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US Troops Destroy Babylon

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  • US Troops Destroy Babylon

    Babylon wrecked by war

    US-led forces leave a trail of destruction and contamination in architectural site of world importance

    Rory McCarthy in Baghdad, and Maev Kennedy
    Saturday January 15, 2005
    The Guardian

    Troops from the US-led force in Iraq have caused widespread damage and severe contamination to the remains of the ancient city of Babylon, according to a damning report released today by the British Museum.

    John Curtis, keeper of the museum's Ancient Near East department and an authority on Iraq's many archaeological sites, found "substantial damage" on an investigative visit to Babylon last month.

    The ancient city has been used by US and Polish forces as a military depot for the past two years, despite objections from archaeologists.

    "This is tantamount to establishing a military camp around the Great Pyramid in Egypt or around Stonehenge in Britain," says the report, which has been seen by the Guardian.

    Among the damage found by Mr Curtis, who was invited to Babylon by Iraqi antiquities experts, were cracks and gaps where somebody had tried to gouge out the decorated bricks forming the famous dragons of the Ishtar Gate.

    He saw a 2,600-year-old brick pavement crushed by military vehicles, archaeological fragments scattered across the site, and trenches driven into ancient deposits.

    Vast amounts of sand and earth, visibly mixed with archaeological fragments, were gouged from the site to fill thousands of sandbags and metal mesh baskets. When this practice was stopped, large quantities of sand and earth were brought in from elsewhere, contaminating the site for future generations of archaeologists.

    Mr Curtis called for an international investigation by archaeologists chosen by the Iraqis to record all the damage done by the occupation forces.

    Last night the US military defended its operations at the site, but said all earth-moving projects had been stopped and it was considering moving troops away to protect the ruins.

    Babylon, a city renowned for its beauty and its splendour 1,000 years before Europe built anything comparable, was chosen as the site for a US military base in April 2003, just after the invasion of Iraq.

    Military commanders set up their camp in the heart of one of the world's most important archaeological sites and surrounded the enclosed part of the ancient city. At least 2,000 troops were installed, daily passing iconic relics like the enormous basalt Lion of Babylon sculpture.

    In September 2003 the base was passed to a Polish-led force, which held it until today's formal handover of the site to the Iraqi culture ministry.

    In his report, Mr Curtis accepted that initially the US military presence helped protect the site from looters. But he described as "regrettable" the decision to set up a base in such an important spot.

    He found that large areas of the site had been covered in gravel brought in from outside, compacted and sometimes chemically treated to provide helipads, car parks and accommodation and storage areas. "The status of future information about these areas will therefore be seriously compromised," he said.

    Archaeologists were horrified by the confirmation of reports which have been filtering out of Iraq for months.

    "Outrage is hardly the word, this is just dreadful," said Lord Redesdale, an archaeologist and head of the all-party parliamentary archaeological group. "These are world sites. Not only is what the American forces are doing damaging the archaeology of Iraq, it's actually damaging the cultural heritage of the whole world."

    Tim Schadla Hall, reader in public archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, said: "In this case we see an international conflict in which the US has failed to take into account the requirements of the Hague convention ... to protect major archaeological sites - just another convention it seems happy to ignore."

    Lieutenant Colonel Steven Boylan, a US military spokes man in Baghdad, said engineering works at the camp were discussed with the head of the Babylon museum. "An archaeologist examined every construction initiative for its impact on historical ruins."

    He said plans were being considered to move some of the units in order "to better preserve the Babylon ruins."

    "The significance of Babylon is not lost on the coalition," he added. "The site dates back to the time of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon, but there are very few visible original remains to the untrained eye."


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/internatio...391011,00.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/internatio...391004,00.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/st...390973,00.html
    Co-Founder, Apolyton Civilization Site
    Co-Owner/Webmaster, Top40-Charts.com | CTO, Apogee Information Systems
    giannopoulos.info: my non-mobile non-photo news & articles blog

  • #2
    No, they liberated it. Be rational, man

    Comment


    • #3
      "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Rev. 18:2)

      Wiio's First Law: Communication usually fails, except by accident.

      Comment


      • #4
        Can someone explain to me the rationale behind using an ancient, precious city as a military base?

        Comment


        • #5
          In a situation where previously the Iraqis were led by a brutal maniac who murdered and tortured his own people, and today, and where today it is threatened by a fundamentalist fanatics who would like to set up a Taliban style state in Iraq, considerations over historical artifacts plae when considering everything else that is at stake.
          "I'm moving to the Left" - Lancer

          "I imagine the neighbors on your right are estatic." - Slowwhand

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sandman
            Can someone explain to me the rationale behind using an ancient, precious city as a military base?
            To prevent looting post-Saddam.
            The cake is NOT a lie. It's so delicious and moist.

            The Weighted Companion Cube is cheating on you, that slut.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Shi Huangdi
              In a situation where previously the Iraqis were led by a brutal maniac who murdered and tortured his own people, and today, and where today it is threatened by a fundamentalist fanatics who would like to set up a Taliban style state in Iraq, considerations over historical artifacts plae when considering everything else that is at stake.
              Yes, because the US military can't multitask: Either they do whatever the Hell it is they think they're doing currently in Iraq or they protect Babylon from desecration at the hands of their own soldiers.
              The cake is NOT a lie. It's so delicious and moist.

              The Weighted Companion Cube is cheating on you, that slut.

              Comment


              • #8
                they ought to use windows then!
                Co-Founder, Apolyton Civilization Site
                Co-Owner/Webmaster, Top40-Charts.com | CTO, Apogee Information Systems
                giannopoulos.info: my non-mobile non-photo news & articles blog

                Comment


                • #9
                  Monte Cassino all over again.
                  One day Canada will rule the world, and then we'll all be sorry.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My God, what a mess

                    They're only part of an ancient tradition though
                    "post reported"Winston, on the barricades for freedom of speech
                    "I don't like laws all over the world. Doesn't mean I am going to do anything but post about it."Jon Miller :b:

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                    • #11
                      infinite sin wins again and again

                      Babylon was a place of sin, according to the holy bible. Therefore it makes sense to trash what dusty remains of it by the forces of christian goodness. Meanwhile....back home....infinite sin continues......foreaver and ever....BY THE FORCES OF INFINITE GREED. All blessed are all the holy motor-cars. Thus ends the sermon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So much for Babylon 1.
                        Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

                        Comment


                        • #13


                          goddamn ****in g piece of **** americans
                          i hate those rat bastards


                          "The significance of Babylon is not lost on the coalition," he added. "The site dates back to the time of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon, but there are very few visible original remains to the untrained eye."

                          that's not the issue ffs... but oh well, people with an untrained eye don't care about this anyway
                          "An archaeologist is the best husband a women can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her." - Agatha Christie
                          "Non mortem timemus, sed cogitationem mortis." - Seneca

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                          • #14
                            Can someone explain to me the rationale behind using an ancient, precious city as a military base?
                            Well perhaps if we put our tinfoil hats on and use



                            "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Rev. 18:2)
                            Then we could say that the administration is trying to bring about those parts of the book of revelations that they can.

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                            • #15
                              High tech Barbarians.
                              Tecumseh's Village, Home of Fine Civilization Scenarios

                              www.tecumseh.150m.com

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