The greatest ancient Chogha Zanbil ziggurat

Ancient Temple in the heart of Susa, Iran tourist attractions

Chogha zanbil ziggurat in the heart of ancient Susa city is one of the most impressive & masterpieces of the second millennium B.C located in west of Iran, in Khuzaestan province. Chogha zanbil is the only remnant of an ancient city that was constructed approximately in 1300 BC close to Mesopotamia. This only 5-atory ziggurat of Iran is considered as the best preserved example of an ancient construction in the world which was became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

 The Ziggurat of Choga Zanbil

Name of Chogha Zanbil

The ziggurat is arguably the most distinct architectural feature of the Mesopotamian civilization. One of the ziggurats is located in Chogha Zanbil (meaning ‘basket mound’), near Susa in the Khuzestan province of modern day Iran. Chogha Zanbil is an ancient temple belonging to Elam civilization that ruled 3500 BC. 

History of Chogha Zanbil

This pre Islamic temple is also known as TChogha Zanbil or Zambil in the world. This holy place was constructed by the king of Elamite civilization, "King Untash" in 13th BC, a city with the same name; Dur Untash which means "town of Untash". 
The ancient inhabitants of Iran attached great religious importance to mountains, where they had no mountains, they made their own. It was a temple that they dedicated to the Elamite foremost gods; they desiccated it to Inshushinak, to the Sumerian god!

 Choqazanbil Ziggurat

This city which was at the vicinity of 2 km from Dez River belongs to the new Elamite Civilization that is considered as the glorious period of Elamites(Elam). Due to the opponent with other Mesopotamian civilization, finally this city and Elamite civilization were destroyed by Ashurbanipal attack at 645 B.C. since the invasion of Assyrians, city was conquered, looted and ended the supremecy of Elamites in this region. Chogha Zanbil was buried for many years until the Pahlavi era when it was excavated by Roman Grishman. 

Architecture of Tchogha Zanbil Ziggurat

Chogha zanbil was a 5 story building in the form of Ziggurat accompanying with annex buildings. The main building materials in Chogha Zanbil were mud bricks and occasionally baked bricks. With three protected inner walls, we can understand the how big was the 'town’. The inner building which was dedicated to main god, placed in the center in a square layout which was available with a vaulted staircase, invisible from outside. This is a distinct feature to Mesopotamian ziggurat that contained three external staircases. In the past, temple reached to a height of 60 m long and was on 5 floors however after downfall of Elamite and destruction in 640 BC, today’s height is no more than 25 m high and only 2 floors and half of it has remained. The area of the construction base is a square 105 meters at 105 meters.

 Chogha Zanbil Ziqqurat  Choghazanbil Temple

Among the brick walls of temple, similar inscriptions designating the name of the king in the Cuneiform script revealed what was the reason of construction of this Temple. Here comes the translation of it:

"I Untash Gal, I carved golden bricks. I am here to set up home for the gods Gal and I have dedicated this sacred place. May my work which is a gift to the Gods Gal and Inshushinak be accepted."

The water purification system of Chogha Zanbil was to provide drinking water for citizens which are obviously accounted as one of the most ancient water supply systems.

 Choqa zanbil Temple

The best time to visit?

To travel to Khuzestan Province, winter is the best time for you. In winter, the heat is low and comfortable for sightseeing. From early November to middle of March can be the best time to travel.