A partial view of the ruins of Babylon from Saddam Hussein's Summer Palace.
|Location||Hillah, Babylon Province, Iraq|
|Area||9 km2 (3.5 sq mi)|
Babylon (Arabic: بابل, Babil; Akkadian: Bābili(m); Sumerian logogram: KÁ.DINGIR.RAKI; Hebrew: בָּבֶל, Bāvel; Greek: Βαβυλών Babylṓn) was an Akkadian city-state (founded in 1894 BC by an Amorite dynasty) of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Hillah, Babylon Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometres (53 mi) south of Baghdad. All that remains of the original ancient famed city of Babylon today is a large mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The city itself was built upon the Euphrates, and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods.
Available historical resources suggest that Babylon was at first a small town which had sprung up by the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. The town flourished and attained independence with the rise of the First Amorite Babylonian Dynasty in 1894 BC. Claiming to be the successor of the ancient city of Eridu, Babylon eclipsed Nippur as the "holy city" of Mesopotamia around the time an Amorite king named Hammurabi first created the short lived Babylonian Empire; this quickly dissolved upon his death and Babylon spent long periods under Assyrian, Kassite and Elamite domination. Babylon again became the seat of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 608 to 539 BC which was founded by Chaldeans and whose last king was an Assyrian. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After the fall of Babylon it came under the rules of the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, Roman and Sassanid empires.