Ancient offerings to by the people to the gods.

Ancient Mesopotamian civilisations during the Neo Sumerian period (2150 – 2000 BC) employed Babylonian architecture to aid the construction of ziggurats. For instance, the ziggurat in the northwest corner of Ur (c.2350) located near the mouth of Euphrates is a temple constructed purposefully for the worship of Nannar, the god of moon. The Ur ziggurat was a house dedicated to him and his wife as offerings to by the people to the gods. Ziggurats such as the one at Ur, sit within the middle of the large complex emphasising its importance in the overall design. Ziggurats were often enclosed within fortified structures consisting of raised thick walls with great stairs descending down to the base from the top. The form around the ziggurats best resembles a holy pyramid with a flat roof consisting multiple tiers (no columns) and rectangular landings building upwards. This complex was capable of holding great temples, palaces, dwellings and a concentration of tightly packed houses, all raised on a great rectangular platform. This form had a solid core of sun-dried brick that was used as the main material to construct the structure. These bricks were often covered with a skin of burnt brickwork (8ft thick) laid in bitumen and with layers of matting at intervals to improve cohesion. On the other hand, a Stupa’s size and shape differs from a ziggurat, as it was typically rounded and crowned with a domed roof. A Stupa is known to be an old Buddhist religious monument primarily used as a destination for sacred relics and place of burial for other Buddha’s. For example, 84,000 Stupas were built in Northern India during the reign of King Ashoka (272-231BC) who disseminated the remains across them. The Great Stupa itself (built in the 1st Century BC at Sanchi) heavily differs form the ziggurats not only in its circular hemispherical shape but also its simplistic form of the interior chamber and exterior features. Furthermore, they both feature enclosed brick stoned walls to separate the sacred space from the outside world however in my opinion the stupa takes the appearance of being less grand than the ziggurat. It can be said, both structures are powerful expressions of each cultures religious beliefs and symbolised as relic shrines by the civilisation. Ultimately, they share the same functions through acting as sacred spaces whether it be as commemorations for the dead or symbols of deity.