The name of Babylon, today, is used as a synonym for evil and debauchery. Our view of the ancient empire is colored by biblical history, and it’s not exactly flattering. It calls Babylon the “mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations” and says that “happy is he who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rocks.”
In its time, though, Babylon was one of the world’s most powerful cities, a name uttered with awe. Much of the real Babylon has been lost to time, but archaeologists have found pieces. Through them, we glimpse into one of the world’s first great civilizations.
10. A Babylonian Home
In 1899, archaeologists found the city of Babylon itself. Inside, they saw a hint of what life was like in an ordinary Babylonian home.
Babylon was made without stones. Every building and every wall was built out of clay bricks. Those bricks were glazed with color and pictures of gods, beasts, and men. The walls of the city were coated in lapis lazuli, a blue mineral worth its weight in gold.
A Babylonian home would be built out of clay bricks, as well. Most would be on dusty, unpaved roads, off the side of the main streets. Many would be a single room leading out into an open court, though some with a little more wealth would have extra rooms attached.
Inside, they kept decorative pots and lanterns, glazed with little dashes of color to bring it alive. The children would have small clay toys or toy terracotta ships to play with. The grown men would gamble, playing games with the ankle bones of animals.