About Chogha Zanbil
Chogha Zanbil located in Khuzestan province (ancient Elam) in southwest of Iran. It is the first cultural Iranian site that inscribe on UNESCO’s world Heritage Sites List.
Chogha Zanbil history
Chogha Zanbil or Dūr Untash Ziggurat is an Unfinished or never completed Elamite Site or complex with a Unique Ziggurat. In fact, this site is centered on a great ziggurat and surrounded by three huge concentric walls. The city remained unfinished after it invaded by Ashurbanipal and Untash-Napirisha did not live long enough to see his work completed.
Elamite name of this structure is Dūr Untash Ziggurat. Dur Untash is the combination of Elamite Dur that means (Place/resident/city/ town) and Untash is the Elamite king who built it. Today, its new Persian name is Chogha Zanbil .
Chogha Zanbil story
This archaeological site was a religious center of Elam. The sacred city for Elamite is an exceptional expression of culture, beliefs, and ritual traditions of one of the oldest indigenous peoples of Iran. This precious monument of Iranian culture and history that reflects Iran’s many-thousand-year-old civilization is unlike many other monuments in Iran, and some of its remnants housed in the Louvre Museum of France.
It built about 1250 BC by Elamite king Untash-Napirisha as a religious capital. It built mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak, however many people such as priests and servants lived there. Inshushinak was one of the major deities of Elamite pantheon proofs indicate this Ziggurat dedicated to him.
Our country Iran has an ancient history and civilization. Iran saw one of the oldest civilizations on earth in western Asian civilization at that time. A particular way of architecture used to build religious constructions in these civilizations, such as shrines. Most of the religious buildings were pyramid-shaped at that time. These pyramids were made step by step and were made of brick which called exclusively ziggurat. Perhaps the reason why these shrines were pyramid was because they could be closer to the sky and then to God step by step. This method of making ziggurat was common 4200 years ago. The city of Shush in Khuzestan province maintains one of the most important monuments of Iran, a place called Ziggurat which is also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Ziggurats were the most respected and important monuments of that era, so they used the finest materials in its construction. The architects made the finest bricks and clay to build such buildings. The number of these buildings or in other words ziggurat is not low, but certainly the best and healthiest building among them is Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat located in the city of Shush in Khuzestan province in south of Iran. This Ziggurat is now well-known not only in Iran, but all over the world.
What do you know about Shush?
Shush is one of the cities of Khuzestan province which located 115 kilometers from the center of Ahvaz province. The hight of the city form sea level is 87 meters. After crossing the freeway of Ahvaz, you can see signs on the way that will lead you to this amazing sight. This place was actually a sanctuary built in 1250 BC by one of the great kings of that time, Ilam, and buried underneath the soil for many years, so it looked like a hill.
The name of the monarch who built this huge structure was Untashish. At the time, it built for the city guard in Shush which unfortunately destroyed completely during the Assyrian conflict. The building buried underground for a long time, and therefore took the form of a hill until it excavated by a Frenchman named Roman Christian. This heritage was listed as one of the most admirable, astonishing, and most important monuments in Iran in the UNESCO World Heritage List of the year, and previously listed in the National Heritage List of Iran.
How Chogazanbil Ziggurat was discovered?
The way Chogazanbil Ziggurat discovered is also interesting. A person named Jacques Demergan, a geologist at the time, issued a statement claiming that there were oil mines in the Chogazanbil lands in the year 1890. Some engineers in the same area were digging oil 50 years later. They find the brick on which there were some words. Then they sent the brick to archaeologists to do research on it. This has led to speculation about the region’s historical significance, and it has begun to investigate the area. It is one of the few monuments in the country listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of the things about Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat is that this important monument destroyed before it was fully completed by one of the kings of that era, Assyria Bunipal. In an inscription found from this person it says: I smashed the Ziggurat of Shush which glazed with bricks with azure stone, and leveled the Elamite structures with dirt. I turned Shush into a ruin, and made the place away from human voice and joy of happiness by my hand.
If we want to talk about the architecture of Chogha Zanbil structure, brick was not the only element used in the construction of those buildings, and many people think that brick is only used for filling in wall slabs or as spilliter elements. While bricks was one of the main elements and a complete element, and it was used in other monuments of Iran such as Silk Hills of Kashan. But most of the elements used in the construction of the structure is clay, and along with the clay, bricks were also used to protect the clay that would soon become eroded. These bricks are all cooked and then they wrote some words on them.
In excavations in this area, pottery sculptures with the shape and appearance of bulls have also found. During research, archaeologists have been able to find a stone-carving that dates back to the Elamite period. It was attributed to Entash Napirisha. There is also an interesting image on this stone sculpture. A picture of a fish-tailed woman holding snakes.
This precious monument of Iranian culture and history that reflects Iran’s many-thousand-year-old civilization is unlike many other monuments in Iran and housed in the Louvre Museum of France.