When I was assigned this piece almost a year ago, I was asked to do it in the style of the Alara world (though the game had since moved on). It's unusual to go "backwards" and do something from an older style guide, but this was to be for some sort of promotional card, so normal rules didn't apply. What I didn't realize until maybe just a month ago was that this was an alternate art card, there having been an original "Ancient Ziggurat" illustrated by the talented John Avon.
Seeing John's much later, it's interesting to think about the similarities and differences. I don't know what John's art description looked like, but had I just received the title and the style guide, I probably would've gone in his exact direction too. After all, both our pieces have a bit of forced perspective in them already. However, I had a few things in my description which may not have been in his. Mainly, each level of the "ziggurat" needed to have carvings reflective of the 5 colors of Magic. Given reproduction size of these cards, it meant that I couldn't back the camera out nearly as far as John's piece--I had to bring it in closer so the symbols would be vaguely visible. Also, my portrayal was supposed to be in ruins, where John's was more a depiction of a building in its prime. So mine has been taken over with plants, soil drippings down the walls, and collapsed archways, rubble gathered at the bottom. And lastly, I couldn't use more extremely forced perspective without making the top levels hard to see.
Obviously, this isn't a true ziggurat, though it is stepped. With Magic, you kinda have to be careful to make most things departures from reality when you can. What are the odds that the denizens of Naya would create ziggurats the same as Mesopotamian cultures? Not likely, so it's worthwhile using the word as an architectural family when interpreting it for fantasy art in a non-Earth realm.
The card is available to those who participate in Friday Night Magic events in the month of March only. The cards are foiled, which makes them look neat-o but washes out the color a bit. The artwork is available, and can be seen in full here. White-backed artist proof cards are typically not produced for special-edition cards, and none exist for this one.