In Mesopotamia the ruling powers were both divine and royal. The Sumerians had a belief that people were created by gods to labor for them. The temple and its land belonged to the god Ningirsu and his wife Baba, and their family. The land owning upper classes included ruling princes and their families, leading priests, and palace officials. The political function was not separated from the religious function for much of Mesopotamia’s history. In old Babylonian times a town or a precinct mayor led a group or council of elders. Nobility formed the upper house of elders, and also land-owning commoners met in a popular assembly to make important decisions.