Babylon was the one of the most important imperial cities of the ancient world:
Babylon is an archaeological site which stands out as a unique testimony to one of the most influential empires of the ancient world. One of the largest, oldest settlements in Mesopotamia and the Middle East, it was the seat of successive powerful empires under such famous rulers as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar. As the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (626–539 BCE), it is the most exceptional testimony of this culture at its height and represents the expression of this civilization’s creativity through its unusual urbanism, the architecture of its monuments (religious, palatial and defensive) and their decorative expressions of royal power. Babylon radiated not only political, technical and artistic influence over all regions of the ancient Near and Middle East, but it also left a considerable scientific legacy in the fields of mathematics and astronomy.
As an archaeological site, Babylon possesses exceptional cultural and symbolic associations of universal value. The property represents the tangible remains of a multifaceted myth that has functioned as a model, parable, scapegoat and symbol for over two thousand years. Babylon figures in the religious texts and traditions of the three Abrahamic faiths and has consistently been a source of inspiration for literary, philosophical and artistic works. The buildings and other urban features contained within the boundaries of the property (outer and inner-city walls, gates, palaces, temples including the ziggurat, the probable inspiration for the Tower of Babel, etc.), include all its attributes as a unique testimony to the neo-Babylonian civilization, in particular its contribution to architecture and urban design. Eighty-five percent of the property remains unexcavated and of primary importance to support the site’s Outstanding Universal Value through further conservation and research. (World Heritage Centre #278)
You can find a gallery of additional photos of Ancient Babylon on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected by their home countries and recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been designated in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures are you exploring in your homeschool this Orion Term? 😊
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring cultural and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌎 🌍 🌏
❡ This is a printable lesson: Down at the bottom of this post you’ll find a custom “Print” button and icon, along with several social-media share buttons. The Print button will let you create a neat and easy-to-read copy of this little lesson, and it will even let you resize or delete elements that you may not want or need (such as images or footnotes). Give it a try today! 🖨
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇮🇶
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