There are many new archeological findings that revise our theories of ancient civilizations. Traditionally, it was believed that urbanized civilizations emerged in the Nile, Indus, and in Mesopotamia roughly 5,000 years ago. New evidence reveals that other urban centers formed in Iran, India, and across the region at the same time.

Science Daily:

Lawler writes, many of the archaeologists say the finds are rewriting historical understanding of human civilization by offering “a far more complex picture in which dozens of urban centers thrived between Mesopotamia and the Indus, trading commodities and, possibly, adopting each other’s technologies, architectures, and ideas.

Archaeologists shared findings from dozens of urban centers of approximately the same age that existed between Mesopotamia and the Indus River valley in modern day India and Pakistan. The “most dramatic evidence,” Lawler reports, comes from area in southeastern Iran, near the Halil River and south of the modern city of Jiroft, where a team led by Yousef Madjidzadeh has uncovered the remains of a large and wealthy city.

Ancient Climate Change may have forced the creation of urban civilization.

The early civilisations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, South Asia, China and northern South America were founded between 6000 and 4000 years ago when global climate changes, driven by natural fluctuations in the Earth’s orbit, caused a weakening of monsoon systems resulting in increasingly arid conditions. These first large urban, state-level societies emerged because diminishing resources forced previously transient people into close proximity in areas where water, pasture and productive land was still available.

Urbanization allowed greater specialization of skills and higher levels of productivity. Cities were an adaptation to harsh environmental changes

The city of Hamoukar is another major archeological find.
There was a battle at Hamoukar roughly 3,500 years ago. The city was fortified and showed signs of complex military action, making it one of the earliest known battle sites.

The discovery provides the earliest evidence for large scale organized warfare in the Mesopotamian world, the team said.

The team found extensive destruction with collapsed walls, which had undergone heavy bombardment by sling bullets and eventually collapsed in an ensuing fire. Work during an earlier season showed the settlement was protected by a 10-foot high mud-brick wall.

The excavators retrieved more than 1,200 smaller, oval-shaped bullets (about an inch long and an inch and a half in diameter) and some 120 larger round clay balls (two and half to four inches in diameter). “This clearly was no minor skirmish. This was ‘Shock and Awe’ in the Fourth Millennium B.C.,” Reichel said.

Hamoukar challenges older theories about the development of urban civilization and complex states. The battle left the city “frozen” in time, leaving a considerable amount of artifacts that describe what daily life was like in addition to the military tools.

Here’s an update on Hamoukar and early industrial specialization:

By the time the city was destroyed, he added, copper had started to replace obsidian as key raw material for tools. The discovery of numerous copper tools in the ruins of Hamoukar might indicate that Hamoukar had followed developed from an obsidian into a copper processing center, possibly also exporting copper tools to the south.

The discovery could lead the way to providing an additional explanation for how civilization developed in the Fertile Crescent. In the south, urban society emerged in the Uruk culture in response to the needs of providing organization to an economy supported by an irrigation-based agriculture.

The latest findings from Hamoukar suggest that the specialized mass-production of goods for trade could have been a similar driving force in the North.

I find it interesting that climate change pushed ancient men to centralize their societies and specialize, encouraging metallurgy and manufacturing. This clearly improved agricultural output despite a harsher environment. Perhaps this also led to the creation of states and formal militiaries.

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