Ziggurat is an ancient Akkadian word used in Mesopotamia and Elam for a large, multi-layered temple. The Chogha Zanbil ziggurat was built in a square design with each side of the base approximately 105m long. It was built both with baked and mud bricks and was dedicated to the Elamite god Inshushinak.
The ziggurat lies in a larger archaeological site, known in antiquity as "Dur Untash". It was built in the 13th century BC by the Elamite king Untash Napirisha. The site consisted of three circular walls which encircled the Chogha Zanbil ziggurat. In addition to the ziggurat, several smaller temples were located on the site. The site was destroyed in 640 BC by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal and was subsequently forgotten. It was rediscovered in the 20th century, with excavations taking place between 1951 and 1971 under the leadership of Roman Ghirshman. Chogha Zanbil has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. To access Chogha Zanbil it is necessary to arrange to charter a taxi or minibus because the site is not accessible with public transportation.
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