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Iraq

The Great Ziggurat of Ur stands after 4,000 years. Construction on the ziggurat was completed in the 21st century B.C. in the ancient Sumerian city of Ur near present-day Nasiriyah on the Euphrates River, about 370 km (225 mi) southeast of Baghdad. The ziggurat was part of a temple complex that served as an administrative center for the city, and that was also a shrine of the moon god Nanna, the patron deity of Ur. The site was extensively excavated between 1922 to 1934. Part of the facade of the lower stage and the ceremonial stairway were reconstructed by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Photo courtesy of the US Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Christopher Marasky.