Archaeology has conventionally managed information about settlements into a set of types: campsite-encampment, hamlet-village, and town-city. These were tightly defined but have now become rather less specific. They are broadly understood as categories of different magnitude and still tend to be framed within a stage-theory premise of linear transformation from smaller settlements with more mobile communities to larger ones with less mobile communities. However, what has become apparent is that the agrarian-based urbanism contains compact, high-density settlements with sedentary populations and dispersed, low-density settlements of considerable size and also contains urban settlements which were seasonal and entirely mobile. In addition, it is now clear that definitions of urbanism are regionally specific and that global definitions have become tenuous and increasingly decoupled from material actuality. Therefore, to communicate cross-regionally we need to respect regional uniqueness and analyse the dynamic trajectories of urban settlements as the basis for consistent global cross-comparison of patterns of difference.