Ziqqurrat Construction Phases
After digging a tunnel in the northwestern area of the ziqqurrat, Ghirshman believed that the structure was assembled in two phases. In the first phase, the lower level was constructed In the form of a central courtyard surrounded by buildings of rooms with arched ceilings. In the next stage, the material required for the construction of the upper terraces was installed in the courtyard. With the construction of the terraces and the filling of the lower level doorways, access to the upper terraces was provided by stairways secured on the roofs of the lower level buildings, inshushinak Temple A, which had been situated In one courtyard, was filled with both baked and mud brick and subsequently fell out of use.
Ziggurat Temple-Tchoga Zanbil
In 13th century BC, a king named “Outash Gal” built a holy town which became the shrine of Elamites. The Elamites temple of Tchoga Zanbil is located on a big hill on the
bank of the Dez river, a branch of the Karun river, 45 kilometers southeast of Shush. The building has several floors and it is about 25 meters high. This building is made of adobes with a brick coating. Ziggurat is a square building which has originally been 50 meters high.
This holly city was called Dur-Untash. The building of Ziggurat temple is Tchoga Zanbil was used until 640 BC, when it was destroyed by Ashurbanipal. The present building contains a reconstructed bailey, three corridor-like porches which are the entrances of the temple, and several floors of soil and bricks stacked on each other.
Round Altars In the Area of the Ziqqurrat
The cylindrical altar located in the northeast (destructed), northwest and southwest, within the vicinity of the ziqqurrat, were likely used for religious festivals. The altar located on the southwestern side of the ziqqurrat has been partially restored by Mrs. Ghirshman. Unfortunately, due to the design of the restoration, this alter is commonly mistaken for a sundial.
This stairway, like the southeastern and northeastern stairways, also provided access to the first terrace. A large cylindrical pedestal existed across from the entrance, which was made of baked brick, and was likely for a specific religious ritual. On each side of this entrance, two statues of either a bull or a mythical lion-eagle existed, which were both composed of terracotta.
More than 5000 brick Inscriptions have been excavated at the site of Chogha Zanbil. These inscriptions bear the name of King Untash Naprisha (13th Century B.C) son of Humban Numena,” King of Anshan and Susa”. According to the Inscriptions, Untash Naprisha founded the city of Dur Untash (modern Chogha Zanbil) and built a multileveled temple (ziqqurrat’) for the gods Inshushinsk and Npirisha. Additionally, he also founded temples for various other deities. It can be seen on the outer layer of the ziqqurrat, that the builders used one row of these inscribed bricks for every ten rows of normal brick. One of the Elamite texts of Chogha Zanbil reads accordingly:
“I, Untash Naplrisha, have built a multileveled temple of golden (colored) brick, silver (colored) brick, stone of …, black opal stone, and white stone of the area and have dedicated this holy area to the gods Inshushinak and Napirisha. May the curse of the holy area of Inshushinak, Napirisha and Kiririshe befall on the person who destroys, harms or relocates It’s gold (brick), silver (brick), stone of …, black opal, white stone or bricks and may his decedents be removed underneath the sun.”
The Karun River
This river is the biggest river in Iran. It is 890 kilometers long, hence, being the longest river. The Karun rises from springs in the Vang mounts and from the Zard Kuh Bakhtiyari mountains. It rises from the eastern valley of Zard Kuh (known as Kuhrang) and flows down towards southeast. It flows past Shahr-e Kurd, Brujen, Lurdgan, Izeh, Masjid Soleyman, Shushtar, and Ahwaz to Khorramshahr. In the east of Khorramshahr it divides into two branches. The eastern branch, known as Bahmanshir, flows toward southeast and goes to the Persian Gulf through Khor Mosa.
The western branch flows past south Khorramshahr to its confluence with Arvand Rud river. The Karun is the only navigable river in Iran, and considering its branches, it is its biggest river. An iron suspension bridge, mainly used for cars, spans this river.
Daniel The Prophet-Shush
This tomb which is sited in Khuzestan is believed to be the Daniel’s tomb. This mausoleum has two courtyards, one of them is bigger than the other. There are two minarets decorated with green tiles on both sides of the entrances of the tomb. This mausoleum attract thousands of visitors and pilgrims each year.
Shush is in the southwest of Khuzestan province 115 away from Ahwaz. This ancient city had been the capital of Elamites in ancient times and had been a flourishing and important city until the Islamic period.
Watermills of Shushtar
In the southern part of Gargar bridge or the bridge of Darvazeh (portal) and on a big rock, the waterfalls area-the watermills-of Shushtar is situated. There had been 32 mills on the both sides of the river but many of them had been ruined and only one or two of them has remained. Shushtar is in the southern part of the Khozestan province and 95 kilometers away from Ahwaz.
The districts, allays, buildings and houses of this city are signs of antiquity of this city. Some of the ancient remains of Shushtar are structures like: bridges, dams, waterfalls, and watermills.
Among Bakhtiyari tribes, the stone lion is a symbol of brevity and manhood of valiant men of the tribe putting stone lion on graves has been an old custom among Bakhtiyari and Lur tribes and people in Azarbaijan. One of the oldest stone lions in Chahar mahal-va-Bakhtiyari is that of Dezek which belongs to Safavid era. Another famous one, which is 200 years old, is located in Dashte Rom cemetery near Yasuj.
There are some old stone lions still seen in some shrines and streets of Isfahan. One instance is the stone lions of Imamzade Ahmad on the both sides of Khaju bridge. Another stone lion which is in a good state is a big one in Dazak village. This lion dates
from 1053 AH. The stone lions were usually put on the grave of heroes that were killed bravely. All stone lions are foot and are looking forward proudly.