List of cities of the ancient Near East

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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 50,000–60,000, while Niniveh had some 20,000–30,000, 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".

This is a list of Bronze Age cities of the Ancient Near East. It does not include cities founded after the Bronze Age collapse, or archaeological sites which cannot be identified as a city of historical record. For the cities of Ancient Egypt, see the separate list of ancient Egyptian towns and cities.


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)


NC Iran sites.jpg


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]

Some Arabian cities of the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age are known by name:

South Arabia (Sabaea)
North Arabia
East Arabia


See also[edit]


External links[edit]