I’ve just read Michael Wood’s fascinating book, In Search of the First Civilizations, where he briefly outlines how civilization started in ancient Iraq, India, China, Egypt and Mexico.
Great cities rose, lasted for millennia, then declined. Cities like Babylon, Xian and Tikal.
And can you and I learn from this ancient history, helping our cities be great and be great for longer?
I think we can learn something. For example, the people of the great Mayan city of Tikal were sophisticated and technologically advanced. Yet, mostly due to deforestation and intensive agriculture 1000 years ago, the city collapsed and was abandoned.
Perhaps the intensive use of resources and production of waste in the 21st century will lead to similar catastrophes?
Over the coming weeks, I’ll write about some of the ancient civilizations and what lessons I think they give our cities today. Will you join me?