(redirected from Ziggurats)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Ziggurats: Mesopotamia


A temple tower of ancient Mesopotamia, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories.

[Akkadian ziqqurratu, temple tower, from zaqāru, to build high; see zqr in Semitic roots.]


(ˈzɪɡʊˌræt) ,




(Archaeology) a type of rectangular temple tower or tiered mound erected by the Sumerians, Akkadians, and Babylonians in Mesopotamia. The tower of Babel is thought to be one of these
[C19: from Assyrian ziqqurati summit, height]


(ˈzɪg ʊˌræt)

also zik•ku•rat


a brick temple tower built by the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, consisting of a number of successively receding stories giving the appearance of a series of terraces.
[1875–80; < Akkadian ziqquratu]


- A tower in the form of a terraced pyramid.
See also related terms for tower.


An ancient Assyrian or Babylonian temple in the form of a pyramid with terraced sides tapering toward the top.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ziggurat - a rectangular tiered temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babyloniansziggurat - a rectangular tiered temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians
temple - an edifice devoted to special or exalted purposes


[ˈzɪgʊræt] Nzigurat m


nZikkur(r)at f
References in periodicals archive ?
Twin Cities of Sin" said the catch line on a somewhat lurid depiction of the action complete with collapsing ziggurats.
2008) has recently disputed the claim that the Gudea cylinder is describing a ziggurat, and in any case, early ziggurats such as that of Ur-Nammu had three stages rather than seven (corresponding to the original three heavens).
In this book on ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian mathematics, Rudman (physics, Technion Institute, Haifa, emeritus)explores the ways in which ancient mathematicians worked out mathematical solutions to practical problems, like building pyramids and ziggurats, or tracing the square root of two apparently just for fun.
Tchogha Zanbil is one of the few standing ziggurats remaining outside Mesopotamia.
The Aztecs, who once had an empire in Central America, chose their king for a period of seven years at the end of which they would dress him in the best of his regal fineries, throw a huge feast in his honour, and then march him up one of those Mexican ziggurats and throw him down to his death.
All humans set sail on a luxury cruise aboard a colossal spaceship, leaving Earth temporarily to a race of trash-compactor automatons ("Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class") programmed to build towering ziggurats out of cubes of compressed junk.
They built massive multi-storied ziggurats and constructed canal systems to irrigate their land and control floods.
There came a time in many past societies when prodigious amounts of labour were directed into great tasks of construction, and few parts of the world are without mounds, pyramids, ziggurats or other substantial earthworks of some kind.
The Manhattan skyline is an ever evolving panorama reflective of various architectural theories and cultural preoccupations of the past century including beaux art beauties, art deco ziggurats and abstract glass towers.
These seven-and eight-story structures, called ziggurats, were constructed with baked mud-bricks and dominated the skyline.
Traces the construction of massive projects, from Sumerian Ziggurats to Brasilia.