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
Did You Know?
French professor of archaeology Francois Lenormant spent a great deal of time poring over ancient Assyrian texts. In those cuneiform inscriptions, he recognized a new language, now known as Akkadian, which proved valuable to the understanding of a civilization that goes back 5,000 years. Through his studies, he became familiar with the Akkadian word for the towering Assyrian temples: "ziqqurratu." In 1877 he came out with Chaldean Magic, a scholarly exposition on the mythology of the Chaldeans, a people who lived 2700 years ago in what is now modern-day Iraq. In his work, which was immediately translated into English, he introduced the word ziggurat to the modern world in his description of the ziggurat of the palace of Khorsabad.
Origin and Etymology of ziggurat
First Known Use: 1877
Learn More about ziggurat
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ziggurat
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ziggurat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).