Photos of before and after the excavation and restoration of the Great Ziggurat of Ur in Iraq. It was built approximately 4,100 years ago by King Ur-Nammu of the Neo-Sumerian Empire.

Another well-known ziggurat is the one in Ur, modern-day Tell Muqayyar, also in Iraq. This one was built by the Neo-Sumerians. The Sumerians, the first group of people to dominate the Mesopotamia region were defeated by the Akkadians. Later Sumerians reemerged as the dominant group in the region and historians named them Neo-Sumerians. The ziggurat they built is relatively very well-preserved and is the largest construction in Mesopotamia.

Built around a millennium later, the ziggurat is much larger than the white temple (discussed in the previous post). This ziggurat was built using baked bricks and the stairways that would have led up to the temple have numerous flights of stairs. It has been said that worshippers had to climb up those flights of stairs in order to show their dedication, devotion, and loyalty to the god they were worshipping (there is still debate as to whom the temple is dedicated). Unfortunately, like the white temple, the temple itself no longer remains.

I think this particular ziggurat is even more impressive than the last one. The design is more complex and detailed and I think the layout of the three ramp-like stairways are a nice touch. I would like to climb those stairs myself to see how physically demanding it would be! It’s a shame that the complete structure no longer remains, but I am grateful just to get just a glimpse of the grandeur of these works of architecture.