Model of the ziggurat of Choga Zanbil. In the center of the ancient Elamite city of Dur-Untaš stood the ziggurat, a type of monument that was. Choghā Zanbīl, also spelled Tchoghā Zanbīl or Choga Zambil, ruined palace and temple complex of the ancient Elamite city of Dur Untashi (Dur Untash), near. A. Sutherland – – The Chogha Zanbil, meaning “basket mound ” is the oldest existing ziggurat in the Near East. Located in.

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The complex consists of a magnificent ziggurat the largest structure of its kind in Irantemples, and three palaces.

Built about bce under the direction of the Elamite ruler Untash-Gal during the Middle Elamite period c. Its irregularly shaped outer wall extends approximately 3, by 2, feet 1, by metres around the inner sanctum and 13 temple buildings, of which only four are well conserved.

The square base of the zigguratfeet metres zannil each side, was built principally of brick and cement. It now stands 80 feet 24 metres high, less than half its estimated original height. Its ornate facade was once covered in glazed blue and green terra-cotta, and its interior was decorated in glass and ivory mosaics. At the apex of the building stood a temple from which Inshushinak was believed to ascend to the heavens every night. Afterward it fell into ruin.

Initial studies were performed by French archaeologists in the late s. From toexcavations were carried out by the archaeologist Roman Ghirshman. Several bull sculptures of Inshushinak were found within the complex, which served the royal families of Elam as a place both of worship and of interment.


In addition, a variety of small artifacts were recovered, zanhil a collection of Middle Elamite cylinder seals. A building on the grounds contains five vaulted underground tombs, within four of which are cremated remains, and there is one uncremated corpse.

Tchogha Zanbil – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

The Elamites traditionally buried their dead, and the reason for the cremation is unknown. Heavy rainfalls have a harmful effect on the mud-brick outer walls and temples of the complex, despite the application of protective coverings. In the mids, it was noted that the brick walls of the ziggurat had shifted slightly, raising concerns about future cjogha damage.

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Chogha Zanbil: an Unfinished Elamite Site with a Unique Ziggurat

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The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: It was built by King Untash-Gal c. Its central feature is a remarkably…. Four prominent geographic names within Elam dhogha mentioned in ancient sources: Awan, Anshan, Simash, and Susa. Susacapital of Elam Susiana and administrative capital of the Achaemenian king Darius I and his successors from bce. Znbil is notable for its oil resources.


Early Iranian period ziggurat In ziggurat. Help us improve this article!

Choga Zanbil – Ziggurat – Livius

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Chogha Zanbil

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