Babylon - The Ziggurat of Etemanki 01
Type of Spiritual Experience
Etemenanki ("temple of the foundation of heaven and earth") was the name of a ziggurat dedicated to Marduk in the city of Babylon of the 6th century BCE Neo-Babylonian dynasty. Originally 91 meters in height, little remains of it now except ruins.
It is unclear exactly when Etemenanki was first built. A review article by Andrew R. George says that its builder may have "reigned in the fourteenth, twelfth, eleventh or ninth century [BC]" but argues that “The reference to a ziqqurrat at Babylon in the Creation Epic (Enûma Eliš· VI 63: George 1992: 301-2) is more solid evidence, however, for a Middle Assyrian piece of this poem survives to prove the long-held theory that it existed already in the second millennium BC. There is no reason to doubt that this ziqqurrat, described as ziqqurrat apsî elite, ‘the upper ziqqurrat of the Apsû’, was E-temenanki.”
The city of Babylon had been destroyed in 689 BCE by Sennacherib, who claims to have destroyed the Etemenanki. The city was restored by Nabopolassar and his son Nebuchadnezzar II. It took 88 years to rebuild the city; its central feature was the temple of Marduk (Esagila), with which the Etemenanki ziggurat was associated. The ziggurat was rebuilt by Nebuchadnezzar II. The seven stories of the ziggurat reached a height of 91 meters, according to a tablet from Uruk, and contained a temple shrine at the top.
A description of the experience
The tower, the eternal house, which I founded and built. I have completed its magnificence with silver, gold, other metals, stone, enameled bricks, fir and pine. The first which is the house of the earth’s base, the most ancient monument of Babylon; I built and finished it. I have highly exalted its head with bricks covered with copper. We say for the other, that is, this edifice, the house of the seven lights of the earth the most ancient monument of Borsippa. A former king built it, (they reckon 42 ages) but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words. Since that time the earthquake and the thunder had dispersed the sun-dried clay. The bricks of the casing had been split, and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps. Merodach, the great god, excited my mind to repair this building. I did not change the site nor did I take away the foundation. In a fortunate month, in an auspicious day, I undertook to build porticoes around the crude brick masses, and the casing of burnt bricks. I adapted the circuits, I put the inscription of my name in the Kitir of the portico. I set my hand to finish it. And to exalt its head. As it had been done in ancient days, so I exalted its summit.
The source of the experienceMesopotamian system
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsLevels and layers
Science ItemsSacred geography
Sacred geography - enclosures and camps
Sacred geography - gardens
Sacred geography - ley lines
Sacred geography - palace
Sacred geography - pyramid
Sacred geography - rivers and streams
Sacred geography - water sites
Sacred geography - ziggurat