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“U.S., Iraqi experts developing plan to preserve Babylon, build local tourism industry”
by Stars and Stripes   
June 29th, 2009

HILLAH, Iraq — The remains of what was once the greatest city in the world occupy a vast site on the bank of the Euphrates River.

Their roots go back 3,800 years to when the city of Babylon was the heart of a Mesopotamian empire, and the remnants include great slabs of stone that are said to be the remains of King Nebuchadnezzar’s castle. A giant stone lion guards one end of the fortifications, but the most stunning remnants were removed by European archaeologists in the early 20th century.

Now soldiers with the 172nd Infantry Brigade are exploring the ruins as part of a U.S.-Iraqi effort to preserve the ancient city and plan for the return of Western tourists.

Members of the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment escorted a group of U.S. heritage tourism experts to the ruins last week for the first of several visits to develop a preservation and tourism plan for the area.

U.S. and coalition troops have been criticized in the past for damaging and contaminating artifacts. In a 2006 report, the head of the British Museum’s Near East department said that, among other things, military vehicles crushed a 2,600-year-old brick pavement, and sand and archeological fragments were used to fill military sandbags.

Now the rapidly improving security situation in surrounding Babil province has persuaded the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to embark on the preservation project, dubbed the Future of Babylon Project.

Editors Note.... This is an attempt to preserve the ruins of Babylon, not an attempt to rebuild the city. The Lord said the city would never be rebuilt, it hasn't been and it won't be. Alexander the Great sought to rebuild it in 330 B.C and died an untimely death at the age of 33. Saddum Hussein sought to rebuild the city and look what happened to him. Saddum Hussein built some buildings but they have no roofs on them and they are not occupied.

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