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Public works in ancient Mesopotamia, such as ziggurats, city walls, irrigation systems, and warehouses were vital to the survival of the residents of the many prospering empires of the valley of Mesopotamia. Their importance lacks acknowledgement, as many believe that they were just a stepping stone in the rise of the empires, but in reality, they were a major part of the reason why these realms lasted so long. Ziggurats were the religious center of each city, providing structure. City walls were fortifications used to protect cities from potential attackers, therefore strengthening the armies.

Irrigation systems could control the flow of water and therefore provide water for the city. Warehouses were buildings for storage of goods and resources. Together, all of these supported the cities of various lands and carried them to becoming prospering empires, some more powerful than others. Ziggurats were massive mud-brick temples erected by ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia on raised land. They were not places of public worship or ceremony; they were believed to be the dwelling place of a god or goddess. Only priests were allowed in the ziggurats to care for and attend to the needs of the gods, offering sacrifices or gifts.

Ziggurats were important because they provided the structure needed for devotees of various deities in a polytheistic environment, as each city had its own personal god or goddess. They were also important because food was stored there, along with gems and textiles. The priest would decide how to split up the food among the residents of the city. Ziggurats help the cities run smoothly. City walls were defenses used to guard cities from possible foes, therefore strengthening armies. Generally, they enclose the city, forming a barrier around it, making it hard to break in to the town.

Other than serving as a fortifying barricade, city walls had other purposes too. One was a reason for taxation. The market was within the town, so if you were coming in from your farm or another town with goods to sell at market, the guards at the gates would tax you. The walls also defined the city’s limits, as the wall was known as the border of the city. The city wall was also an indication of the wealth of a city; the taller and more stable the walls, the wealthier the city. They could afford the labor and skilled masons and engineers who could design and build walls that wouldn’t fall down short amounts of time.

The first successful efforts to control the flow of water were made in Mesopotamia, where water was diverted to various cities from the mighty Euphrates and Tigris Rivers to help people survive. Irrigation systems could also sustain the common sudden flash floods to a certain extent, as they could control some of the water. They also made sure that water, a precious resource, was not wasted, but got where it needed to be. Irrigation was also important to agriculture in Mesopotamia because of the semiarid climate.

The climate was hot and dry and received less than ten inches of rain a year. The climate reflects how the crops grow. Crops, the main source of income for the region, need a good supply and source of water so they can be plentiful. Since the climate of Mesopotamia gets a shortage of rain, the irrigation system, which transports the water from the river to the crops, is very important. Without the irrigation system, there would be no crops, and without crops, people would starve, and if people starved than there wouldn’t be any people, and that wouldn’t be good at all.

This is why it’s important to have irrigation for agriculture in Mesopotamia. Warehouses were public buildings that stored items and kept them safe, and therefore were a vital item. Without warehouses, resources and possessions would be destroyed every time a natural disaster, such as a flood. They were also used to store items for entire cities, such as the famous Mesopotamian grain warehouses, used to store the city’s entire stock of grain. These were always located at the base of the city’s ziggurat. All in all, public works were a very significant part of the rise of civilizations.

They supported the people by providing a way to please the gods. Public works also defended the city from attacking rivals, while providing a reason to collect taxes at the same time. They quenched the thirst of the citizens in the scorching desert, all while protecting it from natural disaster and helping the crops flourish. Finally, public works stored food and grain for the city and kept valuables safe. Various public works benefitted cities in numerous ways, but all helped a city develop into a sprawling empire.

The Rum Revival

The Rum Revival.

 The rum revival After the gin renaissance of recent years could we be witnessing the start of a rum revival? Articles in The Times and on, as well as in the trade press, suggest that innovation and premiumisation are flourishing in the rum sector. Rum is a lightly regulated category compared to some other spirits. From the building of new artisanal distilleries around the world, through the repositioning of classic brands, to the opening of rum-focused bars, the drink is reaching out to a new customer base.

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