Uruk, Ur, Meggido, Babylon, and Nineveh rose on the list of planets first major urban centers, thriving with palaces, temples, markets, and taverns serving fig wine. Although little remains of the once grand civilizations, modern archaeology is uncovering bits of their crumbled pasts, piecing together fascinating stories about their residentsboth rich and poorwho once lived there. Spoiler alert: These tales include dental plaque, sleeping potion, and Armageddon.
He could be the stench of a mongoose . . . a smitten man who makes himself important. No, this isnt clunky dialogue from the low-budget film. Its one of the numerous bits of correspondence archaeologists can see etched on clay tablets in Uruk, the principle city of Sumer, the initial known civilization in southern Mesopotamia (near present-day Samawah, Iraq).
Active from round the 4th millennium B.C., the town reached its peak round the third millennium B.C., the walled city buzzed with some 40,000 people, working as craftspeople, managers, and priests. The clay tablets, inscribed by priests and scribes with sharp-edged shapes and symbols, comprise the worlds first known system of writing, called cuneiform due to the wedge-shaped imprints that its formed.