Essay about Monuments Of The Ancient World

Essay about Monuments Of The Ancient World

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Monuments of Culture
Although the ancient world has gone and passed, the remnants of awe inspiring monuments let the modern world know of the great civilizations of the past. The Nana Ziggurat at Ur and The Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser at Saqqara are two of these monuments and they model two of the most important civilizations of the ancient world: the Neo-Sumerians and the Old Kingdom Egyptians. Built about 500 years apart, these structures are remarkably similar in face value. Upon deeper inspection however, these monuments differ just as much as the cultures they represent. While both the Nana Ziggurat and the Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser are sky grazing monuments for their respective cultures, the neo-Sumerian culture utilizes copious amounts of access points to reserve this structure for public worship of the gods in life, whereas the Egyptians built a grand inaccessible monument for the worship and preservation of their godly king in the afterlife, signifying that these structures vary widely in both function and religious meaning.
On the face value, the Nana Ziggurat at Ur and the Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser are quite similar. Both structures are composed of massive layers made of mud brick which taper off decreasing in area as they rise. However, while their step like quality is visually similar, the actually function of these layers are vastly differ. Firstly, the Ziggurat at Ur, built between 2681 and 2662 BCE, contains actually steps on the structure. In fact, this Ziggurat contains various staircases meant to offer various different pathways to utilize this structure. The Egyptian that structure was created some 500 years later however, is not to be climbed. The massive layers of mud brick tower over any human,...


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... Complete with publically accessible stairways and a centralized location, this temple was meant to connect the citizens of Ur with their gods. The Ancient Egyptians, on the contrary, used the Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser to house and commemorate their Pharaoh in his afterlife. While the gigantic monument encouraged worship with its size, the walled funerary complex, false passages, and guarded nature ultimately signaled the pyramid as a private monument, reserved for the close contact worship of only a select few. In the end, the cultural differences between the Neo-Sumerians and Old Kingdom Egyptians led to the vast differences in their respective monumental structures. It goes to show that even the most visually similar structures or pieces, like the Nana Ziggurat and the Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser, can differ wildly in their function and religious context.

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