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Encyclopedia > Ziggurat
Dur-Untash, or Choqa Zanbil, built in 13th century BC by Untash Napirisha and located near Susa, Iran is one of the world's best-preserved ziggurats.
Dur-Untash, or Choqa Zanbil, built in 13th century BC by Untash Napirisha and located near Susa, Iran is one of the world's best-preserved ziggurats.

A ziggurat (Akkadian ziqqurrat, D-stem of zaqāru "to build on a raised area") is a temple tower of the ancient Mesopotamian valley and Iran, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories or levels. Choghazanbil Ziggurat, Iran. ... Choghazanbil Ziggurat, Iran. ... A model of the current Chogha Zanbil ziggurat, showing the other buildings in the vicinity of the main structure. ... Winged sphinx from the palace of Darius the Great at Susa. ... Akkadian (lišānum akkadÄ«tum) was a Semitic language (part of the greater Afro-Asiatic language family) spoken in ancient Mesopotamia, particularly by the Assyrians and Babylonians. ... Temple of Hephaestus, an Doric Greek temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted) For other uses, see Temple (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mesopotamia (disambiguation). ... Fljótsdalur in East Iceland, a rather flat valley In geology, a valley is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. ... For other meanings, see pyramid (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Description

Ziggurats were important to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians of ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest examples of the ziggurat were simple raised platforms that date from the Ubaid period[1] during the fourth millennium BC and the latest date from the 6th century BC. The top of the ziggurat was flat, unlike many pyramids. The step pyramid style began near the end of the Early Dynastic Period.[2] Built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, the ziggurat was a pyramidal structure. Sun-baked bricks made up the core of the ziggurat with facings of fired bricks on the outside. The facings were often glazed in different colors and may have had astrological significance. The number of tiers ranged from two to seven, with a shrine or temple at the summit. Access to the shrine was provided by a series of ramps on one side of the ziggurat or by a spiral ramp from base to summit. Notable examples of this structure include the Great Ziggurat of Ur and Khorsabad in Mesopotamia. Sumer (or Å umer) was the earliest known civilization of the ancient Near East, located in lower Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), from the time of the earliest records in the mid 4th millennium BC until the rise of Babylonia in the late 3rd millennium BC. The term Sumerian applies to all speakers... For other uses, see Babylon (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Assyria (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mesopotamia (disambiguation). ... Pottery jar from Late Ubaid Period The tell (mound) of Ubaid near Ur in southern Iraq has given its name to the prehistoric chalcolithic culture which represents the earliest settlement on the alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia. ... A millennium (pl. ... For other meanings, see pyramid (disambiguation). ... Ur seen across the Royal tombs, with the Great Ziggurat in the background, January 17, 2004 The Ziggurat was built as a place of worship, dedicated to the moon god Nanna (or The name Nanna is Sumerian for illuminator. ...


The Mesopotamian ziggurats were not places for public worship or ceremonies. They were believed to be dwelling places for the gods. Through the ziggurat the gods could be close to mankind and each city had its own patron god. Only priests were permitted on the ziggurat or in the rooms at its base and it was their responsibility to care for the gods and attend to their needs. The priests were very powerful members of Sumerian society.

CAD rendering of Sialk's largest ziggurat based on archeological evidence.
CAD rendering of Sialk's largest ziggurat based on archeological evidence.

There are 32 ziggurats known at, and near, Mesopotamia.[citation needed] Four of them are in Iran. Most of the rest are in Iraq. The most recent to be discovered was Sialk, in central Iran. CAD rendering of Sialk ziggurat based on archeological evidence. ... CAD rendering of Sialk ziggurat based on archeological evidence. ... “CAD” redirects here. ... The 5500 year old skeletons and other unearthed artifacts here are preserved and off access to visitors. ... Sialk is a large ancient archeological structure in Kashan, Iran. ...


One of the best preserved ziggurats is Choqa Zanbil in western Iran, which has survived despite the devastating eight year Iran-Iraq war of the 1980's in which many archeological sites were destroyed. The Sialk, in Kashan, Iran, is the oldest known zigurrat, dating to the early 3rd millennium BC. Ziggurat designs ranged from simple bases upon which a temple sat, to marvels of mathematics and construction which spanned several terraced stories and were topped with a temple. A model of the current Chogha Zanbil ziggurat, showing the other buildings in the vicinity of the main structure. ...


An example of a simple ziggurat is the White Temple of Uruk, in ancient Sumer. The ziggurat itself is the base on which the White Temple is set. Its purpose is to get the temple closer to the heavens, and provide access from the ground to it via steps. Uruk (Sumerian Unug, Biblical Erech, Greek Orchoë and Arabic وركاء Warka), was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates, on the line of the ancient Nil canal, in a region of marshes, about 140 miles (230 km) SSE from Baghdad. ... Sumer (or Šumer) was the earliest known civilization of the ancient Near East, located in lower Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), from the time of the earliest records in the mid 4th millennium BC until the rise of Babylonia in the late 3rd millennium BC. The term Sumerian applies to all speakers...


An example of an extensive and massive ziggurat is the Marduk ziggurat, or Etemenanki, of ancient Babylon. Unfortunately, not much of even the base is left of this massive structure, yet archeological findings and historical accounts put this tower at seven multicolored tiers, topped with a temple of exquisite proportions. The temple is thought to have been painted and maintained an indigo color, matching the tops of the tiers. It is known that there were three staircases leading to the temple, two of which (side flanked) were thought to have only ascended half the ziggurat's height. Marduk (Sumerian spelling in Akkadian: AMAR.UTU solar calf; Biblical: Merodach) was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon permanently became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century... Etemenanki, The temple of the creation of heaven and earth, was the name of a ziggurat to Marduk in the city of Babylon of the 6th century BC Chaldean (Neo-Babylonian) dynasty. ... Indigo is the color on the spectrum between about 450 and 420 nm in wavelength, placing it between blue and violet. ...


Etemenanki, the name for the structure, is Sumerian and means "The Foundation of Heaven and Earth." Most likely being built by Hammurabi, the ziggurat's core was found to have contained the remains of earlier ziggurats and structures. The final stage consisted of a 15-meter hardened brick encasement constructed by King Nebuchadnezzar. Etemenanki, The temple of the creation of heaven and earth, was the name of a ziggurat to Marduk in the city of Babylon of the 6th century BC Chaldean (Neo-Babylonian) dynasty. ... Sumerian ( native tongue) was the language of ancient Sumer, spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BCE. It was gradually replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language in the beginning of the 2nd millenium BCE, but continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific... For the computer game, see Hamurabi. ... For other uses, see Brick (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Monarch (disambiguation). ... Nebuchadnezzar (or Nebudchadrezzar) II (ca. ...


Modern buildings resembling ziggurats

The ziggurat style of architecture continues to be used and copied today in many places of the world.


Examples include:

Chanhassen is a city located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. ... Southeasern view of the ziggurat shaped structure. ... The United States Bullion Depository is a fortified vault building located near Fort Knox, Kentucky which is used to store a large portion of United States official gold reserves, as well as from time to time, other precious items belonging to, or entrusted to, the United States of America. ... Fort Knox is a census-designated place on the border of Hardin and Meade Counties in Kentucky that includes the housing for the Fort Knox Army base and the Fort Knox Bullion Depository. ... Halls of residence in British English (commonly referred to as halls, and to a lesser extent hall) are a type of residential accommodation for large numbers of students, similar to dormitories in the United States. ... The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a leading campus university located in Norwich, Norfolk, England, founded as part of the British Governments New Universities programme in the 1960s. ... The SIS building at Vauxhall Cross, London, seen from Vauxhall Bridge The SIS building, seen from Millbank The opposite side of the building, seen from Vauxhall Cross The SIS Building, also commonly known as the MI6 Building, is the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), more commonly known as MI6 (originally Military Intelligence Section 6), or the Secret Service, is the United Kingdom external security agency. ... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6),[1] is the United Kingdoms external intelligence agency. ... Categories: Buildings in Moscow | Soviet Union | Stub ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... The National Geographic Society, headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the worlds largest not-for-profit educational and scientific organizations. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... The architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) was formed in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings; in 1939 they were joined by John Merrill. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... William Leonard Pereira (April 25, 1909 – November 13, 1985) was an American architect from Chicago Illinois, of Portuguese ancestry[1] who was noted for his futuristic designs of landmark buildings such as the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. ... The Ziggurat, headquarters of the California Department of General Services. ... West Sacramento is a city in Yolo County, California. ... DGS headquarters located at The Ziggurat in West Sacramento The California Department of General Services (DGS) is a state government agency in the executive branch of the government of California in the United States. ... The front of the Guggenheim Museum from 5th Avenue This article refers to the Guggenheim Museum in the upper east side of Manhattan (New York). ... Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was one of the worlds most prominent and influential architects. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1536x1152, 398 KB) The Ziggurat Building in West Sacramento, California is home to the headquarters of the California Department of General Services. ... The Ziggurat, headquarters of the California Department of General Services. ... Secret Intelligence Service building, seen from Millbank - Vauxhall Cross - Vauxhall - London - England Photo taken by Tagishsimon on the 24th April 2004 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The SIS building at Vauxhall Cross, London, seen from Vauxhall Bridge The SIS building, seen from Millbank The opposite side of the building, seen from Vauxhall Cross The SIS Building, also commonly known as the MI6 Building, is the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6... Image File history File links I took this picture and allow its use. ... Southeasern view of the ziggurat shaped structure. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x548, 294 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Ziggurat User:Edward/Images ... The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a leading campus university located in Norwich, Norfolk, England, founded as part of the British Governments New Universities programme in the 1960s. ...

See also

The 5500 year old skeletons and other unearthed artifacts here are preserved and off access to visitors. ... A model of the current Chogha Zanbil ziggurat, showing the other buildings in the vicinity of the main structure. ... Ur seen across the Royal tombs, with the Great Ziggurat in the background, January 17, 2004 The Ziggurat was built as a place of worship, dedicated to the moon god Nanna (or The name Nanna is Sumerian for illuminator. ... The Ziggurat of Agargouf Tower is located in Iraq. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Crawford, page 73
  2. ^ Crawford, page 73-74

Sources

  • T. Busink, "L´origine et évolution de la ziggurat babylonienne". Jaarbericht van het Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch Genootschap Ex Oriente Lux 21 (1970), 91-141.
  • R. Chadwick, "Calendars, Ziggurats, and the Stars". The Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies Bulletin (Toronto) 24 (Nov. 1992), 7-24.
  • R.G. Killick, "Ziggurat". The Dictionary of Art (ed. J. Turner, New York & London: Macmillan), vol. 33, 675-676.
  • H.J. Lenzen, Die Entwicklung der Zikurrat von ihren Anfängen bis zur Zeit der III. Dynastie von Ur (Leipzig 1942).
  • M. Roaf, Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East (New York 1990), 104-107.
  • E.C. Stone, "Ziggurat". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (ed. E.M. Meyers, New York & Oxford 1997), vol. 5, 390-391.
  • J.A. Black & A. Green, "Ziggurat". Dictionary of the Ancient Near East (eds. P. Bienkowski & A. Millard, London: British Museum), 327-328.
  • Harriet Crawford, Sumer and the Sumerians, Cambridge University Press, (New York 1993), ISBN 0-521-38850-3.
  • A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, University of Chicago Press, (Chicago 1977), ISBN 0-226-63187-7.

See also

  • É (temple)

É[1] is the Sumerian for house or temple, written ideographically with the cuneiform sign (Borger nr. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Ziggurats
  • Website of Choqa Zanbil ziggurat, Iran.
  • Article on status of Sialk ziggurat, Iran.froogy fucker

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ziggurats - Crystalinks (1718 words)
Ziggurats were a form of temple common to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians of ancient Mesopotamia.The earliest examples of the ziggurat date from the end of the third millennium BCE and the latest date from the 6th century BCE.
Ziggurat designs ranged from simple bases upon which a temple sat, to marvels of mathematics and construction which spanned several terraced stories and were topped with a temple.
According to Campbell, ziggurats first appeared during a sudden scientific and philosophical golden age where such other discoveries were made such as the invention of the wheel, the discovery of the calendar and astronomy, as well as the invention of the written word.
Ziggurat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1420 words)
A ziggurat (Babylonian ziqqurrat, D-Stem of zaqāru "to build on a raised area") is a temple tower of the ancient Mesopotamian valley and Iran, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories.
Ziggurats were a form of temple tower common to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians of ancient Mesopotamia.
The temples of the Sumerians were believed to be a cosmic axis, a vertical bond between heaven and earth, and the earth and the underworld, and a horizontal bond between the lands.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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