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The Ziggurat is a unique tile improvement of the Sumerian civilization in Civilization VI. It is available without any technological research.


As a rule of thumb, early Science Science and Culture Culture are immensely valuable, and the Ziggurat provides both yields right from the beginning of the game without any technological requirement. Since Sumeria almost certainly will devote all of its Production Production in War-Carts in the Ancient Era, the main purpose of the Ziggurat is to keep Sumeria from falling behind in research. As expected, it is very impactful in the Ancient Era, much less so in the Classical Era, and becomes more and more trivial as the game progresses. The Ziggurat has almost no potential of scaling, beside one extra point of Culture Culture with Natural History, which is too late to matter. It runs into the same problem as the Kurgan, another improvement with almost no placement restriction but provides no Housing Housing, Food Food, and Production Production: placing down too few and its effect will be negligible, but too many Ziggurats will stunt the growth and productivity of their parent cities. Finding the sweet spot of balance for this improvement is another conundrum, as it is available at the same time as your strong but expensive unique unit, both of which need to be immediately put into work, otherwise, your civilization will progress as if they were a vanilla civilization without any meaningful bonus. To make a problem harder, the point of availability is right from the beginning of the game, when you have no infrastructure to support the training of War-Carts, Builders, Settlers and building District Districts at the same time.

The easiest way to use the Ziggurat is to build one next to a river whenever you train or capture a Builder in the Ancient Era. Using 1 out 3 Build charges (Civ6) build charge is recommended because it is not too overboard, andScience Science and Culture Culture at this point are crucial to keep you competitive during your early conquest. After the Ancient Era, you should capitalize on the vast empire the War-Cart is able to secure and try to generateScience Science and Culture Culture efficiently from District Districts and not waste too much space on Ziggurats. Also, since riverside tiles are ideal sites for a lot of District Districts, feel free to replace Ziggurats with high adjacency District Districts later.

You can add a bit more mileage to this improvement by trying to obtain as many percentage based modifiers as you can. The most significant and obvious source is from Pingala, who provides 15% extra Science Science and Culture Culture to his host city, a bonus that goes very well with the early availability of the Ziggurat. Later in the game, other more powerful modifiers such as Kilwa Kisiwani, Oxford University, Broadway, etc. also become available, but of course, at this point, the yields from the Ziggurat are almost negligible, so these wonders are only meaningful if you have a vast empire with good District District placement. In summary, just like the rest of the Sumerian toolkit, the sole purpose of the Ziggurat is to lay a sound foundation upon which you can build your empire, it is not the kind of improvements that have long lasting effects that you can rely on after Classical Era.

Civilopedia entry[]

When the Egyptians were building pyramids along the Nile, the Akkadians, Sumerians, Elamites, Babylonians and Assyrians were building ziggurats all over Mesopotamia. These were terraced pyramids, sometimes truncated so a temple could be placed on top. The earliest date from the Early Dynastic Period, roughly 2900 to 2400 BC, and the newest found date to c. 600 BC. Sun-baked bricks made up the center, and were faced with fire-glazed bricks that were more durable. Unlike the Egyptian pyramids, the ziggurats were generally solid, with shrines and temples on the summit, occasionally more than one (since one didn’t want to offend any god). Sadly none of the shrines or temples have survived – thanks to war, earthquakes and religious fervor – although the great piles of brick have. There were a number of “great” ziggurats, including the one in Babylon dedicated to the god Marduk which may have inspired the fable of the Tower of Babel.


Civilization VI Improvements [edit]
Standard AirstripCampFarmFishing BoatsFortGeothermal Plant GS-OnlyLumber MillMineMissile SiloMountain Tunnel GS-OnlyNational ParkOffshore Oil RigOffshore Wind Farm GS-OnlyOil WellPasturePlantationQuarryRailroad GS-OnlySeaside ResortSeastead GS-OnlySki Resort GS-OnlySolar Farm GS-OnlyWind Farm GS-Only
Unique ChâteauChemamull R&F-OnlyFeitoria1Golf Course R&F-OnlyGreat WallHacienda1Ice Hockey Rink GS-OnlyKampung1KurganMekewap R&F-OnlyMissionNubian Pyramid1Open-Air Museum GS-OnlyOutback Station1 GS-OnlyPairidaeza1Polder R&F-OnlyQhapaq Ñan GS-OnlyRock-Hewn Church1Roman FortSphinxStepwellTerrace Farm GS-OnlyZiggurat
City-state Alcázar1Batey1Cahokia Mounds GS-OnlyColossal HeadsMahavihara1Moai GS-OnlyMonastery1Nazca Line GS-OnlyTrading Dome1
Governor R&F-Only City Park R&F-OnlyFishery R&F-Only
Modes only Barricade4Corporation3Industry3Modernized Trap4Reinforced Barricade4Trap4Vampire Castle2
1 Requires DLC2 Secret Societies mode only • 3 Monopolies and Corporations mode only • 4 Zombie Defense mode only

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.