noun \ˈzi-gə-ˌrat\

Definition of ZIGGURAT

:  an ancient Mesopotamian temple tower consisting of a lofty pyramidal structure built in successive stages with outside staircases and a shrine at the top; also :  a structure or object of similar form

Illustration of ZIGGURAT

Origin of ZIGGURAT

Akkadian ziqqurratu
First Known Use: 1877

Other Archaeology Terms

Attic, Byzantine, Paleolithic, cairn, core, flint, horizon, neolithic, shard, stratum


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Pyramidal, stepped temple tower characteristic of the major cities of Mesopotamia between 2200 and 500 BC. It was built with a core of mud brick and an exterior covered with baked brick. It had no internal chambers and was usually square or rectangular. Some 25 ziggurats are known, located in Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria. The best-preserved ziggurat is at Ur, and the largest is at Elam. The legendary Tower of Babel has been associated with the ziggurat of the great temple of Marduk in Babylon.


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