Sample History Paper on Pyramids in Egypt and Ziggurats in Mesopotamia

Sample History Paper on Pyramids in Egypt and Ziggurats in Mesopotamia

Since the beginning of civilization human beings have ventured and thrived in the inventions of many things. But besides all those, nothing was more monumental and lasting than that of extravagant structures, like pyramids and ziggurats. Although they are both large in size, they greatly vary on the inside and the outside. At the same time, both of them have similarities and differences.

The Sumerians circa built the ziggurats of Mesopotamia in the period between 3300-3000 BCE.  The white temple and the Anu Ziggurat are one of the earliest temples to be built. Meanwhile, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt were commissioned by three successive Egyptian Pharaohs in the Fourth Dynasty in between 2575-2450 BCE.

The ziggurats are solid structures with only the temple at the very top of it providing an enclosed structure. There is an assumption that states the Ziggurats were not used for burial but for worship. On the other hand, the pyramids’ shape is solid and they have passages and burial chambers. One significant function of the pyramids is that  they were used as a burial sites and tombs for some of the Egyptians Kings

The architecture and the scales of the structures do not match with each other. The structure of the Ziggurats is big stepped and mostly has a monument or temple at the top part. The Ziggurats have a rectangular base and three platforms and stairs that join on the first platform. On the contrary, the Giza pyramids in Egypt are characterized by huge structures that have a square base and a pyramid shape. At the top there is a perfect meeting point and four sloping sides. In addition, there is also a huge difference in their scales.

Symbolism had a very crucial responsibility in the Egyptian pyramids and Ziggurats. They both shared similar meanings to the people and the message the Kings were trying to send. Ziggurats were used as a place of worship and glorification of a particular god and a way to state publicly a wealth, prestige, and stability of the ruler to his people. They were symbols of “the bridges between the earth and the heavens,” since they were raised high above the ground. In Egypt, the pyramids too were the people’s claims to wealth and prestige.


Work Cited

“2. Egypt and Mesopotamia.” Taming the Unknown,

Apte, Sunita. Mesopotamia. Children’s P, 2010.