Less than 50 km west of the city of Shushtar, lies the ancient ziggurat of Tchogha Zanbil. This historical magnificence was founded in 1250 B.C. during the Elamite era in ancient Persia. Ziggurats were built for religious purposes. The building was made on an area of more than 22,000 m2 and each floor was built far smaller compared to its subsequent floor, giving it a pyramidal look.
Tchogha Zanbil ziggurat was built for the Elamite king, Untash-Napirisha, and it was used as the religious center of the Elamite kingdom. This ziggurat was dedicated to the Elamite gods, Inshushinak and Napirisha. Only the priest was allowed on the top floor where the temple was located.
The Ziggurat is a mud-brick building, built in a square shape, stretched more than 100 meters on each side and 52 meters high. It was built in five floors but because of the attack by the Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal in 640 B.C., the Ziggurat was destroyed to half its original size and now stands at less than 25 meters in height.
Tchogha Zanbil has baffled archeologists because of its architectural preferences, the palaces, tombs, temples and water reservoirs. This amazing building is what started the Susa and the Elamite era which led to the first ever Persian empire, the Achaemenids.
There are two facts about the Tchogha Zanbil Ziggurat that make it a World Heritage. One is that the remains of this majestic landmark are the mere evidence of the architectural development of that time. Two, to this day, the Tchogha Zanbil Ziggurat remains the largest and best-preserved monument of its kind outside of Mesopotamia.
Visiting this Ziggurat opens our eyes on the great history of the people that came before us. The way they lived, the things they believed in and also how they cared about everyone and everything around them. This beautiful monument is something you must see when visiting Iran.
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