ziggurat (zĭgˈŏrăt) [key], form of temple common to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The earliest examples date from the end of the 3d millenium B.C., the latest from the 6th cent. B.C. The ziggurat was a pyramidal structure, built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, with a shrine at the summit. The core of the ziggurat was of sun-baked bricks, and the facings were of fired bricks, often glazed in different colors, which are thought to have had cosmological significance. Access to the summit shrine was provided by a series of ramps on one side or by a continuous spiral ramp from base to summit. The number of tiers ranged from two to seven. Notable examples are the ruins at Ur and Khorsabad in Mesopotamia. Similar structures were built by the Mayan people of Central America.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on ziggurat from Fact Monster:

  • MESOPOTAMIA - Mesopotamia is the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Farmers used the river water to irrigate fields and grow plentiful crops. Around 3500
  • Nippur - Nippur Nippur , ancient city of Babylonia, a N Sumerian settlement on the Euphrates. It was the ...
  • temple, edifice of worship: Babylonian and Assyrian Temples - Babylonian and Assyrian Temples In the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian periods of W Asia the ...
  • Uruk - Uruk Uruk or Erech, ancient Sumerian city of Mesopotamia, on the Euphrates and NW of Ur (in ...
  • Ur-Nammu - Ur-Nammu Ur-Nammu , fl. 2060 B.C., king of the ancient city of Ur, sometimes called Zur-Nammu or ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Architecture

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe