Chogha Zanbil

It was almost in third millennium B.C. that the Akkadian language largely supplanted Elamite, and even proper names were more often Semitic than Elamite. This policy of assimilation threatened the local culture, which only survived owing to the asylum afforded it in the inaccessible mountains.

A skillful policy of submission on the part of the subject people, however, enabled them eventually to restore the situation. One of their number, Puzur-Inshushinak, who had been appointed governor by Naram-Sin in succession to a Semite, was able to foster a national movement and Elam soon took the offensive. These challenges were existing and existing till the second millennium that a new national dynasty in Elam, whose kings styled themselves: “divine messenger, father and king” (of Anzan and Susa). The documents of that time display the development of the local civilization which is evident in religion! The goddess Shala and her consor, Inshushinak, were frequently invoked and were more popular than the gods of the Babylonian pantheon. It was 1250 B.C. when Choga Zanbil (basket mound) was built by the king Untash-Napirisha, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak in the town of Untash.

The interior part was built over an earlier square temple with storage rooms. There are eleven temples in the middle area that have been for lesser gods or let’s call them small gods. After Untash-Napirisha's death, the construction of the site was not abandoned, and kept on working until it was destroyed by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 640 BC. It could be under study that Untash-Napirisha attempted to create a new religious center.

There are mud bricks and occasionally baked bricks as the main materials in Chogha Zanbil. The glass, gypsum of faïence, glazed baked bricks, and ornaments have been used as decorative elements.

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