Archeologist Jean-Claude Margueron has published a book about the Mesopotamian city Mari, which he claims was a built exclusively as a production center — the “first modern city”.

“How could a city develop in the third millennium BC in the middle of the desert, in a region devoid of copper and in a valley devastated by the floods of the Euphrates making any agriculture very risky?” …

“The” revelation of Mari — spread over a dozen years but unpublished until now — was the existence of a major centre of metallurgy, dating from 2,900 BC.

“In fact the metallurgy was everywhere in the city. It was the existence of this lucrative activity — Mari produced arms and tools — which justified everything which we had found previously,” said Margueron.