Some interesting facts about ziggurats include that experts believe a ziggurat honored the main god of a city. Babylon was likely home to the largest ziggurat. Sumerians became the first to build ziggurats, but other civilizations later adopted the practice, including the Akkadians, Babylonians and AssyriansContinue Reading
The base of most ziggurats consisted of a square shape with two to seven levels or sets of steps. The higher up the level or set of steps, the more narrow the structure became. The ziggurat once located in Babylon, the largest with recorded dimensions, had a base measuring 300 by 300 feet and rose 300 feet into the air.
Each city worshipped a different god as its main god. A city's ziggurat symbolized that god and offered a place of worship. A temple dedicated to the god sat at the top of the structure. In these temples, priests and holy men performed rituals and sacrifices. The people of these ancient civilizations believed these ziggurats provided a place closer to god than any other place in the world.
Etemenanki, meaning the "foundation of heaven and earth,” was the name of the ziggurat in Babylon. The lack of access to the top helped the priests practice their rituals in private. During the flooding season, the ziggurat offered protection to the people in the city.
Some Egyptian, Mayan and Aztec pyramids also feature a stepped design, making them appear similar to ziggurats.Learn more about Mesopotamia