February 21, 2015 at 10:22PM
cities ancient and modern exhibit power law for population and housing density #apidays. #readingToday  

Indeed, our results suggest the fundamental processes behind the emergence of scaling in modern cities have structured human settlement organization throughout human history, and that contemporary urban systems are best-conceived as lying on a continuum with the smaller-scale settlement systems known from historical and archaeological research. Our results also add support to the specific models developed in [6], and adapted to an archaeological context here, concerning the origins of scaling in cities. Specifically, they are consistent with the theoretical assertions that all human settlements function in essentially the same way by manifesting strongly-interacting social networks in space, and that relative economies and returns to scale (elasticities in the language of economics) emerge from interactions among individuals within settlements as opposed to specific technological, political or economic factors. Finally, our results demonstrate that archaeological data provide a useful, if generally untapped, resource for investigating scaling phenomena in human societies and that such data may shed light on the emergence and dynamics of modern, as well as ancient, urban systems.

While modern cities have characteristically large populations and dense areas it seems that these characteristics were also exhibited by ancient settlements.