An Iraqi Oil Ministry plan to extend an oil pipeline through ancient Babylon presents a major threat to the cultural heritage of one of the ancient world’s most important cities. Babylon, the world’s largest city during portions of the second and first millennia B.C.E., features prominently in Biblical narratives and played a major role in the cultural development of the ancient Near East. The site has been harangued by constant threats in recent decades, including the construction of a palace for Saddam Hussein, the digging and leveling of terrain near the Ishtar Gate for the construction of a US military base and the extension of earlier pipelines in the 1970s and 80s. Iraq has fought hard to preserve the cultural heritage of Babylon by trying to add it to the UNESCO World Heritage list, but the frequent damages have threatened the bid. The location of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Babylon was partially excavated in several stages during the 20th century, but given its massive size and millennia-long occupation, further archaeological investigation is necessary. The General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage in Iraq has filed a lawsuit against the Oil Projects Committee in an attempt to prevent the construction of the pipeline, which would pass through the wall of the 1,400 year old castle known as the Babil Fortress.From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West examines the relationship between ancient Iraq and the origins of modern Western society. This free eBook, a collection of articles written by authoritative scholars, details some of the ways in which ancient Near Eastern civilizations have impressed themselves on Western culture. It examines the evolving relationship that modern scholarship has with this part of the world, and chronicles the present-day fight to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage.
- Ancient Cultures
- Archaeology Today
- Biblical Artifacts
- Biblical Sites & Places
- Biblical Topics
- People & Cultures in the Bible
Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein
Explore an Egyptian excavation. Meet Kufti archaeologists, explore ancient streets and the mudbricks that shaped them and dive into the port of Alexandria.
Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Chiseled on the forehead of this marble Aphrodite, a first-century A.D. copy of a fourth-century B.C. statue by Praxiteles, is a cross. The cross was likely carved by Christians, who had also damaged the goddess’s face to “close” the eyes and “silence” the mouth. More than just an act of vandalism, Christians may have reused such statues as stand-ins for saints or even the Virgin.
Enjoy book reviews by top scholars on wide-ranging topics in religion, archaeology and Biblical studies.
Reviews by William G. Dever and Aaron Burke
The Forgotten Kingdom by Israel Finkelstein traces the development of the northern kingdom of Israel to an earlier time associated with the reign of King Saul. The award-winning work is critically and independently reviewed by William G. Dever and Aaron Burke.