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Wright 1 Urban Evolutionary Trends In chapter three of The City in History Lewis Mumford critiques those tenants of urban history that cleave to positivist views of urban city development and alternatively he hypothesizes a set of tools that can further the understanding of ancient urban city development Thus is order to for us to understand some of the evolutionary trends of the ancient urban city we must consider the principles relating to urban development and how these principals developed over time The Urban Revolution which first took place in both Mesopotamia and Egypt about 3500BC merits our close attention Understanding the evolutionary trends helps historians form the symbolic boundary between pre-history and history and during it mankind invented civilization We of course know when and where it took place but we do not know exactly why accordingly we can only guess or since we are scholars we can advance a theory which is a sophisticated guess Historians suggest that the Urban Revolution took place because of a favorable coincidence of factors specifically a favorable geographical and ecological setting ie a setting such as the Tigris-Euphrates Valley the Nile Valley the Indus Valley or the Yellow River Valley in China where the production of a substantial food surplus would be relatively easy and a cultural factor ie a people with the knowledge and drive to respond to the challenge presented by these environmental settings They had to for example make complex technological innovations like the invention of irrigation or the wheel in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley about 3500BC or sophisticated boats The existence of the wheel and these boats then compelled to the development of roads and canals setting in motion a process of challenge and innovation that has ever since characterized urban life particularly in the West In short what these peoples the peoples of these ancient cities had to learn to do was organize themselves to solve the basic problems of sustaining permanent
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