Essay On Ziggurat

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Choga Zambil and Djeser-Djeseru are not as well known today as buildings such as the Empire State Building or St. Peter’s Basilica, but when they were originally constructed each was respectively possibly the greatest monument of its time. While the structures may have had formal differences, both were meant to show the power and strength of their creators. They both do this through their size and the architectural choices made in their construction which reference the past while pointing towards the future and innovation. The Elamite ziggurat, also referred to as Choga Zanbil, was built in 1250 BCE in modern day Iran. The ziggurat was built under the patronage of King Untash Napirisha. Napirisha also built the city surrounding the ziggurat which was located roughly forty miles Southeast of Susa. The town was called Choga Zanbil. After his death construction stopped however and the area remained occupied until it was ruined by Ashurbanipal in 640 . Luckily though the ziggurat survived for the most part and is now considered one of the best remaining examples of its kind. The ziggurat was made to honor the god Inshushinak as well as other gods of the time. Inshushinak is known as the protector of the city of Susa. What is most impressive about the town and ziggurat is that the money for their construction does not appear to come from plunder or taxes, but instead from trade with other regions . The high cost of the construction clearly points to the success of the Elamites. The structure also highlights the influence of Elamite worship on its design. As a ziggurat the central worship area, the cella, is located far above ground level in an effort to be closer to the heavens. The small size and narrowness of the cella reflect it... ... middle of paper ... ... over the years because of its construction material. “If structurally the mud-bricks presented severe limitations, historically their fate was disastrous” . Because the dried mud dissolves so easily when it comes into contact with water, the building itself did the same. It is possible that Hatshepsut’s tomb could have fared far better over the years were it not for her nephew Thutmose III who essential ordered the erasure of Hatshepsut’s rule from history. Many images of her were destroyed and the temple itself suffered. Luckily it still exists, though not in the same glory as it once did. Both structures suffered over time, just as both were created for similar reasons. Both were made with the intention of honoring the greatness of their patrons. Choga Zanbil remains one of the most impressive ziggurats to date, and Djeser-Djeseru was a building before its time.
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