Ancient Eastern Architecture by Gwendolyn Leick

By Gwendolyn Leick

The one English-language booklet of its type, this dictionary offers a finished survey of the full diversity of historical close to japanese structure: from the Neolithic around huts in Palestine to the enormous temples of Ptolemaic Egypt. Leick describes the differences of common historic architectural constructions resembling pyramids, tombs and homes, information the construction fabric and strategies hired, and clarifies professional terminology.

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In spite of this record speed, the workmanship is excellent throughout. The stamped mudbricks bearing the king’s title were carefully set in limemortar mixed with powdered brick-dust, above lower courses of baked bricks laid in bitumen as a prevention against damp. The Summer Palace was situated on a hill and built on a terrace 20m high. It was oriented to take advantage of the cool 27 BABYLONIAN ARCHITECTURE north wind and afforded a splendid view of the town. The skyline of Babylon was dominated by the ziggurat, the famous ‘Tower of Babel’.

Around 1400 BC Assyria emerged as a major political power and gradually extended its territorial and military supremacy until it grew into an empire that dominated the whole of the Near East including Egypt, until it collapsed around 610 BC under the combined onslaught of Medes and Babylonians. Assyria’s rise to glory was achieved by a highly efficient army, fighting countless wars, and an equally well-organised administration in the many dependent provinces. The king was not only the supreme commander of the forces, leading his troops personally into battle after battle, he was the head of his civil service, and stood in a special ritual relationship with the state god Ashur which entailed religious and cultic responsibilities.

The term BENT-AXIS has become current usage in Mesopotamian archaeology to describe the mode of access in Sumerian temples, where the entrance is at 90 degrees to the main axis which is defined by the cultic focus and the longitudinal dimension of the building. 25 B babanu An Assyrian word that designates the private sector (courtyard and apartments) in an Assyrian palace, usually situated behind the throne room, as opposed to the BITANU, the public sector. The central unit of both is a large courtyard.

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