Representing the ziggurat, or stage-tower, of the principal temple.
The principal buildings discovered at Calah are: - (a) the North-West palace, south of the ziggurat, one of the most complete and perfect Assyrian buildings known, about 350 ft.
Corner of the platform, above the remains of an older similar palace of Shalmaneser; (f) two small temples of Assur-nasir-pal, in connexion with the ziggurat in the N.W.
The city was divided into two parts by a canal, on an island in which stood the temple, E-mach, with a ziggurat, or stage tower.
The shrine at this time stood on a raised platform and apparently contained, as a characteristic feature, an artificial mountain or peak, a so-called ziggurat, the precise shape and size of which we are, however, unable to determine.
High, covering a space of about 8 acres, near the northwestern edge of which, towards the western corner, he built a ziggurat, or stage-tower, of three stages of unburned brick, faced with kiln-burned bricks laid in bitumen.
Access to the stages of the ziggurat, from the court beneath, was had by an inclined plane on the south-east side.
To the north-east of the ziggurat stood, apparently, the House of Bel, and in the courts below the ziggurat stood various other buildings, shrines, treasure chambers and the like.
The temple proper, according to this plan, consisted of an outer and inner court (each covering approximately 8 acres), surrounded by double walls, with ziggurat on the north-western edge of the latter.
After the middle of the 12th century follows another long period of comparative neglect, but with the conquest of Babylonia by the Assyrian Sargon, at the close of the 8th century B.C., we meet again with building inscriptions, and under Assur-bani-pal, about the middle of the 7th century, we find E-kur restored with a splendour greater than ever before, the ziggurat of that period being 190 ft.
Huge walls were erected at the edges of the ancient terrace, the courts of the temple were filled with houses and streets, and the ziggurat itself was curiously built over in a cruciform shape, and converted into an acropolis for the fortress.
250; but under the succeeding rule of the Sassanids it in its turn fell into decay, and the ancient sanctuary became, to a considerable extent, a mere place of sepulture, only a little village of mud huts huddled about the ancient ziggurat continuing to be inhabited.
Larsa is mentioned in Babylonian inscriptions as early as the time of Ur-Gur, 2700 or 2800 B.C., who built or restored the ziggurat (stage-tower) of E-Babbar, the temple or Shamash.
This represents the ancient ziggurat of the temple of Shamash, which was in part explored by Loftus.
Excavations conducted here by Sir Henry Rawlinson in 1854 showed it to be the stage tower or ziggurat, called the "house of the seven divisions of heaven and earth," of E-Zida, the temple of Nebo.
The approach to this ziggurat was toward the north-east, and on this side lay also the principal rooms of the temple of which this was the tower.
In its final form this temple and tower were the work of Nebuchadrezzar, but from the clay cylinders found by Sir Henry Rawlinson in two of the corners of the tower it appears that he restored an incomplete ziggurat of a former king, "which was long since fallen into decay."
Some of the best authorities believe that it was this ambitious but incomplete and ruinous ziggurat, existing before the time of Nebuchadrezzar, which gave occasion to or afforded local attachment for the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel.
In the west corner stood a temple, with a stagetower (ziggurat) adjoining.