Babylon – The Fall of The Richest City of All Time!

Babylon was the largest city in the vast Babylonian empire. Founded more than 4,000 years ago as a small port on the Euphrates River, the city’s ruins are located in present-day Iraq. Babylon became one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world under the rule of Hammurabi. Centuries later, a new line of kings established a Neo-Babylonian Empire that spanned from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. During this period, Babylon became a city of beautiful architecture, including the Hanging Garden of Babylon, the Ishtar Gate and the Tower of Babel.

4,000 years ago there was a powerful, progressive, and incredibly wealthy city. It developed into one of the greatest cities in the world. The streets were paved, numerous gates led into the walled city that had over 250 towers that were at least 100 meters high. This is where modern writing and mathematics were invented. Ferries, roads, and drawbridges ensured efficient transport, and the mythical Hanging Gardens were a feat of engineering and were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The city’s wealth was unimaginable. The people created impressive works of art out of gold, there was a golden image of Baal, a beautiful table that was supposedly made of 22,000 kilos of pure gold, with a golden lion and a golden statue of Man. The majestic Royal Palace was the largest ever built in world history.

Babylon used to exist in what is now modern-day Iraq. Everyone has heard of Babylon, or at least of the tallest tower in the world at that time, known as the Tower of Babel.

But how did the incredible rise and dramatic fall of Babylon and the Babylonian Empire come about?

But before you learn more from our video (below) some interesting facts that will awe you!

Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Ancient Babylonia

  1. Babylon’s Hanging Garden

Nebuchadnezzar II built the famous hanging garden for his queen to remind her of the fields and hills of her homeland. The garden was 75 feet tall and consisted of a series of tiered platforms covered with beautiful trees, plants, and flowers. The name “hanging garden” is derived from the Greek word kremastós, which in literature means “overhanging.”

Hanging Gardens of Babylon May Have Been In Nineveh

The garden has been recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world and showcases the extraordinary engineering abilities of the Babylonian architects. It is thought that the garden was destroyed by an earthquake in the second century.

  1. The Code of Hammurabi

It was only after the powerful and ambitious ruler Hammurabi came to power that the city of Babylon started to grow rapidly. Hammurabi’s code of more than 200 written rules and regulations covered issues of land, property, industry, agriculture, etc.

The code was written on clay tablets and tall, stone pillars. The rules were specific and strict, and they acted as a guideline for most daily activities and situations. The code was based on the principle of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” and laid the foundations for many of the world’s legal systems today. The laws were implemented by judges, or amelu, who were drawn from the upper-class strata of society.

  1. A More Liberal Society for Women

Women in Babylonian society were relatively well treated. Women were allowed to become priests and were free to sell wine and start their own businesses, although their primary role in the home remained paramount.

A Babylonian woman was allowed to ask for a dowry from her parents, and she shared equal rights in her husband’s property even after his death.

  1. The More Children the Better

In today’s world, population growth is a hot topic due to climate change and dwindling resources. In ancient times, however, society needed more and more people to bolster the workforce, and having a large family was a matter of pride. More children also guaranteed better support during old age.

  1. Art & Architecture

Babylonian art was beautiful and unique. The Babylonians were skilled at both small-scale art such as jewellery-making, and larger, architectural projects. Their jewellery-making led the way for our modern designs as they were the first to incorporate precious gems and metals to make beautiful pieces of jewellery.

Their large palaces and statues showcased their skill in architectural design; a good example of this is a ziggurat built during the reign of Hammurabi which is almost 300 feet tall and was built in honour of their chief god, Marduk. The famous Ishtar Gate, the eighth gate into the city, is another example of a beautiful architectural structure, as are the thick walls surrounding Babylonian cities. The Babylonians also made huge granaries to preserve their harvests.

  1. Trade & Commerce

As well as being immensely talented in the arts, the Babylonians were equally knowledgeable about trade and commerce. They were the first in history to introduce the concept of the sales contract, and even went as far as to introduce a seal into the contract.

They regularly imported gold, silver, copper, wood, salt, and stone, and exported goods such as grain, clay pots, oil, and leather goods.

  1. Literature & Education

In ancient Babylon, education was for all, both men and women. Just like the Sumerians, the Babylonians wrote in cuneiform, using over 350 symbols in their writing. Bone and bamboo were used to write on soft clay tablets which were later dried in the sun.

The Babylonians contributed much to the world of literature, with many pieces being produced during that time such as the epic poem Gilgamesh and the creation myth Enûma Eliš. King Hammurabi was instrumental in building schools, and there is historical evidence that the Babylonians had libraries as well.

They lived by the old Sumerian proverb, “He who would excel in the school of scribes must rise with the dawn.”

  1. Science

The Babylonians excelled in the fields of science and astronomy. Their priests studied the moon, the sun, the planets, and stars very carefully in order to predict the future.

They used sundials and water clocks to tell the time, and just like the Sumerians, they adopted the lunar calendar which divided each month into 30 days and a year into 12 months. They were good at keeping records and diligently recorded past events in chronological order.

  1. Military Power

Under the rule of Hammurabi, Babylon became a major military power with trained soldiers in a strong and capable army. Hammurabi was an ambitious ruler and conquered all parts of Mesopotamia from the north to the south, ensuring that a military presence was established in all his new territories.

  1. Agricultural Growth

The Babylonians produced a variety of crops and had a vast knowledge of agricultural techniques. They grew pistachios in the royal gardens of Babylon, and elsewhere barley, peas, olives, grapes, wheat, etc. grew in abundance.

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NEXT UP!        

This Ancient Maya City Was Hidden In The Jungle For More Than 1,000 Years

Researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology & History (INAH) have discovered the remains of a centuries-old Maya city in the Balamkú ecological reserve on the Yucatán Peninsula.

In a statement, lead archaeologist Ivan Šprajc says the settlement probably served as an important regional centre during the Maya Classic period, which spanned 250 to 1000 C.E. The team named the newly discovered ruins Ocomtún—“stone column” in Yucatec Mayan—in honour of the many columns found at the site.

“The biggest surprise turned out to be the site located on a ‘peninsula’ of high ground, surrounded by extensive wetlands,” says Šprajc in the statement, per Google Translate. “Its monumental nucleus covers more than [123 acres] and has various large buildings, including several pyramidal structures [nearly 50 feet] high.”

Continue reading …

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READ MORE: Hidden Pyramid In Antarctica Discovered By History Channel

Read more from The Archaeology World: 2,800-Year-Old Castle Linked To Enigmatic Ancient Civilization Found In Turkey

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