“Ziggurat: (Akkadian, ziqqurratu = mountaintop or height) A temple built in the form of a rectangle-based pyramid and made of mud brick tapering in stages toward the top. The ziggurat originated with the Sumerians; the Assyrians and Babylonians later followed their example. Well-known ziggurats include those of Ur and Babylon, located in what is now southern Iraq.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.