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The different rules of Mesopotamia all had one underlying method to keep control of their subjects: God. They used the image and concept of gods and goddesses to validate their own rule and power. One example of this is the votive statue of Gudea. The statue holds a vase from which the two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) flow, showing the good agriculture and wealth of the land. This statue was used as a symbol that the leader was chosen by God and thus able to bless the land. This image of anointed leaders is present in many other pieces of art at the time, from the relief panels of emperors killing lions to the creation of colossal structures like Persepolis.
In 1971, Persepolis was used as the site for the 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire. Many officials from foreign countries were invited in an effort to spread their culture.