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Babylon

‘The Tower of Babel’ (1595) by Lucas van Valckenborch.

Inside Etemenanki: The Real-Life Tower of Babel

If there was a tower of Babel, it was Etemenanki: a massive, stone ziggurat at the center of Babylon built to be a passageway up to heaven. The Babylonians didn’t see their tower of Babel as a...
The Burning of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar’s Army (1630-1660)

By the Rivers of Babylon: Life in Ancient Babylon’s Thriving Jewish Community

In the 6th-century BC, the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah. They tore down the city walls, burned the temples, and ran down every person who tried to escape. The few...
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC).

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

Sexuality was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, an area of the Ancient Near East often described as the cradle of western civilisation roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and...
Alexander the Great trust to physician Phillip by Henryk Siemiradzky (1870)

Alexander the Great: Bleeding Asia Dry – Part II

A famous Roman aphorism was used well by Tacitus: “They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal; this they falsely name Empire, and when they create a desert, then they call it peace”. It is a...
‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ (1634-1635) by Nicolas Poussin.

Humans Have Been Making New Year’s Resolutions for Over 4,000 Years

New Year’s resolutions are a popular practice. Countless people begin to consider them every year as December 31st rolls around. Although the big plans and ambitious goals can be difficult to follow...
The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Paul Rubens

Do the Four Rivers Lead Us to the Garden of Eden?

In the Biblical Book of Genesis, chapter 2, the description of the Four Rivers of Eden provides clues for locating the lost garden of paradise. Following these clues leads to a connection between the...
Coin of Mithridates I of Parthia (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.and illustration depicting a sacrifice being made on behalf of a family, by the chief priest Conon and two assistants, first century AD. Graeco-Iranian style

Mithridates Clashes with Kings and Swallows up Territory: The ‘King of Kings’ of Ancient Iran — Part II

Mithridates (“The Gift of Mithra) exhibited qualities that most kings rarely have: experience and maturity. He understood that a king could retain his power only as long as the people and nobles were...
Total eclipse of the Sun, June 8, 1918, Howard Russell Butler

The Life and Death Power of Eclipses in the Ancient World

On Monday, August 21, people living in the continental United States will be able to see a total solar eclipse. Humans have been alternatively amused, puzzled, bewildered and sometimes even terrified...
The Burning of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar’s Army by Circle of Juan de la Corte (1580 - 1663)

New Evidence Verifies Biblical Accounts of the Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem

In the week leading up to Hebrew ceremonies associated with the destruction of Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, archaeologists in Israel have uncovered the remnants of a firestorm, strong evidence...
The baked tablet that had been deciphered by Dr George. It is finely carved with a relief showing the king and tower and chiseled with text saying how people were gathered from all over to construct the ziggurat.

Ancient Babylonian Tablet Provides Compelling Evidence that the Tower of Babel DID Exist

Half the world seems to say the Bible is pure bunk, while the other half says it’s, well, the word of God. Now comes a professor who isn’t religious to say that a baked tablet from ancient Babylon...
Detail of the Alexander Sarcophagus located in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Gold coins

Alexander the Great Destroyer: Ancient Revenge or War for Profit? – Part II

“As Persepolis had exceeded all other cities in prosperity, so in the same measure it now exceeded all others in misery.” Miseries along with poverty, for the people were raped of their land and...
Mari, Syria - A ziggurat near the palace.

Nearly Lost from The Pages of History, Mari Is The Oldest Known Planned City in the World

The 7,000-year-old ancient city of Mari (known today as Tell Hariri) is one of the oldest known cities in the world, located on the west bank of the Euphrates River in what was once northern...
The King of Beasts That Have Witnessed the Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations

The King of Beasts That Have Witnessed the Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations

Lions are often said to be the kings of all animals. They are also a symbol of power and popular archetypes for influential rulers. Most civilizations have depicted these regal animals in their...
Hunting the Lions: The Last King of Assyria, and the Death of the Empire – Part II

Hunting the Lions: The Last King of Assyria, and the Death of the Empire – Part II

The Assyrian empire, with the death of King Ashurbanipal, was collapsing under the weight of politics and war. Kingdoms and leaders previously held in Assyria’s great grasp fell upon the vulnerable...
A lion is hunted, and is near death. Assyrian relief, Nineveh, north palace, 645-635 BCE

Hunting the Lions: A Dead King, and a Collapsing Assyrian Empire – Part I

The fall of Assyria was with a whimper and in no way ended with a bang. Instead, it ended in a slow, agonizing death. Ashurbanipal, Assyria's last great king, ascended the throne only to inherit a...
Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal has sometimes been described as the ‘first library’ in the world, or the ‘oldest surviving royal library in the world’. The library was discovered by archaeologists...

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