Ancient Mega Cities

Topics: Edessa, Trier, Milan, Merv, Jerusalem, Tiahuanaco, Tikal, Ur, Yin, Smyrna, Taxila, Teotihuacan, Thebes, Athens, Anuradhapura, Pergamum, Vaishali, Babylon, Capua, Chengdu, Linzi, Pataliputra, Xi’an, Ctesiphon, Nanjing, Istanbul, Alexandria, Rome.

This video is based on the global data set titled Historical Urban Population, volume 1 (3700 through 2000) that was recently published by the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center. “The data set was created by digitizing, transcribing, and geocoding historical, archaeological, and census-based urban population data…. Despite spatial and temporal gaps, no other geocoded data set at this resolution exists. It can therefore be used to investigate long-term historical urbanization trends and patterns, evaluate the current era of urbanization, and build a richer record of urban population through history.” For the purpose of defining the term “ancient world” we have designated 600 A.D. as the cut off. This means that the peak population metrics cited in this video are based on the historical period up to 600 A.D. While the following compilation is not an all-inclusive list from the report, it remains a rather expansive collection of the mega cities that existed in our ancient past.