Structures: Pyramids, Stonehenge, And Ziggurats
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Structures During the Neothlithic era, many different cultures were beginning to create different yet similar structures for their cities. In England, humans built Stonehenge, in Egypt, humans began to build pyramids, and in Mesopotamia, Sumerians built ziggurats. All of these structures were used to either worship gods, or had some sort of religious belief behind them.
In England, Stonehenge, the most famous megalithic structure, was built. It consisted of several large stones, the largest weighing up to 50 tons. The circular structure consists of a large outer ring in a series of post-and-lintel forms, which are aligned with astronomical positions. It is believed that Stonehenge may have served as an observatory as well as a center of religious worship.
Like the people who built Stonehenge, the Sumerians also built their own religious structure called a ziggurat. These stepped pyramids were often made of mud brick. The theory behind it was that in mounting its steps, worshipers rose beyond the ordinary human world into a realm of the gods. Some of the ziggurats were dedicated to gods. The greatest one of all at Ur-Nammu was dedicated to the moon god and was probably topped by a temple for sacrifices.
The early Egyptians also built their own religious structures. Egyptians believed that the life continues unchanged after death; therefore they built large pyramids in honor of their pharaohs. Pyramids were monumental tombs that were built to contain the bodies of the pharaohs. The great pyramids at Giza were made of limestone blocks, the largest covering thirteen acres at the base, and were built with more than two million stone blocks. They would often put the pharaoh’s belongings in with him so he could be happy after death.
Many different cultures revolved around their own individual religious beliefs, yet many of their beliefs were similar to one another. Each of the three cultures mentioned all felt that they had to construct large structures in order to keep the gods happy, and all believed in an afterlife.