The rivers have changed course considerably in the last four thousand years, moving well away from some of the cities and causing the complex network of canals to dry up, but at the time, the two rivers had separate entrances into the foreshortened Gulf.
Some of the earliest cities, such as Sippar, Borsippa and Kish in the north, and Ur, Uruk and Eridu in the south formed the endpoints of what became that complex network of cities and canals. Girsu and Nippur were highly important religious centres, but other cities, such as Larsa, Eshnunna, Babylon and Isin didn't really emerge as such until after the end of Sumerian civilisation in circa 2000 BC.
© P L Kessler / The History Files. Republished with the author's permission. Original illustration by P L Kessler. Uploaded by Jan van der Crabben, published on 11 July 2013 under the following license: Copyright. You cannot use, copy, distribute, or modify this item without explicit permission from the author.
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