For this week of architectural history, I have read the fourth chapter of World Architecture book, included Southwest Asia and Achaemenid Persia, The Greek City-State, Mauryan India. I will try to inform you about this chapter as far as I have read.
Southwest Asia mostly rose on a period of stagnation in ninth and eighth centuries. As a result of the scarcities and invasions the growth of the cities has slowned down. However, the empire that known as the first true empire, called Neo-Assyrians agglomerated a brad new huge army in northern Iraq and Iaid known as the lands of the Fertile Crescent. They had a lot of master military equipments such as iron weapons, archery, wheeled chariots and new techniques. So that, they started to conquer a bunch of cities. The reason of this attempting was to enhance the power of Sargon’s Akkadian empire. He known with his conquests of the Sumerians City-states. He modeled himself as the imperial of the Bronze Age. He commissioned a new capital named after himself. This is very unexpected for us because normally cities named according to their gods.The name of the city was Dur-Sharrukin, now called as Khorsabad.
Sargon designed this capital city according to a orthogonal plan setting. The outline of the city was very unique because of their shape that it was nearly a square. The city was designed according to a grid and includes streets. He had a great palace in the city. The palace included six ziggurats and a gate that has huge figures on the wall. The entries were located at the inner palace in an assymetrical anner to encourage the direct access. The rooms were constructed with mud bricks and they did not put columns so they needed to designed them narrow and long. The receiving light system were taken reference from the typicall Mesopotamian housings. The whole palace were lighted from the light receieved from courtyards and distrubuted to all palace.
After the years, Sargon died in a battle. So that, his son needed to hand on the imperial. However, the city lost its old great power because of that imperial change. Yet, the site still was a religious place.
Babylon’s meaning in Akkadian language is “Bab-ilim” namely “Gate of God”. New Babylon was a very multinational site that include a lot of diverse cultures namely a melting pot. As a result of that, the city needed to include a lot of different reliogous temples for their citizens. So that, the governors of the city called themselves as the defenders of religion rather than champions of warfare. The architects of New Babylon designed new temples and planned new ceremonial pocessions. They kept the idea of having rectangular walls and having a royal palace of Dur -Sharrukin. Nebuchadnezzar II reconsturceted the inner walls with rectangular pattern. They built up a brand new ziggurat called Entemenanki. Entemenanki ziggurat was very important for them because it was carrying the importance of being the foundation of heaven and earth inspired by the Tower of Babel. It has seven levels that each of them respresent the seven steps of heaven.