What would be the optimal geography for a thriving capital, located in a caldera ?
I'm building a fantasy world with multiple intelligent species and civilisations. There is magic in this world, but also magical creatures that represent a serious threat to life in wild areas. Overall, the level of advancement I had in mind would be equivalent to the bronze era.
I though that a caldera would be an interesting geographic setting to place the city that would be the heartland of my Lizardmen empire. The geological formation could have indeed served as a natural fortification against magical monsters in ancient times. Over time, the city would have continued to grow thanks to its rich soils and the development of primitive geothermal technology. With a little lore building it would have finally developed into an economic, religious and political center (in a similar fashion to the sudden growth of some city during the bronze age)...
That's the main idea anyway. I am still unsure on many points and would appreciate to get external help/critics to improve my idea. Here are some open questions I have :
What would be the lowest possible elevation for a big caldera to form at ?
Is it possible to have caldera/volcanoes in an area without to much relief ? (in order to be accessible and part of major trade routes)...
- What size should the caldera be (big enough for a bronze-era city) ?
- Would the presence of a permanent lake inside the caldera help the growth of the city ? I wonder if a caldera-lake can even constitute a long term drinking water supply, because of pollution generated by the city itself... if it is indeed an issue, is there a way to create a setting with a another fresh water supply : a river, underground sources maybe ?
- Could there be realistic speaking high-yield mining galleries in the area (there is no surface mining in bronze age...) ?
- Would it be more realistic to place the crop farms inside or outside the caldera ?