Over 5000 years ago, in Uruk, now Warka in southern Iraq, a form of human cohabitation developed that is taken for granted all over the globe: urban life. Ever since systematic excavations commenced here in winter 1912/13, led first by the German Oriental Society and later by the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute, the city has stood at the centre of all research conducted into the genesis of urban life. To mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of excavations, the Staatliche Museen’s Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East) and the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, are about to present the major exhibition Uruk: 5000 Years of the Megacity. The exhibition is the result of intense collaboration between the two museum bodies, the German Archaeological Institute’s Orient Department, and the German Oriental Society. This collaboration means that for the first time a joint, and therefore comprehensive exhibition can now go on display, featuring objects from the Vorderasiatisches Museum’s own collection and the Uruk-Warka collection of the German Archaeological Institute, which is maintained by the University of Heidelberg. The German-held works will be supplemented by further extraordinary objects from other museums, including the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris. The show promises to include another ‘first’: digital reconstructions of the city and numerous individual buildings. The exhibition thus guarantees to be an impressive demonstration of the emergence and blossoming of one of the oldest known cities in human history, and will reveal how the many facets of urban life known to have first evolved in Uruk impacted not just on the ancient Near East, but the wider world as a whole.