Civilization exists as a fevered version of what allows mankind to propagate and persist. And like a fever, left unchecked, it will drive its host to cognitive dysfunction, physical debilitation and, ultimately, death.
Different forms of cities, like fevers, have appeared across the world, but only a handful have persisted. Why? What underlying symptoms have created the fertile ground for an infected wound to persists past the first generation?
A key to understanding this may be within the mythology of the Sumerians. In brief, the initial population of the area (termed as ‘gods’) became too plentiful and disrupted the primal order. In the middle of massive, unrelenting deaths, one god (Anu) discovered a labor-intensive way to ‘kill’ the primal gods.
This ended up with a mankind-induced change in the eco-region. This alteration in diet to primarily wheat required the creation of a permanent slave caste and the invention of cities.
Later, the emergent civilization recorded that the ecological change wrecked the environment (in the Tale of Gilgamesh). The obsession with wheat grew so strong, it was identified, mythologically, as the source of murder. The Jews spoke about it in Genesis with Caine, the farmer, vs Abel. It was also the thing that led to a fall from grace. The Yezidi interpreted wheat as the forbidden fruit of Eden.