Choqazanbil ziggurat is located in the South-West of Iran, Khoozestan province, 20 Km away from Haft-Tappeh, about 40 Km away in the South-East of Susa, 120 Km away from Ahwaz, 2 Km away from the West of Dez River. The access to it is through Susa to Ahwaz road. The temple was built 1250 B.C. in Ilamian dynasty and it was internationally registered in the UNESCO in 1979.


 Ziggurat is an Akadi word which means a stair-pyramid temple and it is built like a ladder to the sky. This area is the most important and the most beautiful monument, remained from Ilami dynasty as the symbol of the culture and civilization that has been very important because of the art, architecture and beliefs in its own time. The first time that the name of Ilami was seen in the 26th century B.C. in a Soumeri king called Enmen-Bergzi. So we can guess that the the start of Ilami dynasty is back to about 3000 B.C. We also know Susa has been the capital city of Ilam, Consisted of Evan, Shimashki, Enshan and Shoushan territories which includes the present Khoozestan province.

Choqazanbil was built inside the city of Dorontash, by Ontash-Gal, the Ilami king, the sun of Homban-Nomna king, the king of Susa and Enshan in the 13th century B.C. and it was donated into two Ilami great Gods, called Inshoshinaak (the Susa guard) and Pirisha, that the temples has been placed on top of the monument. He also made some temples for other Gods too. The Ziggurat area was surrounded by a wall.

 The dimension of the temple is 105 to 105 m and the height was 52 m consisted of 5 flours. Each of the flours was built from the ground level which is different from Mesopotamian samples. Just 25 m and two and a half flours are remained now. Outside the area there were some temples for other Ilami Gods that each one of them has been surrounded by a separate wall.

Out of the second wall, at the end of the Eastern angle and next to the king’s gate, there were 3 palaces and the king’s family cemetery. Except these two walls, there has been another thick wall, about 4Km long that the city has been surrounded by that. In the North-West side of the wall, there has been a water reservoir that transfers the water from outside into the city trough the canal.

Brick and mud-brick are the major materials of the city but ceramic has been used in the monuments too. Over 5000 epigraph bricks that are written in Ilami, Akadi and Soumeri cuneiform script, cover the monument; they describe the name and relations of the king and the purpose of the monument. Thousands of unused bricks around, describes that the area has been damaged unfinished by the Ashour king, Ashour-Banipal attack in 640 B.C.

“Choqazanbil” is the archeological name of the monument. “Choqa” as a local Lori name means the hill that refers to the location of the temple and “Zanbil” that means the basket describing its shape which is like an upside down basket. Archeologists call it “Dor-Ontash” means “Ontash-Fort”. Ontash-Gaal was the Ilami king who ordered this religious city to be built.

Choqazanbil temple is over 3000 years old and is one of the oldest monuments in Iran, describing the ancient civilization of this territory and it has been one of the main domestic and incoming tourist’s targets.


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