What Was a Ziggurat?

The pyramids of Egypt had smooth, sloping sides, but not all pyramids built in ancient times looked like that. Some had sides that looked like a set of stairs, and these were called step pyramids, or ziggurats.

The greatest ziggurat of the Ancient World was in the city of Ur, in Sumeria, which flourished in the Mideast around the year 2100 B.C. This structure was made of sun-baked bricks stacked in seven layers, with each one smaller than the one below it, so that the ziggurat looked like a gigantic wedding cake!

The ziggurat at Ur was about 160 feet high, and covered an area of more than 30,000 square feet. At the very top of the structure were a couch and a table for the moon goddess, Nanna, who was supposed to visit the top of the ziggurat when she came to earth.

Every step in the three front stairways of the ziggurat at Ur bore the name of the Babylonian king!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.