The Copper Age States

Jericho is an example of an ancient city from the Copper Age.
Jericho is an example of an ancient city from the Copper Age.

The Copper age, or the Chalcolithic or Eneolithic was a phase of the Bronze Age that existed before it was discovered that a harder variant of bronze could be produced by adding tin to copper. It was at this time that politically large-scale and centralized states ruled by powerful rulers were taking shape. Between 5000 BC and 3300 BC, several states were created, some of which lasted till 1573.

15. Assur -

The Assur was the capital of the Assyrian Empire between 2025 and 608 BC. It was located along the Tigris River near the confluence with the Little Zab River in Iraq. It was developed by 3500BC and acted as a state until 1800BC. The city was abandoned in the 14th century.

14. Bad-tibira

The Bad-tibira in present day southern Iraq was a Sumerian city that existed between 5000BC and 2300 BC. It was among the early cities to establish kingship. Fire destroyed Bad-tibira and what remains today are effaced bricks.

13. Eridu

Eridu was a state in southern Mesopotamia or present-day Iraq. It was among the earliest cities to be established, and some consider it among the oldest cities in the world. It existed between 5400BC and 600BC. It was the first city to be ruled by Sumerian Kings before the kingship was moved to Bad-tibira.

12. Isin

Isin is an ancient city in present day Iraq. It existed between 3500 BC and 2100BC. Archeologists excavating the cite of the city rank it among the most important ancient cities. The city was under the Third Dynasty of Ur (Ur III) before it collapsed and the city placed under the control of the Elamites.

11. Jericho

Ancient Jericho in 9000BC and collapsed in 1573BC. Jericho was a strategic administrative city. A highly fortified wall surrounded it. Jericho was restored, and today it acts as the seat of the Jericho governorate of Palestine and inhabited by an estimated 19,000.

10. Kish

Kish was an ancient city in Mesopotamia in present day Tell al-Uhaymir, Iraq. It was occupied between 4000- 2300 BC. It was among the most influential cities during the Jemdet Nasr period. Jashur was the city’s first king. It was among the first city to be ruled by a woman when Kubau, assumed power as the first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish.

9. Lagash

Lagash was an ancient city located in present day Iraq close to the confluence of river Tigris and Euphrates. It was among the earliest cities to be established in the near east. Lagash was occupied between 4000-2250 BC. The city was ruled by independent kings before the Akkadian conquered it

8. Lower Egypt - Predynastic

Lower Egypt was established in 9000 BC when a group of Egyptians fled the hard environment of the desert and settled along the Nile river. Most of them practiced crop production and kept domestic animals. However, constant flooding and the need to protect their livestock forced them out in the 3200 BC.

7. Mari

Ancient Mari was established in 5000BC. It was an important administrative and economic center that was protected from flood and enemies by a thick perimeter wall. The city collapsed twice before being restored by Akkadian king Manishtushu before Hammurabi of Babylon destroyed it in 1759 BC.

6. Girsu

Girshu was an ancient Sumerian city in present day Tell Telloh, Iraq. It was inhabited between 5000 and 2100 BC. Although it was occupied in 5000 BC, it was not until 2900-2335 BC that it became an active part of the Lagash Kingdom. It became an administrative center of the kingdom before declining in 2100 BC

5. Nippur

Nippur was an ancient Sumerian city that existed between 5000-2450 BC. It considered among the earliest cities in the Kingdom and the worship place of the Sumerian god Enlil. It was a sacred city and was not subjected to political hegemony.

4. Susa

Susa was a city developed by the Elamites and later occupied by the Persians and the Parthians. It existed between 4200 and 2330 BC. It was an important economic and settlement city in the ancient near east and was constantly under attack as other empires sought to take over. Today, the Iranian town of Shush sits on the site.

3. Upper Egypt - Predynastic

Upper Egypt consisted of the land from Nubia to the northern parts of the Lower Egypt. Its administrative center was Nekhen. The main economic activity was farming and domestication of animals. Upper Egypt's Copper Age state existed from 4500 to 3200 BC.

2. Ur

Ur was a city in Mesopotamia, present-day Nasiriyah, Iraq. It existed between 4000 and 2000 BC. During its formation, Ur was a coastal city, but the shift in the water level at the Persian Gulf left it inland. Archeologists have discovered artifacts and historical evidence to suggest that the city's main activity was farming.

1. Uruk

Uruk was an ancient city occupied by Sumerians and Babylonians. It existed as a state between 4000 and 3100 BC. It played a key role in the urbanization of Sumer and was once the largest city on the planet.

The Copper Age States

RankStateYear StartedYear Ended
1Assur3500 BC1800 BC
2Bad-tibira5000 BC2300 BC
3Eridu5400 BC600 BC
4Isin3500 BC2100 BC
5Jericho - Ancient9000 BC1573 BC
6Kish4000 BC2300 BC
7Lagash4000 BC2250 BC
8Lower Egypt - Predynastic9000 BC3200 BC
9Mari5000 BC1759 BC
10Girsu5000 BC2100 BC
11Nippur5000 BC2450 BC
12Susa4200 BC2330 BC
13Upper Egypt - Predynastic4500 BC3200 BC
14Ur4000 BC2000 BC
15Uruk4000 BC3100 BC

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