Discus the early development of urban architecture in the ancient Near East, with specific reference to one or two cities in the ‘Fertile Crescent.’
The history of civilization has been one of the most significant fields of study for a very long time. After the agriculture revolution the number of population grow rapidly, civilizations were formed and cities were being built to accommodate the growing populations of the ancient civilization. Architecture has always been a vital part of the civilizations throughout the history of mankind. As Nations become powerful and prosperous their Architecture becomes more dominant by building greater cities, public splendors and religious monuments. From the birth of civilizations until now many civilizations have appeared and disappeared from the face of the earth for various reasons. The ones that have survived and claim their existence have carried out their identity, culture and Architecture from their ancestors. Those civilizations that have vanished due to foreign invasions or other unknown reasons have left us their ancient cities and Architecture that need to be discovered. A great example that we can refer to is the Ancient Near East, where one of the earliest human civilizations were living in. It is told that the Sumerians were the first civilization that once lived in Mesopotamia which is in Ancient near east and worlds first cities also developed in here which includes Sumer (Ur) and Babylon (Wildwood & Matthews, n.d.) In this Essay I will be focusing on the urban development and Architecture of the Ancient civilizations which includes the Sumerians and the Babylonians that were based in Mesopotamia the lands of Fertile Crescent.
The Ancient Near East which is now known as the Middle East was the birth place of the civilization, It was here in Mesopotamia where the world’s first civilization (Sumerians) claimed their existence (Wildwood & Matthews, n.d.) The Sumerians lived in Mesopotamia (a fertile land between the Tigris River and Euphrates River in the Ancient Near East). These two rivers were very important for the Sumerian Civilization because of agriculture and trade, since it was one of the main routs of their economy. The Sumerians were the first civilizations that farmed in large scale “It was here that the first farmers learned to cultivate grain, growing what they needed rather than gathering wild varieties”(Wildwood & Matthews, n.d.) Following the agriculture revelation and a great increase in population led to the multiplication of large communal centers of an urban character (Lampl, n.d., bk. 8) As it is still apparent that when a nation becomes powerful and prosperous their architecture becomes more prominent and there cities become more complex. Following the agriculture revelation the Sumerian economy grow rapidly and at the same time cities were taking shape and also public splendor and religious monuments were emerging from the middle of the cities. “For the people of Ancient near east there cities meant more than just a city for them, it was a complex that only a god could have created it and according to the ideal concept of the people in the ancient near east, cities did not develop in slow growth, to paraphrase the cosmogony: there was time when the city had not been made…and then the city was made” (Lampl, n.d., p. 8) The Sumerians built their cities around a huge monumental religious building with a tower that can be seen from up to 20km away. They built the high tower (ziggurat) in the middle of the city that the farmers far away could still see their house of God and for the Sumerians the ziggurat was a connection between their city and the havens. The city was enclosed by a wall that was surrounded by farms and villages.
It is very important to understand the history of Architecture and planning before we could make any comment about the relationship between modern Architecture and ancient Architecture. The...
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