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Ca. 1250-640 BCE


Ancient Iran /
Chogha Zanbil
Elamite: Dur Untash





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Chogha Zanbil

Chogha Zanbil, Iran. The religious city from the 2nd millennium BCE Anshan and Susa.
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Chogha Zanbil, Iran. The religious city from the 2nd millennium BCE Anshan and Susa.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Chogha Zanbil, Iran. The religious city from the 2nd millennium BCE Anshan and Susa.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Chogha Zanbil, Iran.  The royal palace.
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In Ancient Iran, religious complex, in the southwestern corner of modern Iran, along the Dez river.
It is 30 km west of the ancient Elamite capital of Susa, and 40 km south of modern Dezful, and 80 km north of modern Ahvaz.
Chogha Zanbil was very much the project of one man, king Untash-Napirisha of Anshan and Susa, and as he died before completing, the Chogha Zanbil was never completed. It remained in use for 600 years, until 640 BCE when destroyed by Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal.
It is the location of a something as rare as a ziggurat built beyond the Mesopotamian heartlands. Also noteworthy are that it is the largest of all zigguats, and that it was built by local Elamite rulers, not by Mesopotamian colonists which is easily assumed. The ziggurat was built ca. 1250 BCE in honour of the gods, Kiririsha and Inshushinak. The ziggurat is believed to have been nearly 50 metres high, but only half of that height remains.
Three concentric walls were built around the complex, the inner housed the ziggurat, the circle outside that housed temples of lesser god, and the outer circle royal palaces and tombs.
Chogha Zanbil was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. There are threats to the site, as the area is rich in petroleum. Some have issued fears that drilling for oil may destroy the site.




By Tore Kjeilen