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Did the First Cities Grow From Marshes?

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 141
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6014.141

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Summary

The first American archaeological research team to visit Iraq in a quarter-century suggests that cities and civilization didn't rise along riverbanks, as most archaeologists have supposed, but out of swamps, which provided rich animal and plant resources to complement irrigation agriculture and animal husbandry. The team's findings were presented at a meeting in November. But additional on-the-ground data will be crucial to convince interested but skeptical colleagues.