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Babylon - The Ziggurat of Etemanki 03



Type of Spiritual Experience


In 331 BCE, Alexander the Great captured Babylon and ordered repairs to the Etemenanki; when he returned to the ancient city in 323 BCE, he noted that no progress had been made, and ordered his army to demolish the entire building, to prepare a final rebuilding. His death, however, prevented the reconstruction. The Babylonian Chronicles and Astronomical Diaries record several attempts to rebuild the Etemenanki, which were always preceded by removing the last debris of the original ziggurat. The Ruin of Esagila Chronicle mentions that the Seleucid crown prince Antiochus I decided to finally rebuild it, sacrificed, stumbled and fell, and angrily ordered his elephant drivers to destroy the last remains. There are no later references to the Etemenanki from antiquity.


A description of the experience

The Marduk ziggurat, or Etemenanki, of ancient Babylon is no longer in existence, yet archaeological findings and historical accounts put this tower at seven multicolored tiers, topped with a temple of exquisite proportions. The temple is thought to have been painted and maintained an indigo color, matching the tops of the tiers. It is known that there were three staircases leading to the temple, two of which (side flanked) were thought to have only ascended half the ziggurat's height.   Etemenanki, the name for the structure, is Sumerian and means "temple of the foundation of heaven and earth".

Alexanders Triumphal Entry into Babylon

The source of the experience

Mesopotamian system

Concepts, symbols and science items

Activities and commonsteps