Democracy is Messy: U.S. Military Wrecks Ancient City of Babylon


Association of Muslim Scholars
May 25, 2008

The last outsiders to visit the ruins of the once-mighty city of Babylon in Iraq came in tanks and helicopters, leaving a blight on its historic and fragile landscape, archaeologists say.

The city, born on the banks of the Euphrates River 5,000 years ago and full of priceless archaeological treasures, was transformed into a U.S. military camp after the 2003 invasion with a heliport built among the ruins.

The base was later passed to Polish army control and despite the soldiers’ departure in 2005, the damage left behind is evident. At a meeting in Berlin next month, Iraqi and other specialists will endeavor to assess the true level of damage.

Iraqi archaeologist Hadi Mussa Qataa, who guided an AFP reporter through the fragile ruins, said helicopter take-offs and landings, along with the tremors from the heavy rumble of armored vehicles had damaged the city’s historic monuments.

Babylon, Iraq

Babylon, the legendary city, is indeed, the most famous ancient city in the whole World. It was the capital of ten Mesopotamian dynasties starting with the dynasty of King Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC); the 6th king of the 1st dynasty; reaching prominence as the capital city of the great kingdom of Babylonia. The last dynasty at which Babylon achieved its zenith, is well known particularly of its 2nd king, Nebuchadnezzar II (605-563 BC), to whom most of Babylon’s existing buildings belongs.

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