(CAIS) -- The ziggurat in the ancient Elamite city of
Dur Untash (modern Choghazanbil) in Khuzestan province,
which was built during the reign of Untash-Gal (1275-1240
BC), is significant given that it is the only ziggurat to
have been excavated and identified as being totally
different from those unearthed in Mesopotamia in terms of
Expressing this, a veteran Iranian archeologist, Mohammad
Rahim Sarraf told ISNA that while the idea of constructing
a ziggurat at Dur Untash originated in Mesopotamia, it was
built completely in the Elamite style.
Mesopotamian ziggurats were constructed in the form of
stories built over each other whereas in the Elamite
structures, the foundations of all stories were on the
ground and not over each other while only the fifth story
was over the fourth.
Elaborating on the other differences between them, Sarraf
said that in the Mesopotamian version, there were no
chambers in the lower levels and the edifice had a solid
platform with a sole room over it. The room, he pointed
out, was used to house the statues of the gods.
Choghazanbil ziggurat however had several chambers and two
temples on the first story in addition to a room used for
the same purpose on the fourth floor, he noted.
Turning to the special form of Choghazanbil Ziggurat, the
archeologist further said that initially Untash Gall built
in Choghazanbil a temple with a central courtyard
surrounded by rooms and other temples.
Then several stories were constructed in the yard.
“In Mesopotamian ziggurats, the staircase of the
structure directly lead to the upper floors but in
Choghazanbil ziggurat, the worshipers should spiral round
each story to get to the upper floors,“ he said.
project for the restoration of Choghazanbil ziggurat
played a significant role in saving the monument, he said,
noting that if it had remained in that condition, the
ziggurat would have been destroyed within years.