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The damage done to Babylon

U.S. troops have done considerable damage to Babylon in Iraq, prompting action to make sure it does not happen again.

U.S. troops and contractors inflicted considerable damage on the historic Iraqi site of Babylon, driving heavy machinery over sacred paths, bulldozing hilltops and digging trenches through one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, experts for UNESCO said Thursday.

The U.N. cultural agency vowed to make Babylon a World Heritage site and prevent similar vandalism in future wars.

2 thoughts on “The damage done to Babylon

  1. I was located at the Babylon location for a year. While I was there the sensitive areas were off limits to all U.S. troops and access was allowed only via the Iraqi maintainers of the site. This was 2004, and U.S. troops were joined by Polish troops on the nearby site.

    Saddam had dramatically disturbed the site’s location, even digging up areas to get to the building material buried below to use to ‘recreate’ his own vision of Babylon.

    To then accuse the U.S. troops after Saddam’s people dug the location up, re-used the ancient material and built a huge mansion on an equally huge artificial hill and complex right next to it seems to be a bit dishonest.

    This is the rebuilt palace by Saddam’s people using recovered material without regard to archeological disturbance:

    This is Saddam’s mansion and artificial hill–the ruins are immediately to the left of it. Imagine the damage and upheaval to the area that occurred during its building.

    Here is a bird’s eye view. In the upper left the road curving up to the top follows the bottom of the hill that the mansion is up high on on the upper left corner. You can see how near the ruins it was built.

    And Americans are being blamed for disturbing the area? Incredible.

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