Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Benjamin W. Porter
A common feature in ancient Mesopotamian cities, a ziggurat was a square or rectilinear terraced platform with a temple at its summit. A stairway or ramp led from the ziggurat's base to the temple, the residence of the city's patron deity. Ziggurats vary in form and style; some of the largest and best-understood ziggurats have been excavated at Aššur, Babylon, Eridu, Nippur, Ur, and Uruk in modern Iraq. Genesis 11: 1–9 figuratively describes the construction of the Tower of Babel, widely believed to be the ziggurat of Babylon, called ...