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E. About a hundred years later, another city rose to prominence. Mesanepada, the son a of king of Kish, became the new ruler of Sumer. He moved the empire’s capital to Ur and founded the first dynasty of Ur. ) Mesanepada’s reign lasted about 80 years. Several lesser kings followed Mesanepada over the next several hundred years. Then, Sumer once again saw the rise of a great ruler, Lugalzagesi (r. ca. ). Lugalzagesi was an empire builder. He ruled as king of Uruk, Kish, Umma, Ur, and Lagash. The change from one king to the next was not always easy.
They were the Kassites, and no one is quite sure of their exact origins. During the Babylonian Empire, the Kassites came to Mesopotamia to work the fields. Agriculture required many workers, and foreigners who moved to the area to farm were welcome. e. e. indd 47 11/6/09 11:46:42 AM E m p i r E s o f A n c i E n t m E s o p otA m i A The Kassites built themselves a new capital in the heart of Mesopotamia that they called Dur-Kurigalzu, one of the new ideas the Hittites brought to mesopotamia west of modern-day Baghdad.
The temple’s base was square or rectangular. steps led up the sides of a ziggurat to a small sanctuary (the most holy part of a temple or church) on top of the building. public worship did not take place at the ziggurat. the building was considered a house of god. priests who performed the rites (religious ceremonies) held in ziggurats may have been the only people allowed to attend the ceremonies. the ziggurat walls sloped and the top was flat, much like a pyramid with the top cut off. in fact, a ziggurat is sometimes called a stepped pyramid.