Warka White Temple

Warka White Temple
Warka White Temple

When we think of the wonders of the ancient world, the ancient Egyptian pyramids that the pharaohs built for their eternal rest immediately come to mind, however, in the area of ​​Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, they are also they erected great works of art, imposing monuments that, unfortunately, have not survived to this day. Some of these impressive monuments are the Mesopotamian Ziggurats, but even before them, there were impressive temples like the one we are analyzing here, THE White Temple of Warka located in the southern part of Mesopotamia, in the city of Uruk.

In reality, there are only a few archaeological remains of the White Temple that would correspond to the foundations, but archaeologists have made reconstructions like the one in the image that allow us to get an idea of ​​what it must have been like. We are talking about a construction that must have been carried out in the Sumerian Period,which would be about three thousand years before Christ and whose author, of course, is not known.


The temple must have stood on a kind of artificial tomb that was accessed by a staircase located in the northeast area. While traditional Mesopotamian architecture features buildings constructed of adobe, the White Temple must have been made of brick and covered with white limestone; in the area, no remains of any quarry have been foundso presumably the stones had to be moved from one of the most distant quarries.

It presents a rectangular plan with the four corners oriented to each of the cardinal points. Inside we see a wider main nave and two lateral ones flanking it in which chapels have been opened. The head is an extension of the central nave arranged in a T shape and in the chapel or cella you will find a niche with an altar and tables `to make offerings to the gods.

It seems that the temple fulfilled a religious function and was dedicated to the god Anu, god of the sky and the celestial constellations. This type of temple that was known as eanna,would later evolve until it reached the shape of the typical ziggurats, a stepped construction that represented the sacred mountain.

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