Ziggurat of Nanna of Ur

Ziggurat of Nanna of Ur

         The Ziggurat of Nanna of Ur, also called Ziggurat of Ur or Great Ziggurat of Ur, is now a ruined ziggurat that was built in the XXI century before Christ in the Mesopotamian empire. A ziggurat is a stepped floors tower built of brick. It consisted of several superimposed terraces which were accessed by ramps or stairs, and the exterior decoration consisted of large vertical reliefs. It ends in a chapel, an observatory for priests. Its builder was the King Ur-Nammu, who dedicated the ziggurat to the god Nanna, which means moon in Sumerian.

It is surrounded by its own wall of eight meters high. It is rectangular. The exterior is made with brick, and the interior of adobe. Access to the upper floors is done through three exterior stairs. It even had seven large terraces from which only the first three are preserved. On the upper terrace was the sanctuary of the god. The access to it was made through narrow staircases attached to the walls.
The Mesopotamian civilization was developed around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Due to the constant wars, they didn’t achieve a constant political unity. Since the VI century, subdued and dominated by the Persians, ceases to exist as an independent civilization and begins to live within the Persian culture.
About the Mesopotamian architecture, in Mesopotamia the stone is scarce, therefore, it is replaced by brick or adobe. The soil moisture requires that they build palaces or temples on terraces, to which you ascend by stairs or ramps. The column was rarely used as decoration and as a cover they built domes and brick vaults. Due the fragility of the materials, the preserved remains are ruins, called tell, mounds of ruins covered with sand. Tombs, jewelry, tools, weapons, a banner, a golden helmet… were found.

            In conclusion, the Ziggurat of Ur is one of the most iconic buildings of the history of art. We all remember what a ziggurat is, and just the fact of imagine how monumental this building would be fully build, its art is even more beautiful.
            These ruins are in Tell el-Muqayyar, in the province of Dhi Qar, Iraq.

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