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Babylon
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Location
    (circa 3000 BC-circa 650)
    Located on the banks of the Euphrates River in ancient Mesopotamia
    Archaeological site located in Iraq, 55 miles south of Baghdad
    Best known as the capital of Babylonia (circa 2330 BC) and the Neo-Babylonian Empire (circa 612 BC)
    There is little left of the ancient city aside from crumbling walls.
    It was conquered, and sometimes razed, at various times by the Assyrians, Persians and Macedonians.
    Cyrus II allegedly overthrew it by diverting the Euphrates (so his soldiers could pass under a city gate) while its citizens were in the middle of a drunken feast.
    The Old Testament claims the Babylonians angered God by building the Tower of Babel, meant to reach heaven.
    In later times, ‘Babylon’ became a synonym for corrupt luxury.
    It may have been the first city with a population over 200,000.
    Hammurabi, sixth king of Babylon, created the first known recorded code of laws (circa 1700 BC).
    Its achievements in mathematics and science influenced Western scholars.
    Its division of the day into hours, minutes and seconds is still used today.
    It was the site of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (circa 600 BC), one of the seven wonders of the ancient world (their existence is disputed).
    Saddam Hussein began restoring the ruins in 1985 (unfortunately his efforts included building on top of old structures and artifacts).
    The United States Army, trying to protect the site from looters, caused even more damage (2003).

Credit: Georgina


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