Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tower of Babel discovered?

Archaeologist in Iraq are beginning to save the ruins of a tower that some claim is the tower of Babel from Genesis 11. These archaeologists suggest that the tower is the one described in Genesis 11 that was destroyed by God when the languages of the world ceased to be unified. The also suggest that King Nebuchadnezzar II tried to rebuild the tower to a hight of 300 feet 2600 years ago. You can read the article here.

However, this is probably not THE tower of Babel. Instead it is Etemenanki which was a ziggurat built by Nebuchadnezzar II. Stephen Harris suggests that the biblical story in Genesis was likely influenced by Etemenakni, rather than being the tower mentioned in Genesis 11. In any case, this is just another reminder of why archaeological evidence should be handled cautiously.


  1. This is from the Stephen Harris reference in your blog: "According to modern scholars such as Stephen L. Harris, the biblical story of the Tower of Babel was likely influenced by Etemenanki during the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews, though other scholars contest that the Genesis account, if taken at face value, would predate this structure."

    Babel would certainly be older than the other tower mentioned... if the biblical account is 'taken at face value".

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  3. Etemananki was not built by Nebuchednezzar II, it was REBUILT by him. You really need to read the information contained in your own links because it is right there in the Wiki entry. It says there was a ziggurat already on that site before the destruction of Babylon in 689 BC and that ziggurat dated to 2000 BC and that one was destroyed with the city. The latest one can't be the Tower of Babel, but the earlier one certainly could have been.