Dur-Katlimmu - Tell Sheikh Hamad. The French wikipedia page is quite nice i.e.

Tall Munbaqa - Ekalte - Dittmar Machule led the DOG excavation and there is a good article on the German wikipedia and some info on the DOG dig page (off the main DOG dig map)


  • SK Kozlowski, Nemrik: An Aceramic Village in Northern Iraq, 2002, ISBN: 8387496634

Tell Haddad - Me-Turan. Somehow these are both linked to Eshnunna, which is totally wrong.

  • F. N. H. Al-Rawi, Texts from Tell Haddad and Elsewhere, Iraq, vol. 56, pp. 35-43, 1994
  • A.K.J Mustafa, The old Babylonian tablets from Me-Turan (Tell al-Sib and Tell Haddad)
  • AHMAD KAMEL MUHAMED, Old Babylonian Cuneiform Texts from the Hamrin Basin: Tell Hadad, Edubba, vol. 1. NABU, 1992
  • A. Cavigneaux and F. al-Rawi, New Sumerian Literary Texts from Tell Haddad (Ancient Meturan): A First Survey, Iraq, vol. 55, pp. 91-105, 1993

Ploversegg (talk) 22:09, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Miscellaneous early comments[edit]

Hey now, what about this page? Nobody filling it up? Cush 21:57, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I have recently created the Sumerian city articles Kuara, Kisurra, Dilbat, and Marad and have checked and moved all coordinates to their appropriate pages. Thus I have removed the coordinates from the list to look better soon. Thank you. -Kain Nihil 13:45, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

oh, so the page should rather not contain coordinates? Cush 21:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Order of cities.[edit]

Is there a reason for the cities to be listed from North to South? In Mesopotamia, the order of settlement and spread of civilization was from South to North. I'd like to reverse the order of the Mesopotamian cities, if no one minds. Sumerophile (talk) 18:56, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Why not just have them alphabetically? I will complete my db with the entries here and put out a list (including coordinates). I will also try to generate a map. Btw, are you on NSG? Cush (talk) 06:49, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
  • SNIP*
I would rather have them in some kind of order - by state and by geography. Alphabetizing takes away information, the relationships between the cities.
I'm probably not on NSG, because I don't know what that stands for :)
Sumerophile (talk) 18:48, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
But with a map there is no need to sort the cities from north to south or in any other non-alphabetical manner.
NSG is the "General" forum of NationStates ([1])
Cush (talk) 22:34, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
If the map doesn't have links, it would be a good idea to list the cities in order. I mean if somebody just wants to find a specific city (which is the purpose of alphabetizing), they would just search it. Sumerophile (talk) 23:03, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, sorting the list by the latitude coordinate is not an effort (see above) Cush (talk) 13:34, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
oof I've forgotten about this. Yes sorting by the N coordinate looks good, but let's keep the separate regions separate: Mesopotamia, Elam/Persia, Anatolia, Levant, Egypt. I think North and South Mesopotamia could be combined, though. Sumerophile (talk) 22:18, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
All the Sumerian cities are listed on the Sumer article. All the city articles have up-to-date coords (although they are in DMS, not metric). Three are unknown location, but from what we know of them, the would be in the North to South order given on the Sumer page.
I like the idea of having the coordinates with the cities on this page. :) Sumerophile (talk) 22:24, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
My complete list can be seen on my user talk page. I could of course create a new section for Elam. The cities with uncertain or unconfirmed coordinates (such as Kish) feature a bold question mark after the coordinates. The link to the GeoTemplate leads to a page that features both coordinates formats (DMS and metric, e.g. Ninua (Niniveh) : 36°21′35″N 43°09′08″E / 36.359839°N 43.152216°E / 36.359839; 43.152216). Cush (talk) 23:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Wow! No, Elam works with Zagros/Iran. I'd change Iran to Persia though. Maybe add Elam to the title?
Would you mind if I edited the Sumerian cities on your page - some of the names are non-standard, and Akkad is listed twice. Sumerophile (talk) 23:48, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Um, the list is generated from my database with a script, so any editing will be lost at the next export.
Akkad is listed twice because neither set of alternative coordinates is accurate and I wanted to show possible locations.
The names are given in Akkadian/Sumerian/Egyptian/etc. in contrast to "standard" names which have been formed from Hebrew or Greek translations.
Iran had been named thus long before it was named Persia, and I always try to use the most ancient (original?) name.
 :) Cush (talk) 04:48, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Order of cities continued.[edit]

Cush, it might be a good idea to take the information in your database from Wikipedia itself - because I'm not sure what your sources are, and, for instance, having several Ur's in northern Mesopotamia is news to me.
Also, if a city like Akkad has not been found, coordinates shouldn't be speculated for it, because then you'll have non-factual situations like a city in two places. Sumerophile (talk) 20:19, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a good source for coordinates, while knowledge of the features on the ground and Google Earth is. Most accurate coordinates of ancient sites on Wikipedia come from my database. I could of course exclude uncertain placemarks from the list. Cush (talk) 03:27, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I haven't looked at the coodinates yet. But just from looking at it over, some of the names are non-standard, and some of the sites seem unfamiliar. Sumerophile (talk) 23:11, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

OK, I have updated my user page. My table for Mesopotamia now looks like this (I still have to edit some entries) :

<<SNIP>> (see my user page)

Order of cities continued again.[edit]

ok, I had ordered all cities from north to south (so finding the places in the maps might be easier), but I see that the order has been changed again. so what should be the consensus for all the cities in the lists? also, it seems my edits of the Lower Mesopotamia section have been reverted by Sumerophile/IansAwesomePizza to their former incomplete version. Cush (talk) 21:17, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, North to South probably makes good sense for Egypt, but in Mesopotamia, the progression of cities and civilizations was broadly from South to North. There were also some non-conventional names for the cities. In addition, coordinates were given for cities that have not been located, and some of the known cities (i.e. Kish) were listed as location uncertain. IansAwesomePizza (talk) 23:42, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The ordering was made to make it easier to find the places on the map, not because of any progression of civilization. I personally would prefer alphabetical sorting.
  • For the names of placemarks I prefer the ancient names (since this is an article about ancient sites) with alternative names and modern names given in parentheses.
  • Which cities in the list have not been located?
  • I will change "location uncertain" to "inexact coordinates" to reflect that onlymy coordinates are not exact as I prefer, and not the location of the site as such is uncertain. E.g. Kish is somewhere in the vicinity of the given coordinates but not in the exact spot. But I am continuously refining the coordinates. Cush (talk) 23:54, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
OK if the coords are the uncertainty, then annotate that, but don't mix poor coordinates in with the cities that have actually not been found.
I don't disagree with adding ancient names to the list, but the cities really should be listed first under their common English names (i.e. Babylon), to make them easier to find.
If you want to add native names, use up-to-date sources, because there have been so many transcriptions of many of these names that in would be impractical to list them all. For instance "Urudug" is not a current or common rendering of the Sumerian name "Eridug". IansAwesomePizza (talk) 00:05, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Co-ordinates of Tell el Fakhariya[edit]

I think we should use these: [2], with all due respect, they need to be verifiable. --Doug Weller (talk) 15:38, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm, there seems to be a general confusion of Tell el Fakhariya (Washukanni) and Tell Halaf (Gozan). The coordinates I could find indicate the two locations in the same area. The coordinates posted by the editor "who was there" seem to be Tell el Fakhariya (with the white spot being the shrine on the hill, see Google Earth). Cush (talk) 16:35, 21 June 2008 (UTC)


Phoenicia is the name given to the the Canaanites traders by the Greeks, due to a purple dye they used to trade. Genetically the Lebanese and the current Palestinians have the same ancestory. The Lebanese are known to be Phoenicians, the Palestinians are known to be Canaanites. Religon wise, the Phoenician's religion was the same of the Canaanites. same with Language. According to the Amarna tablets, The Phoenicians are knowns as Canaanites! So I believe the Canaanites and the Phoenicians cities need to be under the same sub heading Canaan/Phoenicia! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michael1408 (talkcontribs) 23:08, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Phoenicians are are historically and culturally distinct from Canaanites. Even the Egyptians knew that Phoenicians are not Aamu, but descend from the Pœn/Pun of old times, coming from the Red Sea and (around the Arabian peninsula) the Persian Gulf (cf. Dilmun). And while Phoenicians are Semites, Canaanites are a mixture of various Semitic and Indo-European tribes. Cush (talk) 07:22, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Phoenicians are not Arabs, Israelis, or sub-Saharan (black) Africans; Canaanites are Phoenician Canaanites, Punic (North African & Spain Phoenicians)

The Canaanites were already oriented to the sea with an economy based on navigation and trade by 1550 BCE. Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos (now all in Lebanon) are their major ports, and they have established colonies on the island of Cyprus. They carry on trade with their old patron Egypt, the Mittani in Mesopotamia, and the Hittite Empire in what is now Turkey. The term "Phoenician" is used by scholars to distinguish the Iron Age from the Bronze Age in the Levant, although the culture is essentially the same as the Canaanite and the people never referred to themselves as "Phoenicians," a Greek term. We do know that the Phoenicians essentially continue Canaanite religion, culture, and language. When they recover from the invasions of "the Sea Peoples" from the west, Israelites from the south-east, and Aramaeans from the north-east, their territory becomes limited to a narrow strip of land along the coast extending from Syria to Israel. In response to this, they become among the greatest sailors and traders of any age. Another internet source

And if you believe in the bible:
According to Strong's Concordance the word Canaan means "trader or merchant" and the Phoenicians, as Canaanites, are derived from Ham's incestuous relationship with Naamah the sister of Tubalcain, the wife Noah took with him in the Ark (Genesis 9:18-27; 10:6, 15-19). biblebelivers

--Michael1408 04:48, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Alright then, no one is aruging, I am changing it back --Michael1408 04:00, 10 July 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michael1408 (talkcontribs)

It's been discussed through. Period. Stop the arguing. Twofistedcoffeedrinker (talk) 04:12, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Who is arguing? --Michael1408 05:12, 19 July 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michael1408 (talkcontribs)

Possible sites to add[edit]

Tell el Fakhariya (Washukanni) and Tell Halaf (Gozan) ?

Ploversegg (talk) 19:50, 15 July 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

OK, Tell Halaf is in the vicinity of Tell el Fakhariya (see above). I can add that.
I can also add Arslan Tash (this is not the same as Arslantepe, is it??), Til Barsip, and Tell Leilan (at 36.957296 N, 41.505297 E). Harran should already be in the list (spelled Haran, at 36.862738 N, 39.030193 E).
As soon as I have found all coordinates I will add the placemarks. Cush (talk) 21:38, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Cool! I notice that the coords on the Harran page are slightly different than the ones listed here. Is any attempt being made to standardize on a coord for the various sites with whats on their article? Ploversegg (talk) 23:09, 15 July 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

Well, the area of the ancient town as well as the modern town contains both coordinates. The difference is really minor. Cush (talk) 23:26, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, the placemarks would be as follows: Cush (talk) 21:03, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Hm, didn't know about Tell Arbid. Cool, a large site without a city name, always interesting.

According to a google earth file, the coordinates of Tell Arbid are


Additions look good. :-) Ploversegg (talk) 21:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

OK, removed the remark. Should they all go in the Upper Mesopotamia block? Cush (List of Ancient Sites) 22:02, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
    1. places list removed ##

Thats reasonable. Sure, someone could make a claim for "syria" in several cases or even "anatolia" in one case, but if you look far enough back, Mesopotamia pretty well covers this whole area. Ploversegg (talk) 22:36, 16 July 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

Article changes[edit]

1) There are some sites for which I don't see any available information on in the "literature" upon which to do an article. So what makes sense is to pull them off into a special section at the top of the Talk page entitled "Articles Needed". Then, if articles are created, the entry can be added back to the main page. The lines to be moved are

Tell al-Hawa
Yarim Tepe
Telul eth-Thalathat
Tarbisu (Sherif Khan)
Palegawra cave
Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta (Tulul el-Aqar)
Gerd-i Resh
Tell al-Fakhar
Haradum (Khirbet ed-Diniyeh)
Badra (Tell Aqr) (unless its the same as the Badra (Der) in the minor city sec)
Dur Katlimmu
Sippar-Amnanum (Tell ed-Der)
Zend-i Suleiman
Palace of Cyrus near Charkhab Borazjan

Two others I haven't quite given up on doind an article for are

Tell as Sawwan (really "Tell es Sawwan" and not quite Samarra)
Tell Agrab

2) The seperation of Upper and Lower Mesopotamia into Babylonian versus Assyrian versus Mitanni seems awkward. Pretty much everybody ruled everywhere at some time or another. Anyway, seems like those sections need to be flattened out and reorganized to be more useful. Ploversegg (talk) 21:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

1) Is this list only supposed to contain places that have articles? I am not sure a separate section is necessary.
Some of the placemarks that have no articles are included because they were on the maps (not those by me but the older ones) that are shown in the article (from french wikipedia?).
Badra(h), Der, Tell Aqr are indeed the same place. I did not recognize that. However, I do not have accurate coordinates.
Tell es Sawwan is at 34°17′28″N 41°58′18″E / 34.291032°N 41.971540°E / 34.291032; 41.971540 (Tell es Sawwan), and it is indeed not Samarra (it's on the other one of the great rivers)
2) I agree. When I expanded the list I only tried to keep the previous subdivisions. But change can be done in no time (cf. my NCmanager software shown in my user page). Cush (talk) 23:22, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

So we agree on the flat layout for Upper and Lower sections. Note that there are differences between the entries on you personal list of sites and the entries in Cities of the Ancient Near East. Some have been added (Khafajah etc) and some existing ones wikilinked to new articles. Might want to digest the article entries back into your personal space before creating a final flat list. I seem to remember doing a few new/linked changes on some other sections too. Elam for example.

As for moving un-articled entries to the Talk page. It was just a thought. :-) Ploversegg (talk) 01:27, 11 December 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

Well, I didn't touch the setup of the Lower Mesopotamia section because I got reverted every time. I would prefer a flat list as well. As for your changes, I went through the article's history and collected the changes, I hope I got them all.
I understood you wanted a separate section in the article for the un-articled entries, my fault. A list in the Talk page would be good. I could extract a list from my data for that.
Cush (talk) 08:01, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Hm a couple changes might be missing from your list, like

Qatara or Karana (Tell al-Rimah)

where I did a new article for Rimah and reflected the uncertainty on the name

But on the other hand, your list has some things missing from the article like Guzana, which is a good thing. :-)

We probably need to do a line by line comparison. Ploversegg (talk) 17:31, 11 December 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

But Qatara is right below Niniveh in the list above. However, I forgot the "al-" in Tell al-Rimah.
I am always trying to catch all chnages that are made in the article and update my data, but it seems I miss a few changes every now and then. Cush (talk) 18:47, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

My point was that the line in you personal list is

while in the COTANE article, it is

which reflect a) I wrote an article for Tell al-Rimah and b)the current consensus on RImah is divided between Qatara and Karana. The actual formating can be whatever. Ploversegg (talk) 23:50, 11 December 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

I see you have removed the Babylonian Cities section (with only Babylon in it). Very good.
And you have also removed the sites labeled "outlying cities of Upper Mesopotamia". Even better.
BTW where exactly should the border between Lower and Upper Mesopotamia be drawn? Cush (talk) 22:25, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Is it raining? :-) Officially the line is at the point where south of that there's not enough rainfall to grow crops without irrigation. Usually, that is taken somewhere around Hit Iraq, but given that the amount of rain changes over the years (and centuries), anywhere in that ballpark is not going to get a major argument. Ploversegg (talk) 23:52, 15 December 2008 (UTC)ploversegg

I have updated my list according to your edits --> Cush (talk) 19:09, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Just about finished. Ploversegg (talk) 22:08, 17 December 2008 (UTC)ploveresegg

Coordinates templates[edit]

Since the coord template does not work properly (cf. Wikipedia_talk:GEO#Glitch_in_coord_template), it would be preferable to leave this page as it is. Mass edits that do not improve anything but actually damage the article should be avoided. Cush (talk) 12:34, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

{{Coord}} does work properly; no "damage" (sic) is being done. Discussion at WT:GEO refers.
The template which you keep restoring, {{coor d}}, is by clear community consensus deprecated. This means that it is not to be used. Your restoration of it is thus disruptive. Please desist.
Furthermore, your claim that the change to {{Coord}} "does not improve anything" is bogus; since {{Coord}} has several well-documented advantages over the deprecated template which it has replaced.
Please also, in the light of your edit summaries, refer to WP:OWN. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:47, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
The new template does not reproduce the look of the old one. So why use it? Coordinates without N/E look shitty and those who take part in editing this article do not want the article to look shitty. Cush (talk) 14:05, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I again refer you to WP:OWN; and the fact that {{Coor d}} is deprecated. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 14:24, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't care if a working template is deprecated when the new one does not work the same as the old one. A downgrade of functionality is not an option. Give me and the other editors a working new template and we will use it. And I really want an admin to resolve this, NOT you. Cush (talk) 14:31, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Most of these points have been addressed elsewhere, but you also misunderstand the role of admins - indeed, of all editors. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 16:17, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Remove coordinates[edit]

Hey folks, I would like to remove the coordinates from this page. Or at least those that I have contributed. Would that be too drastic? Cush (talk) 20:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd be curious about the ratonale for the change, but let me say a couple things
  • It should be all or none i.e. all the locations should have coordinates or all should be removed.
  • If this kind of radical change is going to be made, then I want to lobby for spliting the article into Cities of the ancient Near East and Cities of ancient Egypt. It's currently too long and unwieldy as it is.
Having said all that, it wouldn't break my heart to see all the geo data cleared out of the article.Ploversegg (talk) 20:55, 23 June 2009 (UTC)ploversegg
I don't know whether a split is necessary once the coordinates are gone. Right now the page takes forever to load with all the coordinate templates. I had always thought a page is rendered to HTML once it is saved, so requesting it would be quick. But apparently the HTML is generated from the Wiki code only when the page gets requested. With the huge number of templates included here this becomes a performance problem of course.
Without the coordinates the sites could be grouped more easily and maybe a table layout would be nice, including ancient site name, alternative names, and modern name. I could provide one easily. Cush (talk) 06:02, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
So there is no objection to me removing the coordinates? OK, I'll perform that right away. Cush (talk) 18:05, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I (having only just become aware of this discussion) object to the removal of coordinates. This prior discussion is pertinent. It was previously possible to see all the cities, mapped. Now it is not. That is not an improvement to the service we provide to our readers. Tabulation is no reason to remove coordinates; plenty of articles have tables including coordinates. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:33, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I will not put long hours into researching accurate coordinates anymore for WP. Although I do of course not own the article, I will say that I have contributed the bulk of the coordinates, but after a while I started to think that was not such a good idea. The articles linked in this page still have the coordinates, just this article (and the one on Egyptian sites that was split off it) has been cleared of coordinates. Now it loads a lot faster and gives a less confusing overview of the list of sites. Cush (talk) 20:29, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
And on a side note. I remember the discussion you refer to, and given your condescending attitude then I could not care less if you want the coordinates back. Cush (talk) 20:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


Hm ... it looks better this way. I'll think about how to reformat the article now that it's so clean. First, I'll do a quick look to see if anything is blatantly off, like I see that Melid points to Malatya which then points to the article for Arslantepe which seems awkward. I know one thing, those maps really suck and have to go.Ploversegg (talk) 15:58, 29 June 2009 (UTC)ploversegg

What's wrong with my maps? You will not find any map with more precise placemarks on the entire web. The maps before sure were not any better and their placemarks were off for the most part. Cush (talk) 17:10, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

This maps are fine, they just don't match up well with the article. Maybe it's just a matter of not having the right submaps. It'd be nice to have an set of submaps to devide the locations up better, like there should be a Assyria section where Ebla can go (instead of the Levant where it is now). The maps at are pretty nice btw, but trying to seperate the ancient sites by modern countries on Wikipedia would attract those with Cultural Penis Envy, never a good thing. But no, your maps are nice.Ploversegg (talk) 21:37, 29 June 2009 (UTC)ploversegg

Well, if you define precisely what the borders for the map sections should be, I can generate all you want. The coordinates of the map borders are variable. right now I export the maps with these boundaries:
Map sections
section west east north south
Anatolia 26 40 42 35
Mesopotamia 37 48 39 30
Iran 42 62 39 28
Syria 33 39 38 28
Egypt 29 34 32 21
Kush 30 39 23 13

Cush (talk) 12:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I'll work on this Question and report back shortly.Ploversegg (talk) 23:46, 30 June 2009 (UTC)ploversegg

Also, the labels for the placemarks can be set freely. Cush (talk) 05:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I was thinking of the following proposal, which splits up the cities into reasonable sized chunks and matches history more or less. What do you think?


Anatolia is basically modern Turkey. If you look at the map on the Urkesh page, the border would run more or less along the line through below Carchemesh, and Harran and above Alalakh.

ANCIENT SYRIA (or Assyria perhaps)

To the border with Anatolia in the north, Akkad in the south, Elam in the east, and a line just west of Alepo in the west

AKKAD (or Upper Mesopotamia)

Usual definition with the lower border above Eshnunna.

SUMER (or Lower Mesopotamia)

Usual definition with the upper border below Eshnunna.


From Alalakh in the north, to just below Sidon in the south,


From below Sidon in the north to the Suez Canal in the south.

The later split breaks up the zillion Levant sites and avoids the use of the the controversial Canaan designation.

I am not sure about the ANCIENT SYRIA (better ASSYRIA) map. It would then also include AKKAD and SUMER.
And should there be an IRAN map for the sites in the Zagros?
I'll post the coordinates for your map sections shortly... Cush (talk) 07:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Darnit, you're right. I hate when I screw up. There should also be a map/section for Elam (or Iranian Plateau or Iran).

As for Assyria, it is usually considered to end at the top of Akkad, which would be somewhere around just below Assur, maybe below Nuzi/Mari if that make a better map.Ploversegg (talk) 21:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)ploversegg


let us please remain clear on the scope of this article: it is supposed to discuss cities of the Ancient Near East, i.e. Sumer to Assyrian Empire. Mountains shouldn't be listed, nor should Archaemenid or Roman era cities, or Chalcolithic settlements.

Also, the de facto nature of this article as a list is circumstantial, not intentional. I hope the article will some day evolve into an actual encyclopedic discussion, in prose, of the cities of the Ancient Near East. --dab (𒁳) 16:58, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Then let's rename the article to "Ancient sites of archaeological or historical interest in the Near East". Cush (talk) 19:30, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
why? That would be far too wide a scope for any meaningful discussion. We have categories for this, see Category:Archaeology of the Near East. If you are into compiling a main article for that category, do it at Archaeology of the Near East. But a comprehensive list of sites of archaeological or historical interest in the Near East is so far beyond the reasonable that I suspect it would end up on Afd, or at least be made into a huge index page of sub-articles. --dab (𒁳) 13:50, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
It seems like the scope of a Wikipedia article is what the consensus of article editors decides it is. Yes I would like to see a nice article on the developement and features of urban environments in the ancient Near East. There is also, however, a strong need for backbone articles, list if that need be, to tie the articles of the category together. Things like Category:Archaeology of the Near East are of little utility to the users or casual editors of Wikipedia. It is an "experienced editor" tool. You need things like Cities of the ANE (places) and Short Chronology Timeline (people) etc to tie the category into a useful coherent whole.Ploversegg (talk) 15:54, 3 August 2009 (UTC)ploversegg
the scope of a Wikipedia article is what the consensus of article editors decides is implicated by its title. You can't call an article "cities" and then "decide" its scope is something entirely different, come on.
I am not sure how categories are reserved for experienced editors -- any five year old can browse categories. But this isn't to keep you from compiling more ANE list articles, you are certainly welcome to develop more of these. --dab (𒁳) 17:24, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the purpose of this article would be except for assembling an overview list, a gateway to other articles. And I do not see a reason either to exclude any archaeological ancient sites from this assembly just because they fall out of an arbitrary time frame. Ancient times end when the remnants of Alexander's realm finally fall down and become parts of the Roman Empire. However, the culture still persists way into the Byzantine era. So the line is not as easy to draw as you like to present. Cush (talk) 19:39, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Removal of sites[edit]

I suggest that the sites that have clarification tags be removed from the article. When there were still coordinates included their presence was ok, but now they have neither coordinates nor a related article. I think they should be deleted. Cush (talk) 11:09, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Done. Cush (talk) 06:18, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Scope of this list?[edit]

Just out of curiosity: which periods are covered by this list and why? Which sites are covered by this list and why? If not all sites that satisfy the chronological and geographical criteria are listed, then based on what criterium are they included or excluded? In other words: how is a "city" distinguished from a site that is not a "city"? Because if there are no identifiable, RS supported criteria, this seems just very much a subjective listing of interesting places... -- Zoeperkoe (talk) 19:51, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

As with many things on wikipedia, it's a long story. The "Cities" part of the name was just the way it always was and it was too involved and contentious to agree on something different. The scope is roughly a)actually existing historical sites in the ancient near east (not just mentioned in the Bible or whatever) who's location is known, plus Akkad which is, well, Akkad, b)pre-classical time period, back to neolithic (though clearly an ANE site may be occupied in later times, though often under a new name), c)some actual "archaeology" has been done at the site and d)the article is at some "acceptable" level of quality (like Tell Shemshara). Originally ANE included Egypt but it got so large that those cities/sites were spun off to another article Cities of ancient Egypt. Essentially, the article exists so 1)someone reading an article on say Babylon can click on this in the See Also and see other places like it and 2) so wikipedians working in the area can see what is available to work on. In theory, this is what Categories are for be the sad fact is that very few people pay any attention to Categories.Ploversegg (talk) 21:10, 2 March 2011 (UTC)ploveregg
Ok. I thought it would be something like that, but I was just curious as I saw sites like Shanidar and Catal on a list of cities, but your answer sort of explains why that is. Thanks! -- Zoeperkoe (talk) 21:25, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

I do think though that places like Catal which are not considered to be cities (although popularly referred to as one), there should be a caveat. Dougweller (talk) 21:48, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, that's my point. Defining what is or is not a city is virtually impossible for the ANE (although Shanidar wouldn't be one by any definition and Catal usually wouldn't classify either, but what about a nice little site like Tell Bazmusian? Is that a city or a village or something else?). But given Ploversegg's explanation of how this page developed (which I can completely understand; that's simply how WP works sometimes), I don't want to open a new can of worms by arguing that maybe it should be cleaned up a little bit ;) -- Zoeperkoe (talk) 21:58, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Several issues[edit]

1. KI is NOT the Sumerian determinative for a city, but is a general determinative indicating that the term is a place. URU or perhaps rather IRI is the Sumerian word for city, sometimes used as determinative. KUR literally means mountain, but was also used to denote foreign lands. Later on the sign was used for various purposes. It is better not to conflate different writing practices (different regions and different periods) in one sentence.

2. We do know the name of Jemdet Nasr, or better we know how it was written but don't know how it was pronounced. The name of the town at the site of Jemdet Nasr was NI.RU (see for example Steinkeller 2002. Archaic City Seals and the Question of Early Babylonian Unity).

3. If you are going to write the original Akkadian name of Babylon, then do it correctly ... it was Babilim (or Bab ilim, meaning the gate of the god, so with ilum in the genitive ilim).

4. Zabalam is usually used, not Zabala

5. Nabada (Tell Beydar) is in North Mesopotamia, not South!

6. You are missing several cities with known and unknown locations from the South .. there is Tutub (Khafajah), Ninna, Kesh (NOT the same as Kish!), Urum (Tell Uqair), ...

7. Nuzi is the same as Gasur, so better to write Nuzi/Gasur (Yorghan Tepe)

8. Tutub (Khafajah) should be put with the southern cities, technically the area is referred to as Central Mesopotamia often, but culturally it fits better with the south and you already put Eshnunna with the south, which is in the same vicinity as Tutub (even further upstream the Diyala river!). Same for Tell Agrab, it should be included with the southern cities, as it is in the Lower Diyala area together with Tutub (Khafajah) and Eshnunna (Tell Asmar).

9. Sippar Amnanum (Tell ed-Der) is also in the south .. it is an Old-Babylonian section of Sippar.

10. Urum (Tell Uqair) is in the south! (I suspect some of you got confused .. on the one hand there is Northern Mesopotamia versus Southern Mesopotamia, on the other hand you also sometimes find north vs south when talking within the Southern Mesopotamian part, the north being Akkad, the south Sumer, both part of Southern Mesopotamia, sometimes called Babylonia)

11. You are at least missing Tutul for Northern Mesopotamia, and undoubtedly many others.

12. I would put Ebla and Umm el-Marra, and Aleppo and such sites with Northern Mesopotamia .. they are basically in a region connecting the Levant proper with Mesopotamia proper

13. What about consistency in the Iranian section? If you write Tepe Yahya, then also write Tepe Sialk.

14. Zagros/Elam is not an appropriate name for that section, you are including sites which are not in the Zagros and not part of Elam (Shahr-i Sokhta is on the border with Afghanistan!, Konar Sandal and Tepe Yahya are in Central Iran, east of Elam).

15. You are missing many sites from the Iranian section .. what about Tepe Hissar? Shahdad? ... Perhaps you should also add Pashime (Tell Abu Sheeja, see Hussein et al. 2010 in the journal Akkadica 131), which is actually in Iraq and kind of a border zone of Elam. And what about the sites in the Deh Luran valley, one of the few researched areas of the Western Zagros Piedmont ...

16. Where will you put the sites from the Hamrin valley which are on the Diyala river east of Eshnunna ... they are not Northern Mesopotamia, not Southern Mesopotamia, not Zagros .. they are in the Piedmont zone, or the Trans-Tigridian Corridor.

17. Finally, back to the introduction .. Ur was a main center in the EARLY Bronze Age, NOT in the Middle Bronze Age as I have recently corrected on the wikipedia site for Ur. This disrupts the entire first paragraph ... and furthermore all those estimates are extremely inaccurate as there is no good way to calculate the populations of those urban centers without much more extensive excavations at those sites. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Srenette (talkcontribs) 02:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC) Srenette (talk) 02:57, 26 April 2011 (UTC)srenette

just to add, the wikipedia site about the chronology is wrong for the Ancient Near East .. it does not give sources to begin with, and it is not reliable, since the Ur III period is considered as part of the Early Bronze Age, and reaches into the first century of the second millennium. Obviously they are our distinctions and fairly random, but the chronology that is up there is not being used in the scientific literature and I have no clue where it came from. Srenette (talk) 02:57, 26 April 2011 (UTC)srenette

One appreciates your thoughtful views on the article. You appear to have inadvertantly deleted the Tell Agrab link and broken the Zabalam link. I fixed them. It will take me a bit to digest the rest of your sugesstions, but they have some good points. Ploversegg (talk) 02:39, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for deleting Tell Agrab inadvertently and the Zabalam link. I am not used to editing Wikipedia sites. What is to digest? .. you can double check it all if you want, but almost all of my suggestions are basic facts, just look on the maps. I would suggest creating a separate section for Trans-Tigridian Corridor (so between Tigirs or better Jebel Hamrin and the Zagros, because there are sites there which you can't put with any of the existing categories, and because the coming years more sites from that region will become better known due to excavations taking place there now).Srenette (talk) 17:51, 6 May 2011 (UTC)srenette

Zagros and Elam[edit]

to Ploversegg .. why did you delete Shahdad from the list? Yes the site contains Parthian occupation, but it is also one of the most important Bronze Age sites in Iran (see for example the recent conference about it Also, many of the sites on the list do not fit the category Zagros or Elam. Tepe Yahya for example is not in the Zagros and is not an Elamite site. The Zagros is only the western part of Iran, while Elam only covers the soutwestern part of Iran.

so Ploversegg, can you from now on justify your decisions? They seem rather questionable if you don't even know the importance of Shahdad during the Bronze Age ... or when you say Ecbatana is post-Classical, while in reality it is supposed to be a Median site in origin, so it predates Persian sites which you do keep in the list ... Kutik-Inshushinak (talk) 03:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Kutik-Inshushinak

There is nothing special or sacred about the section header Zagros and Elam. Free free to suggest a better and more descriptive one. The area in question is not meant to be the borders of modern day Iran, but reflect the polities of the preclassical times. Suggest away though.
As for Shahdad, the article is pathetic, there is no real historical information or archaeological information. There's not even enough there to make a proper stub. So, I'm not direspecting Shahdad, I am disrepecting the Shahdad article. Fix up the article and it will fit nicely into the COTANE article.Ploversegg (talk) 23:55, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

It seems best to me to use the term which is used in the academic literature, which is the "Iranian highlands". This site aims to include a large span of time anyway, so preclassical polities changed. Elam was definitely a major one, but there was Marhashi for a long time, and tons of local ones (which have not been successfully located yet), but then in the first millennium (so within the scope of this site) polities changed completely and included the Median territory and of course Persia. The term "Iranian highlands" covers all of present day Iran and is what is used in the literature to denote the lands to the east of Mesopotamia in ancient times. Technically Susa and all the sites in Khuzistan are not part of the highlands (they are part of the same landscape as the Mesopotamian lowlands, but further east), but that is a minor detail for this issue. I suppose the Shahdad article is so limited because it is hard to find and process information about it. I don't have time to do it. But you had said with the edit that you deleted it because it is only a Parthian site, which is not true, and it is one of the most important Bronze Age centers in the Iranian highlands. It should have a proper article, but then again, most of what you can find on the Ancient Near East on wikipedia is extremely limited and often of very questionable quality. Kutik-Inshushinak (talk) 19:31, 20 August 2011 (UTC)Kutik-Inshushinak

What's Ethiopia doing here?[edit]

Shouldn't Ethiopia be somewhere in SA? What's it doing here? Cheers, Λuα (Operibus anteire) 23:10, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

The Abyssinian highlands were well within the scope of the ANE trade and cultural exchange. And what does SA mean? ♆ CUSH ♆

Transclusion of Egyptian sites[edit]

Hi, though it's labour-saving benefits are obvious, the transclusion of the List of ancient Egyptian sites causes confusion. Many of these are not cities and it also makes for very odd referencing and categorisation of the article. Is there an efficient way of fixing this? Thoughts? PatHadley (talk) 17:18, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Move this article to Ancient cities of the Middle East?[edit]

Suggest to move this article to Ancient cities of the Middle East. According to Near East, the term Middle East has meanwhile replaced the term Near East. Also this way it becomes consistent with Category:Ancient cities of the Middle East. Marcocapelle (talk) 12:30, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

The naming kind of flips back and forth. A good example of this kind of thing, but bad overall, is how STDs are changed to being called STIs, and the. Back to STDs, and the. Once more to STIs. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 25 Shevat 5775 14:06, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Near East is not Egypt[edit]

Why do the categories of this list say Egypt? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (talk) 01:52, 24 January 2016 (UTC)please ping me

The list contains numerous sites in Egypt, and naturally ancient Egypt is a significant part of the ANE. Maybe other categories ought to be added, e.g. those about sites in ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Anatolia. ♆ CUSH ♆ 11:40, 24 January 2016 (UTC)