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Mesopotamian and Greek Architecture Design


The features of the ancient Mesopotamian and Greek architectures are a unique topic for discussion. These civilizations used different methods of building construction and various materials. The purposes of buildings were also distinctive, although the religious background was one of the fundamental ones. The analysis of the two types of architectures will be carried out based on the comparison of these two ancient civilizations’ approaches to construction.

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Unique Architecture

Despite the fact that in Mesopotamian and Greek architecture, the main emphasis was on religious buildings, the principles of construction were different. Mesopotamian temples called ziggurats had a rich interior design and reflected the size and wealth of cities (“Temples in Mesopotamia,” 2019). Greek buildings were also large, but their key architectural features were located outside the temples, usually in the form of complex columns (“Greek temples,” 2017).

Ancient Mesopotamian Architecture

The shape of the Mesopotamian ziggurats was generally square, and the main material used in the construction was mud bricks (Westenholz, 2002). They were dried in the sun, but previously, it was given a specific shape – smooth on the bottom and curved on the top. In some cases, mud bricks were made in more complex shapes and rounded them to create smooth turns of temple bases.

Ancient Greek Architecture

Greek architecture was more complex than that of Mesopotamian due to the variety of materials used in construction. Clay and wood were replaced by marble and limestone, which made it possible to build unique works of art, in particular, multifaceted column shapes (Saunders, n.d.). The development of this civilization left an imprint on its architectural heritage, and many unique constructions have survived to the present.

Religious Background

The purpose of the ancient Greek and Mesopotamian buildings was their main similarity, although approaches to construction were distinctive. The religious background was key, and the temples of Mesopotamia were constructed to worship individual gods, thereby protecting cities (Jacobsen, 2020). In ancient Greek buildings, the emphasis was also placed on individual deities, and in each of the policies, temples were erected to worship different patron gods and demonstrate creative power.


Greek temples. (2017). Odyssey, Adventures in Archaeology. Web.

Jacobsen, T. (2020). Mesopotamian religion. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web.

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Saunders, J. (n.d.). Materials used in ancient Greek architecture. Classroom. Web.

Temples in Mesopotamia. (2019). Facts and Details. Web.

Westenholz, A. (2002). The Sumerian city-state. In M. H. Hansen (Ed.), A comparative study of six city-state cultures (pp. 23-42). Copenhagen Polis Centre.

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