Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

"Babylon wrecked by war"

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Komnenos View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Retired AE Administrator

Joined: 20-Dec-2004
Location: Neutral Zone
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4361
  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Babylon wrecked by war"
    Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 09:50

Troops from the US-led force in Iraq have caused widespread damage and severe contamination to the remains of the ancient city of Babylon, according to a damning report released today by the British Museum.

The ancient city has been used by US and Polish forces as a military depot for the past two years, despite objections from archaeologists. "This is tantamount to establishing a military camp around the Great Pyramid in Egypt or around Stonehenge in Britain," says the report, which has been seen by the Guardian.

From: The Guardian 14/1/05 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1391042,00.html

Just an act of sheer unbelievable ignorance and carelessness or is a more sinister purpose behind this?

Or should we get things in perspective: Why should we get upset about a pile of rubble when this war has cost hundred of thousands of mostly innocent lives?Answers on a postcard!



Edited by Komnenos
[IMG]http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i137/komnenos/crosses1.jpg">
Back to Top
J.M.Finegold View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 11-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 457
  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2005 at 16:02
Heh, I think military necessity overules historical importance... but that's just me and my Machiavellian mindset.
Back to Top
pytheas View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 14-Dec-2004
Location: Wales
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 130
  Quote pytheas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 01:33
I can sort of see both sides of the coin.  Dux is correct in saying that modern war can not always take into consideration archaeological interests, but as an archaeologist myself, I hate seeing anything of cultural significance lost to any kind of destruction.  I hope very much that this war will end very soon and will allow most importantly the people of Iraq stability, peace, and prosperity, but also a chance to study their own past through whatever means they see fit.  I hope very much to one day be able to stand as an American archaeologist in Babylon, Ur, and many other very intriguing sites without having to join the army or marines to do so...
Truth is a variant based upon perception. Ignorance is derived from a lack of insight into others' perspectives.
Back to Top
vagabond View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 524
  Quote vagabond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2005 at 03:52

I think - war or no - we have an obligation to do everything we can to preserve our collective heritage.  These sites are quite simply irreplaceable.  One of the things that traditionally separates barbarians from civilized peoples is the ability to recognize, even during war, that there are some things worth saving.  To allow a place like Babylon, which is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, to be destroyed is unconscionable.  To contribute to that destruction is to become the barbarian.

There are traditional roles even in warfare, and particularly in western civilizations' perspective on war - many of them borrowed from the medieval chivalric codes.  The good guys wore the white armor (or the white hat), fed and protected the innocent and noncombatants, offered medical aid to all who needed it, and did everything they could to salvage the heritage and culture around them.  There were rules about the humane treatment of prisoners and many other similar issues.   Observation of these rules made it harder to fight against the bad guys - because they didn't observe the rules - but the mere fact that they didn't observe the rules is what made them the bad guys. 

If we begin to ignore these rules and sacrifice everything by which we have been governed for so many centuries - what have we gained?  If we stop observing the rules in order to win - who are the bad guys?  Are we winning anything or is it time to question who we have become?

I find myself bemused by the world's ability to spend millions on museums, research and preservation, and yet stand by and allow something like this to pass with barely a word.  Then again - who would listen?  Barbarians get their name from their inability to communicate intelligently.

In the time of your life, live - so that in that wonderous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it. (Saroyan)
Back to Top
Atourian View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 07-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Atourian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2005 at 01:08
^ Excellent post. I agree with you 100%.

I highly doubt that setting up a base there was necessary.

... somebody had tried to gouge out the decorated bricks forming the famous dragons of the Ishtar Gate.

What a fool. That's hardly the original.
Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; the end of the world is evidently approaching.
- Assyrian clay tablet 2800 B.C
Back to Top
J.M.Finegold View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 11-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 457
  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2005 at 19:03
There are traditional roles even in warfare, and particularly in western civilizations' perspective on war - many of them borrowed from the medieval chivalric codes.  The good guys wore the white armor (or the white hat), fed and protected the innocent and noncombatants, offered medical aid to all who needed it, and did everything they could to salvage the heritage and culture around them.  There were rules about the humane treatment of prisoners and many other similar issues.   Observation of these rules made it harder to fight against the bad guys - because they didn't observe the rules - but the mere fact that they didn't observe the rules is what made them the bad guys.


Destroying buildings due to collateral damage or strategic necessity has nothing to do with prisoners of war, and there is no law which illegalizes or critisizes the destruction of material.  If there's an Iraqi palace bristling with anti-aerial weapons, and theirs a archeological ground right next to it, I think it necessary to drop a GBU-28 right ontop of the place, all due to military necessity.  As a military commander I would care less about the past, and care more about the lives of my men.  Of course, archeologists may not agree, and historians may not agree - and as Pytheas side, we see both ways, as both are historians (he being an archealogist) - however, we all have our bias.


I find myself bemused by the world's ability to spend millions on museums, research and preservation, and yet stand by and allow something like this to pass with barely a word.  Then again - who would listen?  Barbarians get their name from their inability to communicate intelligently.


Sacking a city is very different from collateral damage.  At least the United States didn't go striking every single site with tomahawk missiles - that would be barbarism.

And in war...we're all barbarians.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.