Ancient Worlds - BBC Two
Episode 1 “Come Together”
Uruk - “the mother of all cities”.
Uruk was one of the most important cities in ancient Mesopotamia; an ancient city of Sumer -and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates river. According to the Sumerian King List, it was founded by King Enmerkar sometime around 4500 BCE.
Uruk is considered the first true city in the world. It was home to 40.000 or perhaps 50.000 people, a population density unprecedented in human history.
In myth and literature, Uruk was famous as the capital city of Gilgamesh. The great epic poem The Legend of Gilgamesh contains a proud description of his city:
Go up, pace out the walls of Uruk.
Study the foundation terrace and examine the brickwork.
Is not its masonry of kiln - fired brick?
And did not seven masters lay its foundations?
One square mile of city, one square mile of gardens,
One square mile of clay pits, a half square mile of Ishtar’s dwelling,
Three and a half square miles is the measure of Uruk