Settlements > Mesopotamian Settlements
The following is a complete list of cities within the Mesopotamian cultures. They are listed together because sometimes they were independent and sometimes they were conquered. Sometimes they were destroyed by one civilization and rebuilt by another. The entire history of Mesopotamia is so intertwined that it is essential to discuss the inter-relatedness of all the different cities in the region.
Cities usually grew up near abundant sources of water and other resources necessary to sustain a growing and large population. Often they were at the key junctions of trading routes and resources could be acquired this way. All in all life was hard in Mesopotamia and resources were scarce. Warfare was constant since the earliest written records and usually over territory and influence.
Cities were usually the capitals of regional kingdoms and would be taken over by various kings only to be usurped within a few successors. The recorded history of Mesopotamia is one constant power struggle until they are all taken over and the whole region becomes an apocalyptical wasteland until relived by the Islamics.
List of Cities
The following is an alphabetic list of cities within the Cradle of Civilization, also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia.
The ancient Sumerian city of Uruk was the largest and most prosperous of the entire region. It was responsible for the proliferation of much of Sumerian culture and it was the site of the first recorded ancient clash between civilizations.
Home to great ziggurats and religious sites, the ancient city of Uruk was very important in the earliest eras of civilization development.
Babylon was a great and huge influential city that existed in Mesopotamia during the ancient era. It was the site of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon along with the Esaggila and many other beautiful Structures.
Starting from the most humble of agriculture beginnings and subject to foreign rule for some time, eventually a group of Babylonians overthrew their Assyrian oppressors and established one of the greatest cities in the ancient world.
Babylon reached its height under Nebuchadnezzar II and was conquered by everyone from the Persian Empire to Alexander the Great. Representing a huge source of ancient achievement and intellect, Babylon fell regarding internal strife after Alexander the Great's death in the Hanging Gardens.
Learn more about the ancient city of Babylon here.
Ashur was the first city state of the ancient Assyrian Empire. It emerged as the regional power after the collapse of the Akkadian Empire and grew simultaneously with the city-state of Babylon and the civilization of Babylonia.
The capital of Assyria would later be relocated but that did not diminish the importance of this ancient city. Unfortunately it was totally destroyed during the invasion of Assyria by Nabopolassar and his military alliance of many other different civilizations that were subjugated by Assyrian rule for centuries.
The ancient city of Nineveh was the capital for Assyria. Located in modern day Iraq near Mosul, this city was one of major cultural significance in times past. It was razed to the ground when the Babylonians rebelled under Nabopolassar and unoccupied ever since.
Learn more about the ancient city of Nineveh and the Assyrians who occupied it here.
The ancient city of Susa was the capital of Elam and later became a very important regional city for the Media and Achaemenid Empires.
Petra was an ancient civilization that was built upon the Silk Road that merchants ran from Europe to China. They were highly successful civilization and built their capital city within the walls of a mountain. However, soon they abandoned the city and it was left to be discovered by European explorers.
When it was originally discovered explorers had no idea who created this massive stone city or why. Now researchers think they have all the facts. Learn more about the economic reasons why Petra flourished and also why it was abandoned here.
Derinkuyu is an ancient underground city that remained unknown for centuries. Recently discovered, this city was built to be a sort of bunker from conquests and even contained separate air vents and water sources to prevent contamination from the outside world.
Learn more about Derinkuyu and the people who built it here.