Babylon Illustration

Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids


One of the great cities of ancient times was the city of Babylon.  Babylon was in southern Mesopotamia near the Persian Gulf.

The city was a sight to behold.  It had huge walls surrounding it, and in its center was a 300 foot tall Ziggurat.  The city itself was surrounded by fields, irrigated from a network of canals.

To enter the city you passed along Procession Avenue, a stone road that led between lines of huge brick animals.  You then had to pass through the Ishtar Gate, a massive arched gate decorated with dragons and bulls.

Once inside the walls, the city itself was very crowded.  Everyone lived inside the city.  Farmers did not live on their farms but here in the city.  Merchants, craftsmen, food vendors all made their homes here.  The streets were narrow, flanked on each side by the three story houses of the inhabitants.  People threw all of their waste and trash into the streets so they were quite filthy as well.  Every so often, the city nobles would cover the trash and filth with a layer of clay, raising the level of the streets.  People would then build steps down to their doorways or maybe even cut a new door in the second level and build stairs down to the street.

In the center of the city was the great Ziggurat.  Over 300 feet tall, it dominated the city.  In addition to the Ziggurat were the palace of the king.  Inside the palace was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the hanging gardens of Babylon.

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