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Ziggurats vs The Pyramids of Egypt

Updated on March 2, 2011
Ziggurat from ancient Sumer
Ziggurat from ancient Sumer
Khufu, the largest of the famous three pyramids in Cairo, Egypt
Khufu, the largest of the famous three pyramids in Cairo, Egypt

Both the ziggurats of Sumer and the pyramids of Egypt were made due to religious customs- although they couldn't have been made more differently or for more different reasons.

Ziggurats were made of mud-bricks and were temples sitting high off of the ground. The pyramids (I'll use Khufu, the largest pyramid, as an example) were made of limestone and were completely massive and long-lasting, versus the short life-span of the mud-brick ziggurat. Both Kufu and a ziggurat were built as high as they could go for the purpose of trying to get to the heavens (for Sumerian ziggurats) or the sun god Amen-Re (for the Egyptian pyramids).

Although both were made for religious purposes, those purposes were quite different. A ziggurat was a temple, made solely for the worship of the Gods and only priests were allowed inside. A pyramid, however, such as Khufu, wasn't made for the Gods at all but for the pharaohs. Khufu is the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh of the same name. His mummy and its riches most likely reside inside and the pyramid was made as his palace in the afterlife. Egyptians did this because in their religion they were obsessed with death and the continuation of life after it.

A ziggurat and a pyramid are different in almost every way- being made differently and used differently, but they both show some of the religious and cultural patterns of their makers, the Sumerians and the Egyptians.


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      moo cow 16 months ago

      This was helpful for us

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      jessie 3 years ago

      this helped me alot

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      moo cow 4 years ago