The Ancient City of Babylon

Authors

  • S. Mahan S. Mahan University of Al QadeseyhaFaculty of Archaeology
  • Ghassan Muslim Hamza University of Al QadeseyhaFaculty of Archaeology

Abstract

       Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC) was a great city. It had been a large city since Old Babylonian times, but Nebuchadnezzar’s expansion of the city and large-scale rebuilding of important buildings with good baked brick instead of the traditional unbaked mudbrick created something exceptional. Babylon now was larger than Nineveh had been and larger than any of the cities in the known world. The political and economic base for this development was of course that it was the centre of the Neo-Babylonian empire created by Nebuchadnezzar’s father Nabopolassar (625–605 BC) and succeeding the Neo Assyrian empire as the main political entity in the Middle East.

        An attempt for the first time to bring together the main results of the German excavations in Babylon with the main results from the Iraqi excavations there and thereby make use of the available cuneiform documentation and a selected use of the best of the classical tradition. With the help of a GIS software (QGIS) and a BIM program (ArchiCAD) the use of satellite images and aerial photos combined with inspection on the site, the historical development of the site has been studied and a digital research model of Babylon for different periods of the city’s history has been created.

 

       Only main buildings and constructions have been considered and placed in the appropriate historical and archaeological context. Part 1 includes some information about the historical development of buildings and nature in Babylon, the rivers and groundwater in Baybylon, as well as basics about the building materials used in Babylon. Part 2 discuss the city walls and city gates, introductory matters about the history, excavation and other documentations of the walls and gates. The chapter also includes presentation of the walls and gates during Nabopolassar followed by a detailed discussion of the walls and gates during Nebuchadnezzar. The Ištar gate and the area around it with the different levels and the upper level glazed decoration have been treated separately. Detailed interpretations about the palaces, development of the main traditional South Palace and the new constructed North are discussed in part 3. Reasonable suggestions for the Hanging Gardens in the North Palace have be provided.

 

       The temples are discussed in part 4 detailing the Marduk temple and the zikkurrat. The historical development of the four temples reconstructed on the site in Babylon on their old foundations, i.e. Nabû, Ištar, Ašratum, and Ninmaḫ temples, is discussed with indication which levels have been used for the reconstructions. The historical development of the other excavated temples, i.e. the Ninurta and Išḫara temples, are discussed in a similar way. Attention will be paid to the remains of wall decorations in the temples.

 

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Published

2020-08-29

How to Cite

S. Mahan, M., & Muslim Hamza, G. . (2020). The Ancient City of Babylon. Journal of Education College Wasit University, 2(40), 617-656. Retrieved from https://eduj.uowasit.edu.iq/index.php/eduj/article/view/1631