Grace Wang, Matt Millard,
Rebecca Waldrop and Julia Gaffney
~ The Babylonian Empire lasted from the 18th
century BC to the 6th century BC
~ There were between 10-15 cities with
approximately 10,000 to 50,000 inhabitants (no
one really knows for sure how many people
really lived there)
~ The heartland of Ancient Babylonia was
located between the Tigris and the Euphrates
rivers, in what is today Iraq
~ The height of the empire began in the 18th
century and lasted to the 17th century (it was
only a great power for about a hundred years at
the very beginning)
Relationship to surrounding people
~ Hammurabi united many of the
surrounding civilizations under
Babylonian rule, including the
Assyrians, the Akkadians, and the
~ Babylonia also traded with Anatolia,
Syria, and Palestine
~After Hammurabi united several
kingdoms, the Babylonians adopted the
Akkadian language for their ofﬁcial use,
and the Sumerian language for religious
~The Babylonian religion is polytheistic, similar to that of the Aztec or Greek religion.
~Architecture(Temples, ziggurats, gates) and art were dedicated to their many gods.
~Several religious cults through out the city with their own ways of worship, fought often.
~Their 1000 line epic creation story is one of the earliest creation stories in human
history(predating the Old Testament).
Religious Practices include:
•Giving offerings of food and artifacts. Human sacriﬁces were possible as well.
•Practices of healing magic, magic charms and divination.
•People or families had individual gods for personal prayer. They could leave their god and
worship a new one if they had bad luck with their last god.
•Marduk - King of Gods, God of the rising sun
•Ea - God of wisdom
•Shamash - God of justice, Sun God
•Ishtar - God of love and war
•Tiamat - Dragon goddess, slain by Marduk, corpse made into the Earth
•Nabu - Son of Marduk
~Though the city of Babylon stands today, it is in ruins
compared to what it used to be.
~The most impressive parts of the city that stand today are the
various temples and ziggurats, the multiple gates, most notibly
the rebuilt Gate of Ishtar, the Processional Road, the largest
and only paved road in the city, and the kings palace.
~The more famous examples of the city's architecture are the
Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Tower of Babel, but
neither stand today and many debate their existence.
~Most art were terra-cotta or stone carvings of gods, kings and animals.
Were apparently glass makers, but no samples remain today. Their most
notable contribution is the use of polychrome glazed bricks, which gave the
bricks a shiny blue coating and protected them from damage for 1,000's of
~The main form of government was a
monarchy with one king
~The king used governors to maintain order
and control over different provinces of the
~An effective tool used by the government
was Hammurabi's Code, the ﬁrst uniform
code of laws which, reinforced class
awilu, a free person of the upper
mushkenu, a free person of
wardu, or slave
~Patriarchy authority was enforced by the
code but women still had laws to protect
Economic life and trade relations
~Babylon was a very prosperous city and empire
~Babylon traded surplus' of food and manufactured goods such as
furniture and pottery
~In return they received goods from around the ancient world:
~From the south they received cotton
~They imported wood from Persia and India in the east
~Babylon traded for wood from Syria in the north
~They imported minerals such as gold, copper, and stone
from Egypt, Sinai, and Yemen in the west
Other major achievements and facts
~The most famous innovation of ancient Babylonian culture was astronomy, which began as
a study of astrology
~Created calendar which perfectly predicted eclipses
~Sexagesimal system for the calculation of time and angles, which is still practical because
of the multiple divisibility of the number 60
~Cuneiform on clay tablets revealed their knowledge of science, math, and literature. That
Babylonians recorded on these tablets songs, prayers, and poems along with history and
~The Babylonians performed complicated surgeries and had extensive knowledge on
medicine. They even did operations of eyes
Archaeology in Babylonia
~Much of the western part of Babylon is under water because the Euphrates River has changed it's course
over time, so excavation of much of the city is difﬁcult to do.
~ Some prominent sites found in Babylon include:
~Kasr (Castle/Palace): the burial place of Nebuchadnezzar
~Amran Ibn Ali: the site of a temple of Marduk, also called Esagila, which contained shrines to the
deities Nabu and Ea
~Babil: site for a palace of Nebuchadnezzar's
~Archaeology in Babylon and other parts of Babylonia are still being excavated today but much of what
we know about Ancient Babylonia is from archaeology, such as the layout of their cities, their knowledge
of math, and the natural disasters that occurred.
Lendering, Jona. "Babylonian Empire". Livius: Articles on Ancient History. 02/24/2010 http://www.livius.org/ba-
Gappa, Andrew. "Babylonia". Emuseum. 02/24/2010 http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/oldworld/middle_east/
Babylonian Empire." Livius. Articles on Ancient History. Web. 05 Mar. 2010.
"Hammurabi's Code." Center for History and New Media. Web. 05 Mar. 2010.
History World International. "A History of Babylon." Http://history-world.org. History World International, 2004.
Web. 6 Mar. 2010.
Russell, Rusty. "Ancient Babylonia." Http://www.bible-history.com. Bible History Online. Web. 6 Mar. 2010.