In Genesis 11, we read about the myth of Babel and that the Lord with his “hosts of heaven” went down to see what the humans were building and being afraid that they would reach the heaven, he confused their common speaking language in order to force them abandon the task. An absurd myth proving the ignorance of the biblical mythographers who believed that above the flat and floating on water earth, there was a firmament standing on four pillars close to the ground and that the humans could reach it with that construction.
The myth reveals the construction of a city with a magnificent ziqqurrat or temple-tower which according to historians and other cuneiform clay-tablet evidences, was dedicated to Marduk. E-sangil Tablet, a famous cuneiform document copied out by a scribal called Anu-belsunu in 229 BC, gives us more details of the construction and the real story of this ziqqurrat, made mainly with mud bricks. Excavations revealed the baked-brick mantle as a work of Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar II and the mud-brick core, as Esarhaddon’s work. The decipherment of the E-sangil Tablet confirmed most commentators in the view that the mythical Tower of Babel was a memory of a real building, a staged temple-tower that the Babylonians knew by the Sumerian ceremonial name of E-temen-anki ‘House of the Foundation Platform of Heaven and Underworld’.
The findings came into light by Robert Koldewey from 1913 onwards. In 1938, Wetzel publication of the excavations, corroborated by F. H. Weissbach’s edition of the E-sangil Tablet (Wetzel and Weissbach 1938), confirmed the existence of this tower which according to Herodotus “Babylônios logos” was an eight-step tower and an observatory, among other religious purposes dedicated to Marduk (Zeus).
Clay cuneiform tablet inscriptions -among them, the Babylonian poem of Erra– of Assyrian and Babylonian kings however, reveal the real cause of the final fate of this tower which was rebuilt and destroyed by conquerors and finally abandoned and not due to “divine interference”.
Question to those who believe or do not believe in talking serpents and donkeys, why the gods didn’t interfere when the highest tower of the world was built in S. Arabia measuring 1000 m (Jeddah Tower)?
For more information, read
Andrew George, “A stele of Nebuchadnezzar II (Tower of Babel stele)”
Approved ~ FS