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Babylon


  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Hanging gardens not in Babylon

    No trace of the Hanging Garden has ever been found in Babylon for the simple reason that this wonder of the ancient world was never there in the first place, according to an Oxford researcher.Instead, the Hanging Garden was actually created 300 miles further north in Ninevah, a feat of artistic prowess achieved by the Assyrian civilisation under King Sennacherib, writes Stephanie Daley, a Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford.For centuries, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, has been credited with the birth of a lavishly watered paradise in the fertile crescent of what is now central Iraq in the 6th century BC.But there is one problem: no remains of the Hanging Garden have ever been found in Babylon. When a German team spent 19 years excavating the site during the last century, Ms Daley writes that they "expected to find inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar confirming that he built the garden"....

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Bringing Babylon back from the dead

    (CNN) -- Babylon was one of the glories of the ancient world, its walls and mythic hanging gardens listed among the Seven Wonders.Founded about 4,000 years ago, the ancient city was the capital of 10 dynasties in Mesopotamia, considered one of the earliest cradles of civilization and the birthplace of writing and literature.But following years of plunder, neglect and conflict, the Babylon of today scarcely conjures that illustrious history.In recent years, the Iraqi authorities have reopened Babylon to tourists, hoping that one day the site will draw visitors from all over the globe. But despite the site's remarkable archaeological value and impressive views, it is drawing only a smattering of tourists, drawn by a curious mix of ancient and more recent history....

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