Return to Babylon: Travelers, Archaeologists, and Monuments in Mesopotamia

by Brian M. Fagan

Paperback, 2007



Call number

DS69 .F33


University Press of Colorado (2007), Edition: Revised, 386 pages


In the barren landscape between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, adventurers of the nineteenth century suspected that the remains of fabled kingdoms lay beneath the sands. As they dug into the mounds of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), these European and American archaeologists struck treasures beyond their wildest dreams--the graves of the stupendous Old Testament cities of Nineveh, Babylon, and Ur, and artifacts leading back to the birth of civilization. Return to Babylon reveals the excitement, the danger, the international competition, and the extraordinary men and women who made this era of archaeological exploration one of the most dramatic of all time. Near Eastern archaeology in the nineteenth century was dangerous: diseases took their toll, the midnight air could register 114°, and roving bands of thieves frequently menaced the foreigners encamped at excavation sites. Still, these adventurers were smitten by the alluring East and propelled by a powerful curiosity.--From publisher description.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member keylawk
The author is one of the best translators of archeological arcana to the public, but is an example of one who is so energetic at gathering the trees, that he fails to mention either the migrations of the forest or the composition of the wood.
I learned from here, that "we owe to Ashur-bani-pal the preservation of two literary masterpieces of the word, the two "Epics", of Gilgamesh and The World. Ashur was of course, the Assyrian conqueror with the blood-thirsty "reputation"--which he devoted a lot of time to creating, although in fact he was a devoted scholar and loved learning. He is a poster-child for Peace through Strength, the only true Peace.
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Original language


Physical description

386 p.; 5.75 inches


0870818678 / 9780870818677


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