Friday, April 23, 2021

Babylon. The Great City

Olof Pedersén

Babylon. The Great City


ISBN 978-3-96327-136-6 (book)

ISBN 978-3-96327-137-3 (e-book, via ProQuest)

304 pp. / 17 x 24 cm / hardcover, thread stitching

Open access:

Pedersen-Babylon-Zaphon-2021-350dpi.pdf (higher resolution of illustrations, 97 MB)

Pedersen-Babylon-Zaphon-2021-100dpi.pdf (lower resolution of illustrations, 17 MB)

• Main buildings and streets

• German and Iraqi excavations

• Reconstructions and a digital model

• Cuneiform documents and history

Babylon: The Great City is a richly illustrated advanced introduction to and study of the German and Iraqi excavations in Babylon. The excavated inscriptional materials have been used in the interpretation of the evidence. The book is based on many years of study of the finds and of the documentation from the excavations along with repeated inspections of all the visible ruins in Babylon. A digital model of the city and integrated GIS work have been used to analyse and test the interpretations as well as support the understanding of the site. The modern history of the site is discussed including the modern reconstructions. The book could be used both as a modern scholarly study of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and as an advanced guidebook for serious visitors to Babylon itself.



1 Babylon: General Introduction

   1.1 Introduction

   1.2 Archaeological sources for the buildings

   1.3 Historical sources for the buildings

   1.4 The river and the groundwater

   1.5 Critical questions

      1.5.1 Correctness of documentation

      1.5.2 Heights of walls

   1.6 Building materials

2 Babylon: City Walls and City Gates

   2.1 Introduction

      2.1.1 History of the city walls and city gates

      2.1.2 Excavations of the city walls

      2.1.3 Texts and pictures dealing with city walls

      2.1.4 Layout and construction of the city walls

   2.2 City walls during Nabopolassar’s reign, with earlier remains

   2.3 City walls during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign

      2.3.1 The mudbrick walls

      2.3.2 The baked brick walls

   2.4 Ištar Gate area during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign

   2.5 City walls after Nebuchadnezzar

   2.6 Full scale reconstructions in Berlin and Babylon

   2.7 Amounts of building materials for the city walls

3 Babylon: Palaces

   3.1 Introduction

   3.2 South Palace

      3.2.1 The older South Palace

      3.2.2 South Palace: Entrance and East Courtyard area

      3.2.3 South Palace: Middle Courtyard area

      3.2.4 South Palace: Main Courtyard area

      3.2.5 South Palace: West Courtyard area

      3.2.6 South Palace: Annex Courtyard area

      3.2.7 South Palace: Discussion

   3.3 North Palace

      3.3.1 North Palace: The Terraces

      3.3.2 North Palace: Water installations

      3.3.3 The North Palace and the Gardens

   3.4 West Fortification

   3.5 East Fortification

   3.6 The central palace area

   3.7 Summer Palace

4 Babylon: Temples

   4.1 Introduction

   4.2 Marduk temple

   4.3 Ziggurat

      4.3.1 The precinct

      4.3.2 The ziggurat

      4.3.3 Amounts of building materials for the ziggurat

   4.4 Other temples in the Eridu area according to cuneiform texts

   4.5 Nabû temple

   4.6 Ištar temple

   4.7 Ašratum temple

   4.8 Ninmaḫ temple

   4.9 Ninurta temple

   4.10 Išḫara temple

   4.11 Temples in the unexcavated areas in Babylon

5 Babylon: Main Streets

   5.1 Introduction

   5.2 The Euphrates bridge

   5.3 West–east Processional Way

   5.4 South–north Processional Way: Southern stretch

   5.5 South–north Processional Way: Missing section

   5.6 South–north Processional Way: Outside the South Palace

   5.7 South–north Processional Way: Through the Ištar Gate

   5.8 South–north Processional Way: Outside the North Palace

   5.9 Streets in residential areas

6 Babylon: Residential Buildings

   6.1 Introduction

   6.2 Old Babylonian and Middle Babylonian private houses

   6.3 Neo-Babylonian private houses

      6.3.1 German excavations in Merkes

      6.3.2 Iraqi excavations in Merkes

      6.3.3 Iraqi excavations north of Merkes

7 Babylon: Late Buildings

   7.1 Introduction

   7.2 Hellenistic and Parthian theatre

   7.3 Parthian colonnaded street

   7.4 Large Parthian building

   7.5 Sasanian fortification above the ziggurat ruins

   7.6 Sasanian fortification above the Summer Palace ruins

8 Babylon: Discussion and Conclusions

   8.1 Introduction

   8.2 Construction materials

   8.3 Building structure

   8.4 Surface decoration

   8.5 Building documentation

   8.6 Elevations and periods

   8.7 Reconstructions in Babylon

   8.8 Future


Appendix: Periods and Rulers


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