On Wednesday, animator Max Galka uploaded a time-lapse video to his blog, Metrocosm, that documents that history of urbanization. Starting in 3700 BC, the first name to pop up is the Sumerian city of Eridu, which is still considered the oldest city in the world, and as the video winds through time, it makes note of big points of historical change, such as the first wheeled vehicles in 3200 BC. Galka explained on his blog the difficulties he encountered in pinpointing urbanization prior to the mid-20th century.

Urbanization didn’t begin in the 1960’s. But until recently, tracking its history much further back than that was a challenging task. The most comprehensive collection of urban population data available, U.N. World urbanization prospects, goes back only to 1950. But thanks to a report released last week by a team of Yale researchers, it’s now possible to analyze the history of cities over a much longer time frame. The researchers compiled the data by digitizing, geocoding, and standardizing information from past research published about historical urban populations. The result is a clean, accessible dataset of cities, their locations, and their populations over time, going as far back as 3700 B.C.

Check out the video below and head over to Metrocosm for an interactive map.


(H/T The Blaze)

 Feature image via YouTube/Metrocosm