THE RUINS OF BABYLON |
September 29, 2008
THE RUINS OF BABYLON
Posting date: 9/29/08
Stationed in: Iraq
Milblog: Rocinante's Burdens
We recently did a little sightseeing. We got to look at the ruins of Babylon. Or as the locals call it "Babil". We had to get special permission to see it because the person in charge does not like American soldiers on the property.
The "ruins" are actually re-creations that were built during the Saddam administration, over the tops of the ancient ruins. So many wonderful and unique artifacts dating back to 1,000 BC were destroyed to make this cheap imitation.
Here is a gate reconstruction.
This map shows the relative positions of ancient civilizations and the known ruins surviving from them. The history of this area is remarkable.
This shows some of the inner palace. The original stones
come up only about two feet. The rest is modern brickwork. The
original brickwork is held together with a tar
mortar that is still visible and still holding things together. There
is also a processional street here with a tar covering. It's remarkable that
the tar has not been burned off.
This is the throne room. From here, the Babylonian empire was ruled. Alexander the Great died in this room.
Reconstruction, further excavations, restorations and maintenance at this site have all stopped because of a "lack of archaeological interest", as the curator put it. In other words, no one cares, now that the ruins have been ruined.