How did Cities Begin?

We think of cities as being part of civilization. Both the words “city” and “civilization” come from the same Latin word civis, meaning a person who shares in both the duties and privileges of the community in which he lives.

When many different kinds of people learned to work and play together, great cities grew. The main differences between a city, a town, and a village, is size. In most cases the city is the largest.   Nearly all cities were first villages.

No one knows just when or where the first city was started. It could have started when a wandering tribe of hunters found a spot they liked well enough to stay in. This happened as long ago as 6000 B.C., and probably even earlier.


By 3000 B.C., men were already building and living in quite large cities. At a very early time in history, men discovered that food to hunt them through the forests every time got hungry. Men also learned that they could have more fruits and grains if the plants were cared for.

In this way men started agriculture-farming and animal raising. But people cannot farm and move around all the time. They must stay in the same place long enough to harvest crops. It is also difficult and slow to move a herd of animals across the country.

As tribes settled and down and stayed at one spot, a village or town began. There is nothing left of the very first villages, Since the buildings were made of skins, wood or mud. By the time men learned to build with long-lasting material, the community had developed from the simple agricultural villages to a town or a city.

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