the gate was constructed using glazed brick with alternating rows of
bas-relief mušḫuššu (dragons) and aurochs, symbolizing the gods
Marduk and Adad respectively.
The roof and doors of the gate were of cedar, according to the dedication
plaque. The gate was covered in lapis lazuli, a deep-blue semi-precious
stone that was revered in antiquity due to its vibrancy. These blue glazed
bricks would have given the façade a jewel-like shine.
Through the gate ran the Processional Way, which was lined with
walls showing about 120 lions, bulls, dragons and flowers on enameled
yellow and black glazed bricks, symbolizing the goddess Ishtar. The
gate itself depicted only gods and goddesses; these included Ishtar,
Adad and Marduk
were massive structures built in the ancient Mesopotamian valley and western Iranian plateau,
having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels.
built by the Sumerians, Babylonians, Elamites, Akkadians, and Assyrians
An example of a simple ziggurat is the White Temple of Uru
at the top of each ziggurat was a shrine, although none of these shrines have survived. One
practical function of the ziggurats was a high place on which the priests could escape rising water
that annually inundated lowlands and occasionally flooded for hundreds of miles
Another practical function of the ziggurat was for security. Since the shrine was accessible only by
way of three stairways, a small number of guards could prevent non-priests from spying on the
rituals at the shrine on top of the ziggurat, such as cooking of sacrificial food and burning of
carcasses of sacrificial animals. Each ziggurat was part of a temple complex that included a
courtyard, storage rooms, bathrooms, and living quarters, around which a city was built.
built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, the ziggurat was a pyramidal
structure with a flat top. Sun-baked bricks made up the core of the ziggurat with facings of fired
bricks on the outside. The facings were often glazed in different colors
Kings sometimes had their names engraved on these glazed bricks. The number of tiers ranged from
two to seven.