Monday, January 11, 2010

Walls of Babylon

The two walls of Babylon were the fortifications of the city of Babylon. They were among the seven wonders of the ancient world. After their expiration, they were removed from the list and replaced with the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Taken as a whole is called only by a wall.

The Babylonian walls Imgur-Nemed-Enlil and Enlil were the Pyramids of Giza, the oldest of the seven wonders of the world. Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC added to the East Wall (Osthaken) the city walls. At that time, Babylon was the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar's goal was to make Babylon bigger and more beautiful than it ever was a city. By its construction, he surpassed his father Nabopolassar.

In the view of Nebuchadnezzar took the city an additional wall, just let the enemies to be awestruck, and the inhabitants of the city brought to marvel. Thus, an ancient text has been preserved by Nebuchadnezzar in cuneiform, which states: "What no King has done before me, I did, 4000 Ellen Country (about two kilometers sideways) of the city, distant, unapproachable, I had a huge wall eastward to enclose Babylon. I completed Babylon. "

The construction of the wall had pragmatic reasons. In the cities of antiquity, it is acting strongholds. A wall had to ring the living space of residents as a protective belt uniform span. After Nebuchadnezzar's death, the city under Cyrus the Great and Alexander the Great was taken. Both rulers were preparing to besiege the city, in order not to overrun the walls. When Babylon fell apart over the years, dropping from the metropolis to a small town, in the end declined even to a small village, the faded beauty and grandeur of the ancient wonders walls of Babylon.

The decay of the masonry must have been advanced at the beginning of the third century BC, now high. Thus, it is to explain that in the second-oldest list of the Seven Wonders of the Babylonian painted walls and newly built for the Lighthouse of Alexandria is used. From the wonders of the world is receiving virtually nothing more. Only widely scattered remains of walls and bricks from the desert, oil rigs and pipelines are evidence of the former magnificent. During the era of Saddam Hussein have been built around the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon new walls.

Position and shape
Ancient Babylon, located on the east bank of the Euphrates, was attached to the north, east and south, with walls and a 80m wide moat. To the west of the Euphrates and the protecting wall. Nebuchadnezzar extended the already existing two walls of his father's grave for a third. This he built along the other and they united with the embankment wall. He dug their trenches down to the groundwater. The water's edge he built with asphalt cement and fire brick and pasted it together with the original land wall. With the quay, he nurtured the wall of Babylon. He completed the eastern shore of the wall Arachtu channel, which left his father's production build of the Ishtar Gate to the gate of Urash. On the west side of the Euphrates was a new district, which was also surrounded by walls. Thus, a quadrilateral, was created by the Euphrates flowed. Furthermore, even further out there built an outside wall, the eastern suburbs, and perhaps also cultivated field, enclosed, probably to serve in time of war as a huge defensive to.

Wall thickness and height
Excavations have shown that the quay walls were thick on the Euphrates between eight to ten meters. The ramparts around the city center around 17.5 m. The exterior walls were even 27 to 30 meters thick. The fortifications around the historic center towered 25 meters, 30 meters on the outer high. They walled up inside and out and filled the space with debris and mud from grave digging. In this way was a large embankment. On the 30-meter high wall behind the sheltering towers, battlements and parapets protection of infrastructure created by more than twelve meters wide, which the assailants could not see. There was enough space, so that teams could go away without hindering themselves, each other. Whenever an attacker might be able to climb the wall of a surprise to the defense was able to bring the assembly areas in four-horse chariot. The city walls were so thick that on top of the wall chariot chariot could go and turn.

About the exact dimensions of the walls there was a long time only speculation. The text does not contain a measure of Nebuchadnezzar. The building was built as invincible, and for eternity. What should not be forgotten, was only the glorious name of the builder. Herodotus himself, who is regarded as fairly reliable observers, indicates the length of the walls at the equivalent of 86 km. But this track has been questioned time and again through the centuries strong, they would correspond to a square of side length of 20 km. The German archaeologist Robert Koldeway, who has excavated in Babylon, the beginning of last century, noted that Herodotus has more than four times exaggerated, that the wall was "only" 18 km long. How powerful and great were the walls of Babylon, one can read the ancient writer Pausanias. Pausanias, who saw only the walls in a state of utter decay, still calls it a huge structure, it was trying to imagine the demons that have destroyed her with superhuman powers.

The wall was not constructed of stone blocks weighing several tons, but was largely stratified of fired clay bricks and filled with beaten earth. Interstices filled with debris and mud it. The Roman satirist Juvenal wrote alluding to the walls of the world city of Babylon had "been secured by potters. Despite the simple material, the walls have been due to their enormous proportions but to be extremely firm.

Several factors led to the collapse of walls. When the test of time began to gnaw at the building, the materials proved to be very fragile and increasingly vulnerable to damage. Floods also contributed their part to the collapse of the wall. Stretches of the fortification wall was dam for the waters of the Euphrates. The water dissolved with time, the loose material washed away soil and gouged out the walls. The firmly jointed bricks were widely scattered. It also emerged undulations and bumps, which collapsed more and more. The entire structure crumbled slowly and was so useless.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia