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  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Hanging gardens not in Babylon

    No trace of the Hanging Garden has ever been found in Babylon for the simple reason that this wonder of the ancient world was never there in the first place, according to an Oxford researcher.Instead, the Hanging Garden was actually created 300 miles further north in Ninevah, a feat of artistic prowess achieved by the Assyrian civilisation under King Sennacherib, writes Stephanie Daley, a Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford.For centuries, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, has been credited with the birth of a lavishly watered paradise in the fertile crescent of what is now central Iraq in the 6th century BC.But there is one problem: no remains of the Hanging Garden have ever been found in Babylon. When a German team spent 19 years excavating the site during the last century, Ms Daley writes that they "expected to find inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar confirming that he built the garden"....

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Ancient site unearthed in Biblical home of Abraham

    BAGHDAD –  British archaeologists said Thursday they have unearthed a sprawling complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, home of the biblical Abraham.The structure, thought to be about 4,000 years old, probably served as an administrative center for Ur, around the time Abraham would have lived there before leaving for Canaan, according to the Bible.The compound is near the site of the partially reconstructed Ziggurat, or Sumerian temple, said Stuart Campbell of Manchester University's Archaeology Department, who led the dig."This is a breathtaking find," Campbell said, because of its unusually large size -- roughly the size of a football field, or about 260 feet on each side. The archaeologist said complexes of this size and age were rare....

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    Radial routes ran outside Iraq

    Spoke-like dirt paths extend as far as five kilometers from several ancient Mesopotamian cities that have been excavated in what’s now northeastern Syria. Although often regarded as transportation features unique to these more than 5,000-year-old sites, new evidence reveals similar radial paths in western Syria and southwestern Iran that date to as recently as 1,200 years ago....