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Babylon ruins means tourist dollars for Iraqis

Bloomberg has an interesting article on how archaeological sites are translating into tourist dollars for Iraq.

Ancient Babylon, dating back to 2,300 B.C., lies about 50 miles south of Baghdad, near the town of Al-Hillah. It was one of many civilizations of Mesopotamia, which is Greek for “between the rivers,” the Tigris and Euphrates.

Babylon is best known for the Tower of Babel and King Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed Jerusalem. Reigning from about 605 to 562 B.C., he created the gardens for his wife, Amytis of Media, a mountainous region of modern-day Iran, to remind her of home. Shortly after his death, the empire fell to invading Persians.

Like most ruins, Babylon isn’t much more than piles of mud bricks. Imagination and a desire to connect with history make the site. Unless, of course, you’re a demented dictator who believed himself Nebuchadnezzar’s reincarnation.

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