Apr 29, 2020 in Exploratory

Urban Sociology: Mesopotamia


The study of urban sociology defines characteristics that found a city, defining its governing characteristics. Individuals living in these areas have a given character that explains their human interaction levels. The norms in a city also are a determinant of how residents in the metropolitan interact with each other. Following this, people in the metropolitan regions guide and guard policy making procedures. This paper intends to discuss Mesopotamia developments that led to its urbanization.


Mesopotamia is a city in the ancient times situated in the eastern of the Mediterranean bound by the Zagros Mountains in the northeast region and the Arabian plateau in the southern region. It is a land referenced by the Egyptians as the Fertile Crescent: a place marking the present day for modern civilization. The area is termed a place of civilization because it was unified by the Greece having various cultures that emphasized on their gods, script and the attitude individuals had towards women. The different norms of this region promoted the equal enjoyment of rights such as owning land, the filing for divorce, making contracts for trade, and filing divorce by women. Customs in the city credited the sharing of social customs such as laws, the language of Akkad, women literacy, and the god pantheons. 


Oates, McMahon, Karsgaard, Al Quntar, and Ur explain the various aspects of Mesopotamian civilization that include the rise of the city to the present day and the invention of writing. The domestication of animals, development of agriculture, warfare, trade, and the religious affiliations led to urbanization prosperity and the birth of the city with a writing origin.  Oates point out that the urban explosion of the late fourth and early third millennium civilization in Mesopotamia led to a massive population shift due to trade activities, agriculture and being a center of religion. The city is regarded as because it was on a path to urbanism due to industrialization and ‘goods’ prestige features, a region of trade. 

Importance of the City

The developments of ancient Mesopotamia brought many significant advances in the areas of science, technology, and law. The early development is the basis of today’s advancements. The core things that made it known as the cradle of civilization in the region of Sumer, in the fourth millennium is fertility of the soils, trade and the invention of writing. These core factors made it a center of civilization. The significant contribution of the ancient Mesopotamia to government practice was the development of written codes of law. Written around 1780 BC, it was famously known as the Code of Hammurabi. Although the code was unique, it drew gems from the earlier codes in the third millennium BC. The written law was to govern how individuals carried out their activities and how they associated with others. These earlier laws were the basis of the current government constitutions.

Also, the city’s advancement in technology especially the invention of the wheel led to more improvements and inventions of motor vehicles. The majority of the vehicle improvements are attributed to Mesopotamians. They date back to 1922 CE comprising the two four-wheeled wagons with their tires that explain the structure of wagons, and carts that are used presently. Besides the wheel, other advancements in technology include the domestication of animals, agriculture, common tools and sophisticated weaponry and warfare, wind power, time demarcation and irrigation systems. The invention of these systems made Mesopotamia the urban center of developments that attracted scholars and workers. 

Finally, it was a learning and religion hub. Mesopotamians dominated in intellect and education basis because it was the center of intellectual activity with a library whose principal function was for training. The library was situated in a temple whereby it was supervised by influential priests that taught writing, reading, religion, medicine and mathematics. Advancements describe the blossom of architecture in the area of mathematics. Priests’ leadership in the libraries accompanied by the gods in the Mesopotamian culture define the origin of their religion. The system of religion and gods were assimilated to other regions in the world.

Developments in Mesopotamia due to the People’s way of Life

Since Mesopotamia was a fertile area, individuals involved themselves in activities in agriculture for crop production.  Many people in Mesopotamia utilized irrigation to improve agricultural production. For this reason, there was an increase in crop yields that results to the developments in transportation especially the wheel methods. An example of the developments is the use of chariots in the history of civilization. Other mechanical devices were also invented.

Lessons acquired from the Prerequisites of an Urban Center

Various conditions dictate a city’s conversion into an urban center. For instance, it has to have a given population size that determines the economic development and growth of the city. That is, the individuals carry out activities that contribute to economic growth. In Mesopotamia, agriculture was the primary activity that contributed to the city’s development. Also, the success of a city dwells upon the diversity of the individuals inhabiting the region. It entails people carrying out different activities that cumulatively impact the economy positively. Besides, there should be attractive programs leading to immigration.  


Urban sociology refers to influence individuals to carry out activities promoting urban developments. In Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, people were attracted to the fertile lands to practice agriculture. The advancements in the agricultural sector led to produce increment that promoted trade and the invention of the wheel. The importance of the city to current advancements is that it was a precursor to modern developments in vehicles, agriculture, and mathematics. Lessons learned concerning the development to an urban center include population size, the activities promoting economic growth and factors promoting immigration of people to such centers.


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