Irrigation and City

Topics: Mesopotamia, Irrigation, Sumer Pages: 2 (790 words) Published: April 30, 2012
Mesopotamia Essay
Public works in ancient Mesopotamia, such as ziggurats, city walls, irrigation systems, and warehouses were vital to the survival of the residents of the many prospering empires of the valley of Mesopotamia. Their importance lacks acknowledgement, as many believe that they were just a stepping stone in the rise of the empires, but in reality, they were a major part of the reason why these realms lasted so long. Ziggurats were the religious center of each city, providing structure. City walls were fortifications used to protect cities from potential attackers, therefore strengthening the armies. Irrigation systems could control the flow of water and therefore provide water for the city. Warehouses were buildings for storage of goods and resources. Together, all of these supported the cities of various lands and carried them to becoming prospering empires, some more powerful than others. Ziggurats were massive mud-brick temples erected by ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia on raised land. They were not places of public worship or ceremony; they were believed to be the dwelling place of a god or goddess. Only priests were allowed in the ziggurats to care for and attend to the needs of the gods, offering sacrifices or gifts. Ziggurats were important because they provided the structure needed for devotees of various deities in a polytheistic environment, as each city had its own personal god or goddess. They were also important because food was stored there, along with gems and textiles. The priest would decide how to split up the food among the residents of the city. Ziggurats help the cities run smoothly. City walls were defenses used to guard cities from possible foes, therefore strengthening armies. Generally, they enclose the city, forming a barrier around it, making it hard to break in to the town. Other than serving as a fortifying barricade, city walls had other purposes too. One was a reason for taxation. The market was within the...
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