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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Babylon - Tour of Ancient world

Name:    Babylon
Continent:    MIDDLE-EAST
Alt Name:    Semiramis
Country:    Iraq
Period:    Babylonian Empire
Sub-Region:    -
Date:    3000BC - 2001BC
City/Town:    Al Hillah
Figure:    Nebuchadnezzar
Resorts:    Baghdad,

Babylon (/ˈbæbələn, -ˌlɒn/; Akkadian: Bābili(m);[1] Sumerian logogram: KÁ.DINGIR.RAKI; Hebrew: בָּבֶל, Bavel; Ancient Greek: Βαβυλών Babylṓn; Old Persian: 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 Bābiru; Arabic: بابل‎, Bābil) was a significant city in ancient Mesopotamia, in the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The city was built upon the Euphrates, and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods.
Babylon was originally a small Semitic Akkadian city dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BC. The town attained independence as part of a small city state with the rise of the First Amorite Babylonian Dynasty in 1894 BC. Claiming to be the successor of the more ancient Sumero-Akkadian city of Eridu, Babylon eclipsed Nippur as the "holy city" of Mesopotamia around the time Amorite king Hammurabi created the first short lived Babylonian Empire in the 18th century BC. Babylon grew and South Mesopotamia came to be known as Babylonia.
The empire quickly dissolved after Hammurabi's death and Babylon spent long periods under Assyrian, Kassite and Elamite domination. After being destroyed and then rebuilt by the Assyrians, Babylon became the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 609 to 539 BC. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the city came under the rules of the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, Roman and Sassanid empires.
It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from c. 1770 to 1670 BC, and again between c. 612 and 320 BC. It was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000. Estimates for the maximum extent of its area range from 890[3] to 900 hectares (2,200 acres).
The remains of the city are in present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq, about 85 kilometres (53 mi) south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris.

 A partial view of the ruins of Babylon from Saddam Hussein's Summer Palace

 Map showing the Babylonian territory upon Hammurabi's ascension in 1792 BC and upon his death in 1750 BC

 Old Babylonian Cylinder Seal. hematite. This seal was probably made in a workshop at Sippar (about 40 miles north of Babylon on the map above) either during, or shortly before, the reign of Hammurabi.[12] It depicts the king making an animal offering to the Sun god Shamash.

 Old Babylonian Cylinder Seal. hematite. Linescan camera image of seal above (reversed to resemble an impression).

 Sennacherib of Assyria during his Babylonian war, relief from his palace in Nineveh

 Detail of the Ishtar Gate

 Babylon in 1932

 The Queen of the Night relief. The figure could be an aspect of the goddess Ishtar, Babylonian goddess of sex and love.

 Panoramic view over the reconstructed city of Babylon

 Plan of the city of Babylon during the time of the king Nebuchadnezzar II, 600 BC.

US Marines in front of the rebuilt ruins of Babylon, 2003

Babylon history
The ancient metropolis of Babylon is one of the most famous cities of the ancient world and today can be found near the town of Al-Hillah in modern-day Iraq.
Founded almost five thousand years ago, the city on the Euphrates has seen empires rise and fall and has been the centre of the highest forms of culture and the most brutal wars and devastation.
It is likely that Babylon was founded in the third millennium BC and rose to prominence over the next thousand years. By the 18th century BC the city was the centre of the empire of Hammurabi. However, the changing political and military nature of the region saw Babylon fought over countless times over the following centuries, with one empire or dynasty after another securing Babylon as their home.
A resurgence of an independent Babylonian empire briefly flourished towards the end of the 7th century BC under king Nebuchadnezzar II – famous for building great wonders within the city, including the renowned Hanging Gardens of Babylon – yet even this dynasty failed to last, with Babylon falling to Cyrus the Great, king of the Persian Empire.
In 331 BC Alexander the Great captured Babylon, and it was here he died in 323 BC. After the fall of Alexander’s fledgling empire, Babylon was fought over by his surviving generals and was slowly abandoned over the following centuries.
The ruins of Babylon have suffered greatly due to looting and destructive policies, leaving little behind that captures the glory of the once-great city. Saddam Hussein also built a ‘new’ version of ancient Babylon over the site.
Of Babylon’s ancient ruins, it is still possible to see parts of Nebuchadnezzar's palace and some of the old city walls. It is also possible to see a reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
Although the site of Babylon is open to visitors, it is advisable to check with you government’s official travel advice policy before undertaking any trips to Babylon.

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