Ziggurats were a form of temple common to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians of ancient Mesopotamia.The earliest examples of the ziggurat date from the end of the third millennium BC..... The number of tiers ranged from two to seven, with a shrine or temple at the summit. Access to the shrine was provided by a series of ramps on one side of the ziggurat or by a spiral ramp from base to summit.... Only priests were permitted inside the ziggurat. As a result the priests were very powerful members of Sumerian society.... The Sialk, in Kashan, Iran, is the oldest known zigurrat. .... The ziggurat may have been built as a bridge between heaven and earth built on seven levels.
Joseph Campbell in his Masks of God books says that there is archaelogical evidence supporting a direct link between Mesopotamian ziggurats and the pyramids of Egypt. Campbell also states that from Egypt, the Mesopotamian culture was passed on almost simultaneously on two separate fronts to Crete and India. From India it reached China and from there it crossed the ocean to the pre-columbian societies of Central and South America, which could explain the similarities between ziggurats and Mayan pyramids.
.A ziggurat is a colossal stepped platform that supported a temple at the top. In 4000 B.C., temples were built on top of mud-brick platforms. As the years passed and new temples were built, the remains of preceding temples were used to expand the platforms under new temples. Excavation of the ziggurat at Ur took place under the direction of a British archaeologist named C. Leonard Woolley in 1923. Using information he recovered from ancient cuneiform texts, which carried descriptions of ziggurats, and after further excavations that led to the discovery of other parts of the temple complex, he envisaged what the original building looked like. What he envisaged was used by the Iraqi Department of Antiquities to reconstruct and restore the lower levels of the ziggurat.The core of the ziggurat at Ur was constructed using mud bricks which were then covered with baked bricks. The mud bricks were made out of mud and reed; the reed was pressed into moulds that had been left to dry in the sun. Each brick measured around 25 x 16 x 7 centimeters and weighed around 4.5 kilograms.
The first stage of the ziggurat was built using 7,000,000 mud bricks. On top of every sixth layer of bricks, reed matting was placed in a criss-cross manner. Sandy soil was also placed with the layer of reeds. This design was used to solve the problems caused by the dumping of silt from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers during each flood season. This manner of construction prevented the whole structure from drooping sideways when it became wet. The baked bricks, which measured about 30 x 30 x 7 cm and weighed up to 15 kg, were made out of clay pressed into moulds. The bricks were left to dry and were then baked in a mud oven using dry twigs which were set on fire. This made the bricks water resistant. In the first stage of the ziggurat around 720,000 baked bricks were used. Bitumen was used extensively by the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia for every type of adhesive-construction need, including the waterproofing of boats and mortar for buildings (e.g., "slime" for mortar; Gen. 11:3). The center of bitumen production in Mesopotamia is at Hit in Iraq.
Moon God worship was widespread and common during the time of Abraham. God asked Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees in Babylon, where the Moon god was worshipped and migrate to Canaan and worship Jehovah.
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