(In ancient Mesopotamia) a rectangular stepped tower, sometimes surmounted by a temple. Ziggurats are first attested in the late 3rd millennium bc and probably inspired the biblical story of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9).
- Stepped pyramids known as ziggurats survive from the 3rd millennium BC in Mesopotamia.
- The Mesopotamians built massive temples or ziggurats which housed the priestly class, the human representatives of the gods.
- The Tower of Babel, the great ziggurat beside Babylon's temple of Marduk, dates to this era.
From Akkadian ziqqurratu.
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