ziggurat


ziggurat
/zig"oo rat'/, n.
(among the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians) a temple of Sumerian origin in the form of a pyramidal tower, consisting of a number of stories and having about the outside a broad ascent winding round the structure, presenting the appearance of a series of terraces.
Also, zikkurat, zikurat /zik"oo rat'/.
[1875-80; < Akkadian ziqquratu]

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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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tower
 pyramidal, stepped temple tower that is an architectural and religious structure characteristic of the major cities of Mesopotamia (now in Iraq) from approximately 2200 until 500 BC. The ziggurat was always 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, averaging either 170 feet (50 metres) square or 125 × 170 feet (40 × 50 metres) at the base. Approximately 25 ziggurats are known, being equally divided among Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria.

 No ziggurat is preserved to its original height. Ascent was by an exterior triple stairway or by a spiral ramp, but for almost half of the known ziggurats, no means of ascent has been discovered. The sloping sides and terraces were often landscaped with trees and shrubs (hence the Hanging Gardens of Babylon). The best-preserved ziggurat is at Ur (modern Tall al-Muqayyar, Iraq). The largest, at Choghā Zanbīl in Elam (now in southwestern Iran), is 335 feet (102 metres) square and 80 feet (24 metres) high and stands at less than half its estimated original height. A ziggurat, apparently of great antiquity, is located at Tepe Sialk in modern Kāshān, Iran. The legendary Tower of Babel (Babel, Tower of) has been popularly associated with the ziggurat of the great temple of Marduk in Babylon.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ziggurat — ig gu*rat, n. A temple tower of the Babylonians or Assyrians, consisting of a lofty pyramidal structure, built in successive stages, with outside staircases, and a shrine at the top; called also {zikkurat}. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ziggurat — Ziggurat, monumentale tempelbygninger i Mesopotamien. Er fra 3. årtusinde f.Kr …   Danske encyklopædi

  • ziggurat — (n.) 1858, from Assyrian ziqquratu height, pinnacle, from zaqaru to be high …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Ziggurat — Une ziggurat, ou ziggourat, (prononcer /zi.gu.ʁat/), est un édifice religieux mésopotamien à degrés, présent aussi en Élam, constitué de plusieurs terrasses supportant probablement un temple construit à son sommet. Le terme vient de l akkadien… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ziggurat — A ziggurat (Akkadian ziqqurrat , D stem of zaqāru to build on a raised area ) was a temple tower of the ancient Mesopotamian valley and Iran, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories or levels. Some modern buildings… …   Wikipedia

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  • ziggurat —    A pyramid like structure erected in many ancient Mesopotamian cities, usually near a temple or as part of a temple complex, and used for religious ceremonial purposes. The modern term is derived from the Akkadian word ziqqurratu. Although they …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • Ziggurat — Choghazanbil Ziggurat, Iran Ein Zikkurat, Ziqqurrat, Zikkurrat, Ziggurat oder Schiggorat (babylonisch „hoch aufragend, aufgetürmt“; „Himmelshügel“; „Götterberg“; Plural: Zikkurate) ist ein pyramidenartiger Stufentempel in Mesopotamien. Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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