Pyramids vs. Ziggurats

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Difference between Pyramids and Ziggurats

Few sights-or sites for that matter-can compare to the grandeur and majesty of the Ziggurats and the Pyramids. If you are looking to get a feel for the ancient civilizations on your next trip or vacation, few destinations can compare to these two for sheer historical value. Of course determining which one of these two is the "best" is an exercise in futility, as each will have its own merits and drawbacks. It would perhaps be better to point out their key attributes in the interest of helping you make a more informed decision and that is precisely what this comparison aims to do.

Accessibility

The Ziggurats are located approximately 30 kilometers from Shush in Iraq, about 120 kilometers from Ahwaz. Unfortunately, there is no public transportation going to and from the area, and you will have to take a taxi, or sign up for one of the many guided tours to Chogha Zanbil.

Getting to the pyramids without a car is quite a bit easier by comparison, with buses originating from both Midan Tahrir and the Ahmed Helmi bus station. You may also opt to take a taxi from the center of Cairo, or sign up for one of the many guided tours from the city.

Historical Significance

The Ziggurat is a large stone temple located in the center of Ur. The structure bears a striking resemblance to the Aztec temples in Central America, and according to historical accounts, it is located in an area that would have been the religious center of the city during the time of Abraham. It was also the place wherein the movers and shakers of the period convened to discuss important business and financial matters.

The Pyramids on the other hand were constructed during the Old Kingdom period of Egypt's history, and it was one of the results of the political alignment of the Upper and Lower parts of the country, which led to the seating of the first pharaoh.

Nearby Attractions

Both the Ziggurat and the Pyramids are well known tourist destinations by now, and as such, there are quite a few other attractions and conveniences nearby. If you do decide to go to the Ziggurat, you may want to check out the Haft Tappeh museum as well, which features exhibits of objects and curios from around the same era. In addition, there are numerous ruins to check out, many of which contain artifacts from different periods in the country's history.

If you opt to go to the Pyramids, make sure to catch the spectacular sound and light show, which although a bit more modern is still a pretty impressive sight. The are also several smaller pyramids worth exploring, which although not quite as impressive as the main pyramids, should provide enough of an attraction for those who want to get a glimpse of ancient Egyptian culture.

Summary

Ziggurat

  • No public transportation available
  • Numerous guided tours offered
  • Comparatively fewer tourists and crowds
  • Offers a rare glimpse into ancient Iraqi culture
  • A bit off the beaten path as far as tourism goes (which may or may not be an advantage)

Pyramids

  • Comparatively easy to get to from Cairo
  • Several commercial food establishments
  • Not too many toilets around!
  • Has the distinction of being one of the Seven Wonders of the World
Which structure came first?
  • Pyramids
  • Ziggurats
 
 

Discuss It: comments 2

Well i have never been there .I am planning a visit with my family this summer.Thanks for information.

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  • ziggurat wrote on February 2012

Sorry but choga zanbil is in Iran, not Iraq , there are another ziggurat ( i belive Ur Ziggurat) in Iraq,...

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