Mesopotamia, the world’s first civilization, is credited with creating cities. The cities in Mesopotamia were numerous. Each of these cities had its own gods and was governed by a different king.
One of the first significant cities in recorded history was Uruk. When it peaked around 2900 BC, it was the greatest metropolis on earth with an estimated population of close to 80,000.
Along the banks of the Euphrates River, in southern Mesopotamia, was the city of Uruk. It served as the hub of Sumerian culture. Its significant growth was made possible by modern farming and irrigation methods. The city became wealthy due to the plentiful food.
Gilgamesh, the most well-known ruler of Uruk, was. Through the Epic of Gilgamesh’s descriptions of his exploits and superhuman power, he later became a mythical figure.
The Akkadian Empire, which was the first empire in history, had its capital in the city of Akkad. Sargon the Great led the people of Akkad in the conquest of numerous Sumerian city-states and the conquest of Mesopotamia. Sumerian was replaced by the Akkadian language, which remained the dominant tongue in the area during the Babylonian and Assyrian Empires.
The location of the city of Akkad is still a mystery to archaeologists. It was probably east of the Tigris River in southern Mesopotamia.
Assur, which was situated in northern Mesopotamia on the western bank of the Tigris River, served as the Assyrian Empire’s initial capital. Assur was always acknowledged as the Assyrian Empire’s religious hub, despite other towns eventually replacing it as the capital.
The supreme deity of the Assyrians was given the name Assur. Both the name of the city and the god are Ashur.
The hub and capital of the Babylonian Empire was Babylon. At its height, Babylon had a population of over 200,000, making it the biggest metropolis on earth. Kings like Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar resided there, and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon, were also located there.
Along the banks of the Euphrates River, in the center of Mesopotamia, is where you’ll find Babylon. Currently, the city’s ruins are located about 50 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq. The Bible has multiple references to Babylon.
In the 13th century BC, Nimrud was chosen as the Assyrian Empire’s capital. The great King Ashurnasirpal II reconstructed the city and restored it to its former status as the Assyrian capital in 880 BC, despite the fact that it afterwards fell into ruins.
Some of the most spectacular palaces ever constructed were found in Nimrud. More than 200 chambers made up Shalmaneser III’s palace, which occupied more than 12 acres.
Nineveh was the largest city in the Assyrian Empire. At the height of the Assyrian Empire, it grew to be the largest metropolis on Earth. Around 700 BC, during the reign of King Sennacherib, the city was largely constructed. There were 15 gates and seven square kilometers of land surrounded by Nineveh’s huge walls. Water was delivered to various parts of the city by 18 canals.
The last great king of the Assyrian Empire, King Ashurbanipal, resided in Nineveh. Over 20,000 clay tablets were preserved in a massive library that was constructed during his tenure. These tablets include a lot of information that is relevant to Mesopotamia.
Another reason Nineveh is well-known is because of the biblical tale of Jonah and the whale. In the narrative, God commands Jonah to go to Nineveh, but Jonah declines. Jonah then makes an attempt to flee from God but is sucked up by a large fish and thrown to the shore. Then, Jonah goes to Nineveh as directed by God.
The Persian Empire’s capital was Persepolis. Actually, the name means “Persian city” in Greek. Cyrus the Great initially constructed the city in around 515 BC. The palace and other structures were built by other kings like Darius I and Xerxes. Southeast Iran was where the city was situated.
Archaeologists are now reconstructing a large portion of the city. The Throne Hall, the Gate of Nations, and the Apadana Palace are a few of the buildings.