Chogha Zanbil
Tchogha Zanbil *
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Chogha Zanbil ziggurat, Iran.
Country Flag of Iran.svg Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, iv
Reference 113
Region ** Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1979 (3rd Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO

Chogha Zanbil (Persian: چغازنبيل); Elamite: Dur Untash) is an ancient Elamite complex in the Khuzestan province of Iran. It is one of the few existent ziggurats outside of Mesopotamia. It lies approximately 42 kilometeres south-southwest of Dezfoul, 30 kilometres west of Susa and 80 kilometres north of Ahvaz.

Contents

History

Choga Zambil means 'basket mound.'[1] It was built about 1250 BC by the king Untash-Napirisha, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak. Its original name was Dur Untash, which means 'town of Untash', but it is unlikely that many people, besides priests and servants, ever lived there. The complex is protected by three concentric walls which define the main areas of the 'town'. The inner area is wholly taken up with a great ziggurat dedicated to the main god, which was built over an earlier square temple with storage rooms also built by Untash-Napirisha. [2] The middle area holds eleven temples for lesser gods. It is believed that twenty-two temples were originally planned, but the king died before they could be finished, and his successors discontinued the building work. In the outer area are royal palaces, a funerary palace containing five subterranean royal tombs.

Although construction in the city abruptly ended after Untash-Napirisha's death, the site was not abandoned, but continued to be occupied until it was destroyed by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 640 BC. Some scholars speculate, based on the large number of temples and sanctuaries at Chogha Zanbil, that Untash-Napirisha attempted to create a new religious center (possibly intended to replace Susa) which would unite the gods of both highland and lowland Elam at one site.

The ziggurat is considered to be the best preserved example in the world. In 1979, Chogha Zanbil became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Archaeology

Axe bearing the name of the king Untash-Napirisha

Choga Zanbil was excavated in six seasons between 1951 and 1961 by Roman Ghirshman. [3] [4] [5] [6][7]

Threats

Petroleum exploration in the region threatens the very foundations of the site, as various seismic tests have been undertaken to explore for reserves of petroleum. Digging for oil has been undertaken as close as 300 meters away from the ziggurat.[8]

See also

Babylonlion.JPG Ancient Near East portal

Notes

  1. ^ Rohl, D: Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation, page 82. Century, 1998.
  2. ^ R Ghirshman, The Ziggurat of Tchoga-Zanbil, Scientific American, vol. 204, pp. 69-76, 1961
  3. ^ Roman Ghirshman, Travaux de la mission archéologique en Susiane en hiver 1952-1953, Syria, T. 30, Fasc. 3/4, pp. 222-233, 1953
  4. ^ Roman Ghirshman, Tchoga Zanbil (Dur-Untash). Vol. I: La Ziggurat, Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique en Iran, vol. 39, Geuthner, 1966
  5. ^ R. Ghirshman, Tchoga Zanbil (Dur-Untash) Volume II: Temenos, Temples, Palais, Tombes, Memoires de la Delegation Archeologique en Iran, vol. 40 Geuthner, 1968
  6. ^ M.J. Steve, Tchoga Zanbil (Dur-Untash) 3: Textes Élamites et Accadiens, Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique en Iran, vol. 41, Geuthner, 1967
  7. ^ Edith Porada, Tchoga Zanbil (Dur-Untash). Vol. IV (only): La Glyptique, Memoires de la Delegation Archeologique en Iran, vol. 42, Geuthner, 1970
  8. ^ Soudabeh Sadigh (November 29, 2006). "Seismographic Tests to be performed on Tchogha Zanbil". Cultural Heritage News Agency. http://www.chnpress.com/news/Print/?Section=2&id=6832. 

References

  • D. T. Potts, The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0521564964
  • Roman Ghirshman, La ziggourat de Tchoga-Zanbil (Susiane), Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, vol. 98 lien Issue 2, pp. 233-238, 1954
  • Roman Ghirshman, Campagne de fouilles à Tchoga-Zanbil, près de Suse, Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, vol. 99, iss. 1, pp. 112-113, 1955
  • Roman Ghirshman, Cinquième campagne de fouilles à Tchoga-Zanbil, près Suse, rapport préliminaire (1955-1956), Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, vol. 100, iss. 3, pp. 335-345, 1956
  • Roman Ghirshman, Les fouilles de Tchoga-Zanbil, près de Suse (1956), Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, vol. 100, iss. 2, pp. 137-138, 1956
  • Roman Ghirshman, VIe campagne de fouilles à Tchoga-Zanbil près de Suse (1956-1957), rapport préliminaire, Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, vol. 101, iss. 3, pp. 231-241, 1957
  • Roman Ghirshman, FouiIles de Tchoga-Zanbil près de Suse, complexe de quatre temples, Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, vol. 103, iss. 1, pp. 74-76, 1959
  • Roman Ghirshman, VIIe campagne de fouilles à Tchoga-Zanbil, près de Suse (1958-1959), rapport préliminaire, Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, vol. 103, iss. 2, pp. 287-297, 1959
  • P. Amiet, Marlik et Tchoga Zanbil, Revue d'Assyriologie et d'Archéologie Orientale, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 44-47, 1990

External links


Coordinates: 32°0′30″N 48°31′15″E / 32.00833°N 48.52083°E / 32.00833; 48.52083


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