Iran and huyuk in turkey ziggurat ziggurats or

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Iran and "huyuk" in Turkey. Ziggurat "Ziggurats" or artificial mountains were a major morphological element of Sumerian cities. These terraced temple towers were pyramidal in form. Each top layer became smaller than the one below thus leaving a terrace around each floor. According to the Sumerians, the ziggurats were the home of gods and each successive top layer helped to bring god closer to heaven. These artificial mountains were made of baked bricks and were decorated with mosaics. City States Urban centres existed as "city states". There was political autonomy but economic interdependence. These centres were surrounded by agricultural fields, marshes and desert. The central or ceremonial area a city state was called the "temenos". Public buildings, such as temples and royal palaces occupied the central area. Temples "Temples" in Mesopotamia represented monumental architecture. At the civilizations's initial stages temples were built by the people because of their dedication to god. They were considered to be the residence of god and cities had one or more temples. Each citizen was associated with a temple community comprised of officials, priests, herdsmen, fishermen, gardeners, craftsmen, stone cutters, merchants, and slaves. The temples were surrounded by agricultural fields. Land that was collectively cultivated (by all citizens) was referred to as "nigenna" land. A second category, "kur" land, divided and assigned to individual members of the community. The last kind, "Uru-lal" land was rented to members of the community. The rent was mainly paid in the form of grain. Economic Specialization As already mentioned, urban centres existed as city states that were governed by an assembly of elders of whom one person was delegated the authority to rule. Such an individual was called the "Ensi" and acted as the agent of god by administering the temple
estates on behalf of the city god. Therefore, the Ensi was entrusted with priestly and political duties. In addition, he was given emergency powers in the event of a war. Agriculture, the major economic activity of Sumerian cities was well organised in the cities a complex irrigation system was present. Surplus production was common in the cities. It helped to release some of the population towards more diversified and specialized activities. Thus, it is clear that agricultural surplus, considered important by Childe (1950) (discussed in Lesson 1), was common in Sumerian cities. It helped to create a stratified society. Since most of the early cities were dependent on agriculture and irrigation, rivers played a major role in urban location. The rivers were also a means of communication which allowed Sumerian cities to have trade relations with other civilizations of the Indian Ocean (particularly, the Indus Valley). The major elements traded were timber, luxury goods, and metal.

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