Chogha Zanbil, the most oldest of Ziggurat in the world

knowing more about Chogha Zanbil

Chogha Zanbil is an ancient temple belongs to Elamite periods located in Khuzestan Province in Iran, in which it is one of few ziggurats outside of Mesopotamia. It lies approximately 42 Km southeast of Dezful, 80 Km north of Ahvaz, and 30 Km southeast of Susa.

Chogha Zanbil in local language means “basket mound” that was built in 1250 BC by the king of Untash-Napirisha, the greatest ancient king of Elamite dynasty, mainly the honor of great Elamite God, Inshushinak. This construction was the first Iranian monument inscribed in UNESCO in 1979, while Orientalists known it as the first Iranian religious construction and considered to be the best-preserved example in the world.

Chogha Zanbil, the most oldest of Ziggurat in the world

The concentric walls of the complex construction that was defined the main area of town that inner one is wholly taken up with great Ziggurat in which had been dedicated to Inshushinak, the mightiest and important God of Elamite, by Untash-Napirisha, the greatest God of Elamite. In middle area, eleven temples can be seen which probably dedicated to lesser Gods. Royal Palaces in outer area used as funerary place containing five subterranean Royal Tombs.

Archaeologists believed that twenty-two temples in middle area had been building, originally, however, Untash-Napirisha died before the construction had finished and his successors did not have any decision to continue to complete the construction sites because of reasons that unknown for us. However, this magnificent ancient construction was destroyed by Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal in 640 BC.

Some archaeologists believed that Untash-Napirisha attempted to build a new religious center and probably intended to replace Susa, in according to the large number of temples and sanctuaries at Chogha Zanbil dedicated to Gods of both highlands and lowlands Elam at one concentric site.

Chogha Zanbil, the most oldest of Ziggurat in the world

The main materials of Chogha Zanbil were mud and baked bricks in which decorated with glazed baked bricks, gypsum and ornaments of faience and glasses. The Ziggurat was also ornamented with thousands of backed bricks bearing inscriptions with cuneiform Elamite writing that all inscribed by hand; glazed terracotta statues like bulls and winged griffins guarded at the entrance of the Ziggurat are the other splendid ornamental status in the Ziggurat. Kilns near the temples of Kirirsha and Hishmitik-Ruhuratir probably used for production of baked bricks and decorative materials. Based on some beliefs, the Ziggurat had been built in two stages that second stage looks as a multi-layered form.

This superb Ziggurat was excavated by Roman Ghirshman during 1951 to 1961.

To find an inscription in Chogha Zanbil with following text: “ I am Untash-Napirisha who caved the glazed backed bricks and I am a one who established this superb ziggurat and dedicated this holey place to both mightiest Gods, Inshushinak and Gaal in a hope that they accepted it from their servant, Untash-Napirisha.

The original height of the monument (with prime substructure of 105 *105 m2) was 52 m and had 5 floors, even though, today is 25 m and remains only 2 and half floors

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