Skip to comments.Ancient Texts Part of Earliest Known Documents
Posted on 12/31/2011 5:23:11 PM PST by Engraved-on-His-hands
A team of scholars has discovered what might be the oldest representation of the Tower of Babel of Biblical fame, they report in a newly published book.
Carved on a black stone, which has already been dubbed the Tower of Babel stele, the inscription dates to 604-562 BCE.
It was found in the collection of Martin Schøyen, a businessman from Norway who owns the largest private manuscript assemblage formed in the 20th century.
Consisting of 13,717 manuscript items spanning over 5,000 years, the collection includes parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Buddhist manuscript rescued from the Taliban, and even cylcon symbols by Australia's Aborigines which can be up to 20,000 years old.
The collection also includes a large number of pictographic and cuneiform tablets -- which are some of the earliest known written documents -- seals and royal inscription spanning most of the written history of Mesopotamia, an area near modern Iraq.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...
Both the headline and some of the information in the article is misleading, but this is nevertheless
a significant find. The engraving on the stele clearly shows Nebuchadnezzar II on the right. The
multi-leveled Etemenanki is faintly visible on the left.
The Etemenanki was a ziggurat located in Babylon. It’s name is Sumerian for “Temple of the
Foundation of Heaven and Earth”. It was rebuilt by Nebuchadnezzar in the early 6th century B.C.
on the foundation of an earlier ziggurat. The earlier ziggurat is associated by some with the
Biblical Tower of Babel. The date of the earlier ziggurat is not known, with some suggested
dates ranging from the ninth to the fourteenth century B.C. However, it probably either was
earlier than this or had a predecessor. The Babylonian Creation Epic (the Enuma Elish) mentions
a ziggurat that already was in existence at that time in Babylon. The Enuma Elish is believed to
have been originally written around 1600 to 1800 B.C., so the ziggurat mentioned had to be older
The Etemenanki is also associated with the Esagila (the Temple of Marduk), whose earliest
beginnings are believed by some to date back to the early second millennium B.C. Both the
Etemenanki and Esagila were rebuilt and added to during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar in the
sixth century B.C.
The Etemenanki was approximately 300 feet in height. It seems to have differed from most other
ziggurats in its relative proportions. Whereas most ziggurats might be two to three times as long
as high, the Etemanki was more tower-like in construction, being approximately the same length
as height. (A rough description from Herodotus would seem to indicate a more typical
proportion, but another early document, speaking more precisely, indicates otherwise.).
Some meager brick remains of the Etemenanki are sometimes labeled as part of the Tower of
Babel. However, these bricks almost certainly date from the rebuilt Etemenanki in the sixth
century B.C. rather than to any earlier structure.
Nebuchadnezzar II (early sixth century B.C.) speaks thusly about the Etemenanki:
“A former king built the Temple of the Seven Lights of the Earth, but he did not complete its
head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words. Since
that time earthquakes and lightning had dispersed its sun-dried clay; the bricks of the casing had
split, and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps. Marduk, the great lord, excited my
mind to repair this building. I did not change the site, nor did I take away the foundation stone as
it had been in former times. So I founded it, I made it; as it had been in ancient days, I so exalted
Herodotus describes it as following:
“In the middle of the precinct there was a tower of solid masonry, a furlong [201 m] in length and
breadth, upon which was raised a second tower, and on that a third, and so on up to eight. The
ascent to the top is on the outside, by a path which winds round all the towers. When one is about
half-way up, one finds a resting-place and seats, where persons can sit for some time on their way
to the summit. On the topmost tower there is a spacious temple, and inside the temple stands a
couch of unusual size, richly adorned, with a golden table by its side. There is no statue of any
kind set up in the place, nor is the chamber occupied of nights by any one but a single native
woman, who, as the Chaldeans, the priests of this god, affirm, is chosen for himself by the deity
out of all the women of the land.”
—Herodotus. Histories. I. 181. (ca. 440 B.C.)
Here is an aerial photo of the ruined base of the Etemenanki:
Here are some artists’ renderings of the Etemenanki:
It was the Mesopotamian version of a stepped pyramid.
It is like pyramids all over the world.
Ah, this has nothing to do with the Tower of Babel. It’s the description of the refurbishing of a particular ziggurat in Babylon, the likeness of Nebuchadnezzar is more interesting than any unlikely connection to Babel.
Ancient texts are ones you sent 10 minutes ago.
There is a simple explanation for the existence for pyramids worldwide, without delving into any of the various sorts of conspiracies.
Pyramids, for the longest time was the tallest buildings man could build with the materials on hand. It also limited how high we could because to build them higher would have required bigger bases and there is only so much cut stone that can be cut.
You see the same principle in cars. One of the big reasons why so many fuel efficient cars look alike is because there are scientific principles behind aerodynamics and fuel efficiency and if you want to take advantage of those principles, the vehicle has to have a certain shape to it. Any variation from that shape is going to hurt the fuel efficiency.
It says the ziggurat was built on the foundation of an earlier ziggurat that is “associated by some to the Tower of Babel.” Okay, so they may be wrong. But they may also be right. This requires further unprejudiced investigation.
The Burj Khalifa........ tallest in the world
I’d love to go to the highest floor and look down.
The ‘tower of Babel’ well, after all the history of the New York Times I suppose important.
Nebuchadnezzar II seems to confirm Genesis 11 here.
Obviously this is much earlier than Nebuchadnezzar who lived in the 6th century B.C.
Gen. 11.2 describes the location of the tower as in "the land of Shinar." Shinar is said to be equivalent to Sumer. Babylon was not in the part of lower Mesopotamia inhabited in early times by the Sumerians but further north in the area inhabited by the Semitic-speaking Akkadians. Maybe the term "land of Shinar" had come to be used loosely.
There's a math problem in there somewhere....
Duplication found to be redundant.
No, in principle there isn’t.
Like all building structures, there is an optimal ration, when using any building material as to how much of a foundation is needed in order to build up.
If your foundation is too narrow, the structure will be too unstable and will collapse. And you can only build your structure as high as your materials will support. If you try to build higher, your foundation material will eventually crack and stop supporting the building.
Duplication found to be redundant.
Principled ~ There's a math problem in there somewhere....
All your base are belong to us.
With the way the world is going, you can have it. :)
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