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y2karl (2)

Hollywood Babylon ... and on and on and on

I Went to the Pre-Oscar Celebrity Gifting Suites and All I Got Was This Sense of Disgust [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Feb 26, 2012 - 70 comments

Surreal Babies

Babylon: Surreal Babies "Babies hatch from eggs, bubble from cauldrons, are fished from rivers, emerge in the cabbage patch, sit atop clouds, and ride in zeppelins. They play instruments, drive automobiles, fly in balloons, harvest the fields; an anarchistic world of baby heaven. The postcards were a source of inspiration to many artists in the 1920s and '30s, in particular to both the Dadaists and the Surrealists. They were collected by Paul Éluard, André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Hannah Höch, Herbert Bayer, and Man Ray. The popular images excited inspiration in these artists because of their boundless inventiveness."
posted by puny human on Mar 17, 2011 - 10 comments

Ancient cities of Iraq

Iraq is full of fabled ancient ruins, many in bad shape, but which still fire the imagination. Some highlights: Ur, birthplace of Abraham, still contained many beautiful artifacts when it was last excavated in the 1920s. Then there is vanished Cunaxa, near Baghdad's airport, where the Ten Thousand, a group of Greek mercenaries, fought their way back to Greece in a 1,000 mile, two-year-long retreat described by Xenophon in the Anabasis (and which served as the inspiration for cult films/games and bad science fiction alike). The ruins of the city of Nineveh were discovered in the 19th century just across the river from Mosul, containing art confirming elements of the Biblical account of the conquests of King Sennacherib. Most famously, the ruins of Babylon (not much to look at, the best bit being in Berlin) have seen much abuse, from Saddam's awful rebuilding of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar to reports of recent damage by coalition troops.
posted by blahblahblah on Jan 11, 2006 - 15 comments

The Smash of Civilizations

'...Today, such famous sites as the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the ziggurat at Ur, the temple precinct at Babylon, and a ninth-century spiral minaret at Samarra have been scarred by violence, while equally important ancient sites, particularly in the southern provinces, are being ravaged by looters who work day and night to fuel an international art market hungry for antiquities. Historic districts in urban areas have also suffered from vandalism, looting, and artillery fire. In response to such widespread damage and continuing threats to our collective cultural heritage and the significance of the sites at risk, World Monument Fund has taken the unprecedented step of including the entire country of Iraq on its 2006 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.'
The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology
The Smash of Civilizations
posted by y2karl on Jul 8, 2005 - 11 comments

Alas Babylon

The damage wrought by the construction of an American military base in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon must rank as one of the most reckless acts of cultural vandalism in recent memory. And all the more so because it was unnecessary and avoidable... but given that it was, the US authorities were very aware of the warnings of archaeologists of the historic importance of the site. Yet, as a report by Dr John Curtis of the British Museum makes clear, they seem to have ignored the warnings. Dr Curtis claimed that in the early days after the war a military presence served a valuable purpose in preventing the site from being looted. But that, he said, did not stop "substantial" damage being done to the site afterwards not just to individual buildings such as the Ishtar Gate, "one of the most famous monuments from antiquity", but also on an estimated 300,000 square metres which had been flattened and covered in gravel, mostly imported from elsewhere. This was done to provide helicopter landing places and parking lots for heavy vehicles that should not have been allowed there in the first place...

Cultural vandalism. Months of war that ruined centuries of history. American graffiti.
posted by y2karl on Jan 15, 2005 - 62 comments

Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia at the British Museum.
posted by plep on Apr 14, 2003 - 3 comments

hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi is generally recognized as the first laws ever written. Hammurabi was the ruler who chiefly established the greatness of Babylon (present day Iraq), the world's first metropolis.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 31, 2003 - 14 comments

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