ziggurat (zikkurat, ziqqurat) (pinnacle) Mesopotamian stepped pyramid usually built of brick and forming part of any temple complex. Because Babylonians believed that the gods lived on mountains, they designed the ziggurat in imitation of a natural mountain. The great ziggurat at Babylon was called Etemenaki (the house of the foundation of heaven and earth), and the ziggurat at Nippur was called house of oracle. The Tower of Babel in the Bible (Gen. 11:1–9), as well as Jacob’s dream (Gen. 28:11– 19), probably stem from the ziggurat; it was the link between heaven and earth, as the tower and Jacob’s ladder were in the Hebrew legends.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante
Since the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and others all shared essentially the same pantheon and belief systems, these articles are all combined under the Mesopotamian mythology / deities / legendary creatures category.