The ziggurat was three levels, and the facing walls are each "painted". The lower level is charcoal black. The next level is reddish orange. The upper level is blue and white. The facing stones themselves are smooth and even, well maintained. The levels are cornered, so that instead of a pyramid-like structure, it was more like a terraced hill, with stairs.
Besides the symbolic significance of the colors, think about this; if you light tallow fires along the second level (one level up), you have room to tend them in trenches. If you are standing on the top level, the whitewashed blue sides reflect the short wavelength light far out. The reddish second level reflects longer wavelengths back, creating an interference pattern in the atmosphere kind of like a modern lens coating in a scope. The flat black lower level reflects nothing back and kills any nearby glare. You can't see the flames if you are on the very top.
Now look at the pictures and notice the horizon. Just think how far such a device could allow a defense force to see at night. And be seen by travellers.
And in the daytime the sun would glare bright from the top, fading to nothing below, making it stand out for miles. And no glare from below, although you have the mirage effect still, but it wasn't desert then, but swamplands and grassy plains.
Some people like to imagine that great works of ancient cultures must have had some kind of alien technology or some kind of supernatural help to succeed; not at all, they were pretty damn good with just plain old rocks. Which is kind of a metaphor for the story of the tower; mankind did it, with no help at all from God. Didn't need it. Said so too. Hehe.
Last edited by Casper; 06-30-2008 at 08:34 AM.