Future of Babylon Project

May 1, 2015

The U.S. Department of State is assisting with management planning, preservation, and educational development at the ancient site of Babylon, home to the “Tower of Babel” and Nebuchadnezzar’s wondrous “Hanging Gardens.” After concerns surfaced in 2004 about damage to Babylon, ECA’s Cultural Heritage Center published a comprehensive 618-page illustrated report (PDF) on harm done to the site during the rule of Saddam Hussein and use by coalition forces.

This report has laid the foundation for current ameliorative actions. The Department has awarded $2.7 million in funding to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) to collaborate with the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in the development of policies and practices that will ensure future preservation of the site, and serve as a model for the management of other Iraqi heritage sites. WMF also works closely with Iraqi preservationists to conserve key ancient structures damaged by erosion, neglect, and inappropriate use, including the 2,500-year-old Nabu-Sha-Khare Temple and Ishtar Gate. A $1 million field training initiative, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, will enable comprehensive classroom instruction and on-site training of Iraqi preservation specialists involved in the project.


Learn more about the U.S. Department of State's Cultural Heritage Center.