Choqazanbil Temple (Ziggurat), Shoosh, Ahvaz

Choqazanbil Temple (Ziggurat), Shoosh, Ahvaz
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Choqazanbil is situated at a distance of 45 km. south east of Shoosh, and is the only remnant of an ancient city, that was constructed approximately in 1300 B.C. This city which was at the vicinity of 2 km. from Dez River was known as “Ontashgal”. The same is a reminder of the new Elamit civilization. It was surrounded by three interconnected sun brick made ramparts with the main entrance situated in the eastern side of the largest rampart.

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The palaces and tombs of the Elamit monarchs are situated between the first and second ramparts. Between the second and the third ramparts, the remnants of the water supply and purification system for city is observed. The water purification system of Choqazanbil was to provide drinking water for citizens, and is obviously accounted as one of the most ancient water supply systems. In the center of the third rampart, the main temple (Ziggurat) is placed. This square shaped structure is constructed at the dimensions of 105×105 sq.m., along four main directions.
This temple was constructed by means of millions of bricks, in five floors. At present only two floors have been remained. Except for the first and fifth floors, the rest have been filled with sun baked bricks. The fifth floor which is considered to be the highest one was used to be the place where idols were kept. The main idol was called “Inshushinak” which was considered to be the most famous deity of Shoosh city. On the brick walls of the temple, same inscriptions designating the name of the king in the Cuneiform script can be observed which reveals the aim of the monarch in the construction of this temple. Near the temple, on the main ground there are two circular platforms. Some believe this to be a place where sacrifices were carried out, and the other version is that, this was an area for astrology.
The aggregate of this city along with Elamit civilization in the vicinity of Haft Tappeh, was demolished in 640 B.C. as a result of Assyrian conquests, under the command of ‘Ashur Banipal’, thence terminating the Elamit jurisdiction after a period of more than a millennium.

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