Ziggurat of Marduk

Please click on any image to see a larger version.


The Marduk ziggurat was set within the vast sacred precinct on the southern end of the town of Babylon, surrounded by the river, a canal, a double wall and a processional way.Its Sumerian name was Etemenanki "The Foundation of Heaven and Earth." It was probably built by Hammurabi. Archaeologists discovered a core consisting of the ruins of previous ziggurats which had been leveled and enlarged several times, before Nebuchadnezzar added a casing of burnt brick 15 m thick. Of this structure only the ground plan and traces of the three stairs leading up to it have been preserved. A tablet giving measurements and the eye-witness account of the Greek historian Herodotus describe it as having had seven stages of different colors with a temple at its top. However, these sources do not solve the many ambiguities of its shape and size.