Babylon    , the old area called Mesopotamia, originally known as Sumer, and later as Sumer and Akkad, lies between the rivers Eufrat and Tiger, south of Baghdad today. The Babilonian civilization, between 18 BC sec and 6 BC,  was like the Sumerian one that preceded it, with urban characteristics, although based on agriculture. The kingdom was composed of about 12 towns surrounded by villages.

Babylon , the old area called Mesopotamia, originally known as Sumer, and later as Sumer and Akkad, lies between the rivers Eufrat and Tiger, south of Baghdad today. The Babilonian civilization, between 18 BC sec and 6 BC, was like the Sumerian one that preceded it, with urban characteristics, although based on agriculture. The kingdom was composed of about 12 towns surrounded by villages.

Detail from Ishtar Gate. The Ishtar Gate (Arabic: بوابة عشتار‎) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city.

Detail from Ishtar Gate. The Ishtar Gate (Arabic: بوابة عشتار‎) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city.

Detail of a striding lion made from polychrome glazed bricks, one of dozens that decorated the walls of the Processional Street and the royal palaces of Babylon. The relief dates back to the era of king Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon (605-562 BCE). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY.

Detail of a striding lion made from polychrome glazed bricks, one of dozens that decorated the walls of the Processional Street and the royal palaces of Babylon. The relief dates back to the era of king Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon (605-562 BCE). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY.

One of two Babylonian lions from the walls of the Ishtar Gate in Chicago’s Oriental Institute. The Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

One of two Babylonian lions from the walls of the Ishtar Gate in Chicago’s Oriental Institute. The Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

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