Uruk Visualisation Project: The White Temple
 
ABOUT THE PROJECT
 
Uruk/Warka, situated in modern-day Iraq, is one of the first cities in the world and was populated almost without interruption for over 5,000 years.
 
In the western area of the city centre a multiple-phased terrace was discovered, the so-called “Anu Ziggurat”. The terrace was extended and raised over time at least ten times until it reached a height of about 12 m.
 
This last construction level featured a polygonal shape, due to its many re­confi­gu­rations, sloped outer walls as well as a complicated staircase. The surface area of the terrace measured about 45 x 50 m. The remains of an elaborated middle-hall-building, the so-called “White Temple”, were found on top of the terrace.
 
The building had white plastered walls, which were divided by niches, multiple postaments, maybe shelves in an adjacent room as well as multiple staircases, which led to the roof or to a second storey. The erection of the building was radiocarbon-dated between 3517 and 3358 BCE.
 
In the process of the reconstruction we decided for two alter­na­tives: a one-storey and a two-storey version. The reconstructions are based on the excavation results, but also on a small temple model made from stone that was found in a corner of the “White Temple” during the excavation. The proportions and wall deco­ra­tions of our reconstruction were adopted from this model which had nearly the same ground plan as the actual building.
 
The results of our work are presented within the large exhibition “Uruk – 5000 years of the Megacity” in the Pergamon-Museum in Berlin, and subsequently at the LWL-Museum für Archäologie, Herne, in 2013 and 2014.
 
LITERATURE
 
Eichmann, R. 2007: Uruk. Architektur I. Von den Anfängen bis zur frühdynastischen Zeit (=AUWE 14), Textteil und Beilagen, Rahden.
 
Eichmann, R. 2013: Frühe Grossarchitektur der Stadt Uruk, in: Crüsemann, N. et al. (Eds.), Uruk - 5000 Jahre Megacity. Ausstellungskatalog, Petersberg, 117-127.
 
van Ess, M. 2013: Neue Radiocarbondatierungen aus Uruk, in: Crüsemann, N. et al. (Eds.), Uruk - 5000 Jahre Megacity. Ausstellungskatalog, Petersberg, 362-363.
 
PROJECT3D visualisation, scientific reconstruction, infographics
CLIENTDr. Margarete van Ess, Oriental Institute, German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Berlin
STATUSCompleted in 2012
LINKUruk project at the DAI
 
Inside view of the two-storey version of the "White Temple". A postament in the centre was probably used as an altar.
 
Detailed view of the two-storey version of the "White Temple" on top of the ground plan.
 
Section through the middle-hall of the "White Temple". Wooden doors were reconstructed in two doorways of the temple.
Deutsch