3700 BCE – 2000 CE: This map visualizes the history of urban settlements over 6,000 years.
The data shown in the map comes from a Yale-led study published last summer in Scientific Data, which compiled the most comprehensive dataset on historical urban populations to date.
The data has a number of limitations and is “far from comprehensive.” Certain parts of the world are better represented than others, and some well-known cities do not appear until centuries after they were founded. That said, it is the first global-scale collection of pre-2000 urban populations, and a good starting point for future research.
Further reading in The Guardian
The rise and fall of great world cities: 5,700 years of urbanisation – mapped by Kanishk Tharoor