The White Temple

The White Temple

Date ca. 3500-3000 BCE

Movement Ancient Near Eastern, Sumerian


Like most Sumerian ziggurats, the White Temple was likely meant to symbolize a mountain, which were thought to be sacred and of great importance to the Sumerians’ survival. Another common feature of these structures that the White Temple shares is a round-about staircase leading to the entrance, as opposed to a straight and linear path that were popular amongst other cultures at the time. The white-washed temple itself was composed of a cella, containing a raised altar (most likely to the sky-god Anu) and smaller, surrounding rooms, offering a blueprint of sorts for temples to come.