Basic Planning Principles Of Assyrian, Egyptian, Roman and Greek Cities
Settlement in the
Neo-Assyrians emerged as formidable
power (10th century)--> territorial
expansion & political consolidation
Reached new levels of size and
grandeur, funded by wealth of
conquest (to about 600 BC)
3 categories of Assyrian cities:
Continuously existing settlement
Re-founded settlement (Nimrud, Nineveh)
New foundation (Khorsabad)
Patterns in regional
Shift toward N. Mesopotamia--> late
Need for agricultural land--> large
populations need sufficient water
Agricultural surplus possible
Greater degree of topographical
S. Mesopotamia--> flat, less water, not as
much farmable land
“Southern versus a northern tradition”
Intentional avoidance of the
high mound settlement?
Evidence in one inscription-->
Sargon orders removal from
mounds and re-build at bottom
Height reserved for cities of
higher rank? Symbolic importance
Patterns in Urban
Characteristics of Neo-Assyria
Massive size compared to previous
Complex central administration
Greater concentration of people
Size does not necessarily equal
population--> space devoted to
gardens,grazing land, etc.
Location near rivers--> control
New urban form--> citadel with closely-
linked temple-palace unit, separated
from rest of town by height or walls
New urban form-->
Palace given increased space--> I.e..
Ramp--> bring king to door of his palace,
easier for chariots to rush/defend
Temple importance still relevant,
ziggurat’s height still rivals other
Symbolic significance--> Close
relations between administrative and
King as high priest, national religion
Khorsabad: A Case study
Site not previously built upon
Uniquely Built--> continuous sequence
Records well kept--> Sargon
King closely involved in process
Provincial governor responsible for project
Borrowed funds from private lenders
Exalts grandeur of project & city
Choice of location (Reasons?):
Better Administrative control of Northern
Assert imperial presence
Close to Nineveh
Water supply--> no more advantage than
No topographical advantage
River location not unique
More irregularities (intentional?)
Temple of Nabu out of alignment with
all other citadel structures--> planets?
Seven gates assymmetrical,
uneven/random locations, no relation
to road system outside city
Citadel meets fortification wall at
Quadrilateral shape of Khorsabad
Most mesopotamian ground plans were
Mesopotamian tradition of seeing
universe as square, reflected in
Neo-Assyrians knowingly reject this,
stands out--> new cosmological
meanings for them?
New expression of Imperial ideology,
identity, Organization--> unite
administrative/religious roles of king
Amarna today was the city of
Akhetaten (The Horizon of the
Aten). It was created by Egypt's
heretic king, Akhenaten for his
revolutionary religion that
worshiped Aten during the
Akhetaten lies some 365 miles
south of Cairo.
Located on the eastern side of
the Nile River.
city and its surrounding
property was fixed by copies of
decrees carved on fourteen
tablets embedded in the cliffs
on either side of the river.
City had zoos, gardens and
other public buildings.
The area is divided into suburbs,
with the so-called "central
city" housing the Royal Palace
and The Great Temple as well as
police station and tax offices.
The record office in the city
was setup by the women of the
The Great Aten Temple is on the
northern edge of the Central
series of bakeries in the south
of the temple.
some consolidation and
restoration has been carried
out at the Small Aten Temple.
Division of city into
The Main City Sometimes Known
as the South Suburb.
* occupied by :
the vizier Nakht, the high priest
Panehsy, the priest Pawah, General
Ramose, the architect Manekhtawitf
and the sculptor Tuthmosis for
dominantly inhabited by
essentially a middle-class
including a strong mercantile
apparently the houses were re-
inhabited by those who could
not afford to travel back to
Thebes after the end of the
At Amarna, the worker's village
was located in a lonely spot to
the east of the main city.
it was intended for the artisans
who worked on the rock-cut
tombs located not far from the
wall measuring 70 meters
The Etruscan were the early settlers of west –
central part of Italy. But latter on, the roman
occupied the whole part of it. The ancient capital
Rome founded near river Tiber was protected by
seven surrounding hills.
the country is located
centrally in Europe and is very mountainous.
the romans were not seafaring people and
colonists like the Greeks. They did not depend on
mere colonization but they conquered first by
war and then ruled by law.
The architecture of romans was essentially an art
of shaping space around rituals. Many structures
were utilitarian type such as acqueducts and
the plans were complex in appearance
and hidden in design and display in impression of
vastness. for example ‘thermae’ ‘amphitheaters’
The provinces, and above all the western provinces
of the Roman Empire, tell us even more than Italy
about Roman town planning.
They contain many towns which were founded
full-grown, or re-founded and at the same time
rebuilt, and which were in either case laid out on the
But the modern successors of these towns have
rarely kept the network of their ancient streets in
recognizable detail. Though walls, gates, temples,
baths, palaces, amphitheaters still stand stubbornly
erect amidst a flood of modern dwellings, they are
but the islands which mark a
The town of Thamugadi, now Timgad, lay on the
northern skirts of Mount Aurès, halfway between
Constantine and Biskra and about a hundred miles
from the Mediterranean coast.
The town grew. Soon after the middle of the
second century it was more than half a mile in width
from east to west, and its extent from north to
The first settlement was smaller. So far as it
has been uncovered by French archaeologists—
sufficiently for our purpose, though not
completely—the 'colonia' of Trajan appears to have
been some 29 or 30 acres in extent within the walls
and almost square in outline (360 x 390 yds.).
diminished by the space needed for public
buildings, though it is not easy to tell how great this
space was in the original town.
The blocks themselves measured square of 70 Roman
feet (23 x 23 yards), and may have contained one, two,
three, or even four houses apiece, but they have
undergone so many changes that their original
arrangements are not at all clear.
The streets which divided these blocks were 15
to 16 ft. wide; the two main streets, which ran to the
principal gates, were further widened by colonnades
and paved with superior flagging. All the streets had
well-built sewers beneath them.
It was entered by four
principal gates, three of
which can still be traced
quite clearly, and which
stood in the middle of
their respective sides;
the position of the south
gate is doubtful.
The interior of the town was divided by
streets into a chess-board pattern of small
square house-blocks; from north to south
there were twelve such blocks and from east
to west eleven—not twelve, as is often
( 650 BC-30BC)
IT IS DIVIDED INTO TWO MAIN PERIODS .
THE HELLENIC PERIOD
THE TERM HELLENIC IS USED TO
DESCRIBE THE EARLY GREEK
CIVILISATION .THE COMBINED
INFLUENCEOF EGYPT AND ASSTRIA
IN TRACEABLE IN THE EARLY
DEVELOPMENT OF GREEK STYLE
THE TRM IS USED TO DESCRIBE THE GREEK
CIVILISATION WHEN IT WAS PARTLY INFLUENCED
BY MIDDLEEASTERN CULTURE
THE ARCHTITECTURE HAD A RELIGIOUS
CHARACTER.BUT AFTER4TH CENTURYBC PUBLIC
BUILDING BEGAN APPEAR .CIVIC SENSE
DEVELOPED TOWN-PLANNING CAME INTO BEING AS
EARLY AS IN IN 4TH
Ancient Greek architecture is best known from
its temples, many of which are found throughout
the region, mostly as ruins but many
substantially intact. The second important type
of building that survives all over the Hellenic
world is the open-air theatre, with the earliest
dating from around 350 BC. Other
architectural forms that are still in evidence
are the processional gateway (propylon), the
public square (agora) surrounded by storied
colonnade (stoa), the town council building
(bouleuterion), the public monument, the
monumental tomb (mausoleum) and the stadium.
ancient Greek cities
the leading city of Ancient Greece in the
first millennium BC and its cultural
Athens is one of the oldest named cities
in the world, having been continuously
inhabited for at least 7000 years.
Situated in southern Europe, Athens
became achievements during the 5th
century BC laid the foundations of
Athens grew from its focal
point, the Acropolis, which
became the ceremonial center
of the city-state, decked with
temples including the
It has organic plan.
Propylea, is the main entrance
gate at Athens.
Agora was the center of Athenian
life. Laid out in the 6th century
B.C., northwest of the Acropolis,
it was a square lined by public
buildings, which served Athens'
needs for commerce and politics.
The streets of Athens as
narrow and tortuous, unpaved,
unlighted, and more like a chaos
of mud and sewage than even
the usual Greek road.
• The placement of buildings were decided on
natural factors such as the morphology
of the land
• For eg. The theatres were generally built
around a slope to provide natural seating.
• The Agora was built over a flat surface.
• The houses were generally placed along
the southern slope and part of Acropolis
facing the sea.