Budge, E. A. Wallis By Nile and Tigris (v. 1)

(London :  J. Murray,  1920.)



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  Page 299  

The Tower of Babel.                        299

At the north-eastern corner of the " Principal Citadel"
of the Kasr lay the great basalt lion which has already
been mentioned. The lion stands in the act of trampling
on a man who lies beneath him, with his right hand on
the flank of the beast and his left hand on the beast's
muzzle. Close by the lion, but deeper down, was found
the stele of Shamash-rish-usur, and to the east of the
lion a Hittite stele.^

Continuing our way southwards we come to a large
plain which, because of its comparatively flat appearance^
the Arabs have called '' Sahn," i.e., " dish," or '' flat
tray," and by implication '' plateau," which represents
the peribolos of the ziggurat E-Temen-An-Ki, i.e., '* The
House of the Foundation Stone of Heaven and Earth,'*
or the great Tower of Babel. This Tower stood in a walled
area, which was almost square, and all the buildings in it
were of crude brick ; the core of the Tower was enclosed
in a solid casing of burnt brick, and the Tower was
approached by a stairway from the south. In the wall
of the area were two doors and ten gateways, and adjoin¬
ing it on the inside were (i) Houses for the priests, (2)
lodgings for pilgrims, (3) store-houses. That this walled
area and the Tower, and the other buildings inside it,
represent the sanctuary of Zeus Belus described by
Herodotus, all scholars are agreed, but Dr. Koldewey
cannot make the measurements of the historian fit the
ruins which he has excavated. Moreover, he finds it
difiicult to accept the statement of Herodotus (I, 181}
that " in the middle of the precinct there was a tower
of solid masonry ... upon which was raised a second
tower, and on that a third, and so on up to eight," and
he sees in his words nothing to justify the belief that each
of the eight towers was smaller than the one below
it. He desires to accept the general conception of
stepped towers, but knows no safe ground for such a
conception. The only remedy he can see for this
diificulty   is to  excavate   the  best  preserved ziggurat

^ Described by Koldewey, Die Hettitische Inschrift der Konigsburg,
Leipzig, 1900.
  Page 299