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Babylon

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Al Hillah, Iraq.

  • Photo of Babylon
  • Photo of Babylon
  • Photo of Babylon
  • Photo of Babylon
Photo of Babylon
Photo by flickr user James Gordon
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Thought of as the 'holy city' from around 2300BC, and home to the famous hanging gardens, Babylon was a Mesopotamian metropolis, the ruins of which are located about 80kms south of Baghdad.

Unlike many ancient sites the city's position has been well known for centuries, but was marked only by a series of muddy mounds. Excavations have taken place on the site from 1899, the principal ones being concentrated in three vast mounds. The most ancient parts of the city are now below the water table so have yet to be excavated.

In 1985, despite the protestations of archaeologists, Saddam Hussein started to rebuild the city on top of the old ruins, having his own name inscribed on the bricks in the same way as the original rulers. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, US forces built a helipad on the ancient ruins and vibrations from helicopter landing caused more damage to the site.

Written by  Lindsay Drury.

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