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Ziggurat

 The Ziggurat at Ur (modern, Tall al-Muqayyar, Iraq) is the ruin of a pyramid that was dedicated to the moon god Sin. It is known as the best preserved ziggurat located in what was ancient Mesopotamia and built around the 3rd millennium. Ziggurats were characteristic of many of the ancient Mesopotamian cities from about 2200 until 500 BC. Approximately 25 ziggurats are known.

The ziggurat was the precursor of the Egyptian pyramid. The outer form was step-shaped, representing the ascent into the heavens where the great gods of the sky reigned. As the principle element of the temple, it was the highest point and housed the god’s sanctuary, accessible from exterior stairs. The construction was completed with a solid core of mud bricks. In great volume, the outer, mud-baked bricks were quite resistant to the elements. The sloping sides and terraces were often landscaped with shrubs and trees. The legendary Tower of Babel has long been associated with the ziggurat of the great temple of Marduk in Babylon.



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