“Cities were the first Internet,” says archaeologist Monica Smith, because they 
were the first permanent places where strangers met in large numbers for 
entertainment, commerce, and romance.  And the function and form of cities, she 
notes, have remained remarkably constant over their 6,000 years of history so 
far.  Modern city dwellers would quickly find their way around any city in the 
past, given our shared architecture of broad avenues, monumental structures, 
and densely crowded residences.

The digital internet has not replaced cities, nor is it likely that anything 
else will, Smith proposes, for the next 6,000 years.

Monica L. Smith is an anthropology professor and also a professor in the 
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA.  She has done 
archeological fieldwork in India, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Egypt, Tunisia, 
Turkey, Italy, and England. Her new book is Cities: The First 6,000 
Years—available at the talk.

[Note: Advance tickets are sold out.  Walk-ups always get in.]

"Cities: The First 6,000 Years," Monica L. Smith, SFJAZZ Center, Hayes Valley, 
San Francisco, 7pm, Tuesday August 13.  The show starts promptly at 7:30pm.

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