Monday, 19 December 2011

Ancient Texts Tell Tales of War, Bar Tabs

A trove of newly translated texts from the ancient Middle East are revealing accounts of war, the building of pyramidlike structures called ziggurats and even the people's use of beer tabs at local taverns.
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Among the finds is a haunting, albeit partly lost, inscription in the words of King Nebuchadnezzar II, a ruler of Babylon who built a great ziggurat — massive pyramidlike towers built in ancient Mesopotamia — dedicated to the god Marduk about 2,500 years ago.

The inscription was carved onto a stele, a stone slab used for engraving. It includes a drawing of the ziggurat and King Nebuchadnezzar II himself.

Some scholars have argued that the structure inspired the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. In the inscription, Nebuchadnezzar talks about how he got people from all over the world to build the Marduk tower and a second ziggurat at Borsippa.
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One section deals with his conquest of the city of Babylon, defeating a king named Marduk-nadin-ahhe.

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