Google Earth Tour: Great Cities of the Ancient World

A look at the Greatest Cities of the Ancient World in Google Earth.After Heritage Key’s recent video interview with John Julius Norwich on his new book “The Great Cities in History” (which you should definately watch here) I wrote an article looking at the greatest ancient cities that Lord Norwich selected. With cities across the globe and ranging from the Greeks and Romans, to the Egyptians and Muslims, as far as the Indus Valley and Chinese to the Mayan Civilisation. The city is very much an ancient concept, but one which our society relies upon today in order to maintain a place of power, culture and trade.

The earliest cities were based on sites near rivers where transportation and trade would be easiest, without having to combat the rough waters of the sea. Agriculture was also a key factor in the growth of cities, as farm workers congregated together to work the land in larger groups. The adoption of religion and the birth of social structures came about with the spread of the city, and soon came the need for defences and stores.

An ideal way to see the various world cities would be through Google Earth, which brings together satellite images from around the world in a 3D form to be able to see the position and general look of these city sites today. Although the images aren’t as high resolution as the GeoEye satellite imagery that Heritage Key is showcasing of Giza and Leptis Magna, it certainly does give you a good idea of these sites and the context in which they were born in.

The Google Earth Tour below shows 3D models and locations of the amazing ancient cities picked out in Lord Norwich’s book, in a flyover which will take you across the continents and zoom in on these magnificent structures.

To open webpages in a new window, right click the link in the information window and select “Open link in new window”. This will enable you to view the link in a full web browser.

You can also download this tour to your computer by clicking here, selecting “Save” and then running the file. It will automatically open Google Earth and begin the Heritage Key: Pyramids of the World tour.

Have a look through our Google Earth Tours too to experience more flythrough tours of world heritage sites!