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Lucas Warthen

Many of the rulers of Mesopotamian cultures used religion as backing to legitimize their power, this power was then shown in many of the artifacts we see today. One of the biggest examples is seen through the Stele of Hammurabi where Hammurabi is right there with the god of sun, Shamash, and is receiving the laws that are seen on the stele itself. Not only does that show that Hammurabi is chosen by the gods, but the fact that Hammurabi’s person is on the same level of the god himself show there is a connection between the two that isn’t present between Shamash and other men.
As for the second question, two of these sites – the Gate of Ishtar and Nanna Ziggurat – have been used by Saddam Hussein in an attempt to parallel himself with rulers of the old and their power. With this, I don’t think he intended to connect himself with the old gods with which the structures were connected, he merely wanted to draw the line of power with himself and the older rulers that built them as well.