Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Destruction of Babylon!

  1. Jan 16, 2005 #1
    Is it biblical revenge from Babylon ? or ignorance? or just blind hate against the oldest human civilisations in ME?

    Army base 'has damaged Babylon'

    A double fortified wall enclosed the city, protecting it from attack
    Coalition forces in Iraq have caused irreparable damage to the ancient city of Babylon, the British Museum says.
    Sandbags have been filled with precious archaeological fragments and 2,600 year old paving stones have been crushed by tanks, a museum report claims.

    The US Army says the troops based in the city, some 50 miles (80km) south of Baghdad, are well aware of its historical significance.

    Babylon's Hanging Gardens were among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


    The legendary gardens featured water diverted from mountain streams cascading down artificial hills built upon stone vaults.

    American troops occupied the site in April 2003, initially to protect it from looters and vandals.

    Excavations were done in consultation with the Babylon museum director and an archaeologist

    Lt Col Steven Boylan

    John Curtis, author of the museum's report, said this was "tantamount to establishing a military camp around Stonehenge".

    "About 300,000 square metres of the surface of the site has been flattened and covered with compacted gravel and sometimes chemically treated," he said.

    "This will contaminate the archaeological record of the site."

    He added: "I noted about 12 trenches, one of them 170m long, which had been dug through the archaeological deposits."

    Mr Curtis, who is curator of the museum's Near East department, also found evidence of fuel leaks.


    But US military spokesman Lt Col Steven Boylan said the base, which has around 6,000 troops under Police command, is needed to "further defeat terrorists and insurgents".

    He told BBC Newshour: "Any of the excavations or earth work that we have done in order to do our operations... was done in consultation with the Babylon museum director and an archaeologist."

    At the height of its power, Babylon was an awe-inspiring sight, with two sets of fortified walls surrounding massive palaces and religious buildings.

    It became one of the most important cities in Mesopotamia, one of the cradles of human civilisation.
    Iraq is home to 10,000 archaeological sites.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2005 #2
    (((But US military spokesman Lt Col Steven Boylan said the base, which has around 6,000 troops under Police command, is needed to "further defeat terrorists and insurgents". )))

    They can not find another place to build bases?

    During the invasion they sent their tanks to protect the Ministry of Oil :approve: and ignored the fifth museum in the world (museum of Baghdad) without protection, Unknown people :rolleyes: looted the museum, including 7 tons wall from Babylon era!!.The same done with two historical libraries; unknown people :rolleyes: burned and looted ten thousands of historical documents..

    The annoying issue that those people taking ‘’ defeating the terrorists ‘’ as excuse for everything, even destruction of this historical city is important to defeat the terrorists!! :mad:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2005
  4. Jan 16, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    At times you think ignorance just can't reach new heights, should know better ... and they give the answer which "justifies" everything - defeat insurgents. From where does the US army find these morons and where do they find their ways of action ...
  5. Jan 16, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I was incredulous when I first head about this. That event caused sufficient negative publicity that I thought they would be a lot more careful in the future.

    What a terrible shame ! :grumpy:
  6. Jan 16, 2005 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That story was a fabrication (it included a fabricated quote from the museum curator), which has been retracted: The "missing" artifacts were kept safe in a vault in a sewer.

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/special/iraq/1941910 [Broken]

    As for this new story, well, without even a source, its not worthy of comment.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  7. Jan 16, 2005 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  8. Jan 16, 2005 #7

    Thank you, it seems I forgot to put the link! it is from BBC.....


    Here is references:

    The Baghdad Museum Project


    An Open Letter to the Global Community

    Dear Friend,

    This is our call to help save the Baghdad Museum.

    Your creative involvement is urgently needed.

    As you know, the Baghdad Museum -- or the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad -- has been looted, stripping it of a priceless collection of cultural artifacts dating back to the dawn of civilization.

    As you will see from the "museum walkthrough" presented here, these are major historical treasures not only for the Iraqi people but for all humanity as well.))

    Baghdad national museum: pictures and news about lost pieces :


    ((The latest reports state that about 14.000 items were stolen from the Museum, 3.000 have been recovered so far. Another 1000 pieces has been seized in the US by the customs, and another 1000 in Jordan and a 1000 piece in France.

    Some of items believed to be still missing are the Tablets of Hammurabi' s Code of law, the Epic of Gilgamesh tablets, Ivory figurines, Mathematical tablets earlier then Pythagorean.

    Some items have already appeared in Iran, Paris and Europe latest news are saying that the first phase of looting was committed by professional thieves and probably with the help of some insiders. It seemed that the looters had used keys to open storerooms.))
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2005
  9. Jan 16, 2005 #8
    I find comfort in that while some of the artifacts may never be seen by the public in our lifetimes, the thieves and eventual buyers probably won't destroy them.
  10. Jan 16, 2005 #9


    User Avatar

    FYI Bilal...the Code of Hammurabi sits among the "Oriental Collection" at the Louvre museum...where it has been since 1901-1902.

    I'd also like to see other references to the Babylonian issue as I remember the base (note, not Base) being built around the area to secure it from looters and U.S. specialist having rebuilt the minature tower under the auspices of Iraqi curators and archeoligists.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2005
  11. Jan 16, 2005 #10
    The topic is not about the Code of Hammurabi ...

    Concerning the base ... I do not believe you need to build base with 6000 soldiers and tanks to secure the area !!!! It is enough to for policemen center to protect the area!!

    Saddam already rebuilt the city with the help of many international universities and centers. He paid hundreds of millions of Dollars for this goal in the 80s .. As you know he love Nabukhad Nas-sar ......

    I saw documentary movie few years ago in German TV about rebuilding of the city ... the international collaboration did very well … but it is impossible to rebuild the tower because the Persian already took its stones to other places... according to what they mentioned in that movie.

    Beside that, do you think building Babel tower is more urgent than providing electricity, water and fuel for people? I do not think the American are silly to send scientists and waste money for building the tower while the country became ''hell on the earth''.

    The information about the destruction of the city and the goal of the base is mentioned clearly in the report.

    ((US military spokesman Lt Col Steven Boylan said the base, which has around 6,000 troops under Police command, is needed to "further defeat terrorists and insurgents".))

    I beleive that they can build the base 10 km far from the city, and they can surround the historical city by fence to protect it till the situation become stable. (No people live in the historical part of the city, and no need for military activity there)

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2005
  12. Jan 16, 2005 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    However, your credibility as a source certainly is. (And that of wherever you are getting this stuff)
  13. Jan 16, 2005 #12


    User Avatar

    No, perhaps not...but a link..and your post..that states it is missing when it's been sitting at the Louvre for over a century does say a little something about a lack of accuracy.

    As I said..I'd like to see more information for other sources as I know that overlooking the city was Saddams huge palace..and within the walls of the city were hundreds and hundreds of bricks placed there by Saddam with his name inscripted upon them...so, is that what was picked out of the gates? I'll with hold my condemnation until i get accurate reporting..that includes sites that don't still think that anything but a replica of Hammurabi's code was sitting in Iraqs musuem.
  14. Jan 16, 2005 #13
    I wish you will accept these sources!!

    British museum, UNESCO, INTERPOL, University of Chicago!!!!

    Lost Treasures From Iraq - The University of Chicago

    Report of the British museum January 2005:

    http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/iraqcrisis/ [Broken]

    UNESCO site


    ((When the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad was looted in April 2003 at least 13,000 objects went missing, though about 4000 objects were voluntarily returned later. Large-scale looting of archaeological sites, like Isin and Umma, is ongoing. The amount of cultural property lost through looting of archaeological sites is incalculable.))

    Interpol site: some pictures


    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  15. Jan 16, 2005 #14
    You can check the links mentioned in previous post, including the full report of the British museum, and database from University of Chicago.

    I know the stupid things that Saddam did, but the institution who rebuilt the city are professional universities and experts from many countries. I do not think the British museum and other institutions have any interest to submit misleading information. This issue in the media now, and I am sure the American military leader will not shut up if the report include any lies.

  16. Jan 16, 2005 #15


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Bilal, that link to the Baghdad museum hasn't been updated since the date it was created, right after the fabricated story broke. Its fiction.

    More: http://www.chronwatch.com/editorial/contentDisplay.asp?aid=3073 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  17. Jan 16, 2005 #16


    User Avatar

    From the Iraqcrisis listserve that I've been a member of since the beginning of the liberation in 2003. Also note that it is polish troops who have been in charge here not U.S. troops, not that it matters per se as I think both would respect the site more then Saddam apparently did. See past reports of Saddams "improvements" and use of Babylon to hide military weaponry etc.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  18. Jan 19, 2005 #17
    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050118/ap_en_ot/iraqi_artifacts [Broken]

    U.S. Returns 3 Stolen Artifacts to Iraq

    Tue Jan 18, 6:56 PM ET

    By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer

    ((The relics, used to seal correspondence, date to 2340-2180 B.C., the ambassador said.

    "They are completely priceless," he said. "They are part of our history."

    Nearly 15,000 items were swiped from the Iraqi National Museum after the U.S. invasion began, al-Sumaidaie said. Roughly half of those items have been located, sometimes with the help of a special team of federal agents dispatched to Iraq. ))
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook