A sweeping history of cities through the millennia - from Mesopotamia to Manhattan.
Weaving together archaeology, history, and contemporary observations, Monica Smith explains the rise of the first urban developments and their connection to our own. She takes readers on a journey through the ancient world of Tell Brak in modern-day Syria; Teotihuacan and Tenochtitlan in Mexico; her own digs in India; as well as the more well-known Pompeii, Rome, and Athens. Along the way, she presents the unique properties that made cities singularly responsible for the flowering of humankind: the development of networked infrastructure, the rise of an entrepreneurial middle class, and the culture of consumption that results in everything from take-out food to the tell-tale secrets of trash.
Cities is an impassioned and learned account full of fascinating details of daily life in ancient urban centres.
“Smith is a professional archaeologist who has excavated many ancient ruins around the world. As she conjures the lives lived among those now tumbled stones, she depicts people who bear an uncanny resemblance to contemporary, urban Californians.” - The New York Review of Books
“[An] enjoyable, humorous combination of archeological findings, historical documents, and present-day experiences.” - Publishers Weekly