From about 3000 BC to 640 BC the kingdom of Elam existed in the west of today's Iran.
The Elamite king Utah-Napirisha (1275-1240 B.C.) founded the city of Chogha Zanbil 40 km southeast of Susa and made it his residence city.
The city was about 100 ha large and surrounded by a wall.
In the middle there was a walled temple district, the core of which is a zikkurat which is still 25 m high today (originally probably around 50 m high). It is one of the best preserved temple towers from that time.
It consisted of a high temple on four terraces and was dedicated to Napirisha and Inshushinak.
Countless of the bricks bear inscriptions in Elamite cuneiform script. Nevertheless, it is assumed that the temple was originally clad with glazed bricks.
The site was discovered in 1935 from a plane by geologists searching for oil in the area.
Today the ruins of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.