Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Babylon at the Louvre

Lion the imagery of the gods.

The Burney Relief, ca. 1950 BC

A great piece found in a 1st century AD grave with ruby eyes.

This last Sunday, May 20th, 2008 Sascar and I decided to finally check out the Babylon exhibit at the Louvre. It was amazing and detailed Babylon from them middle of the 3rd millennium BC to the 1st century and beyond.
The exhibition began Sumer’s archaic dynasties: in ancient Akkadian, the governor of a place called Bar-bar. This was around 2500 BC, yet back then little is known since the archaeological record cannot be touched as it is inaccessible. In a phonetic transcription of Ba(b)bar or Ba(b)bal, comes the concept of the Tower of Babel, most likely a temple to the city god Marduk. ]
The exhibit was filled with pieces of temples, sculptures and tablets. Most impressive was how the Christians used Babylon as a symbol of negativity and failure of a great culture. It effected biblical writings throughout history. I saw tablets which explained the epic of King Gilgamesh and the story of the deluge, the great flood, which found it’s way into the bible.
Seeing these pieces in person was amazing, all thousands of years old and only meters away from me. As you moved beyond the ancient sculptures and tablets about half way through the exhibit you could begin to see all the designs of the various interpretations of the Tower of Babel in art, paintings and pre-printing press bibles.
Definitely check out the official website at: http://mini-site.louvre.fr/babylone/EN/ . I managed to get a few pics from under my coat.

1 comment:

Assai said...

I am extremely jealous of you!
Thanks for sharing! :)