Babylon besieged!

Well, okay, actually just damaged.  But it is (mostly) because of war.

American troops and contractors in Iraq inflicted serious damage on the archaeological site of Babylon in Iraq, driving heavy machinery over once-sacred paths, bulldozing hilltops and digging trenches through the terrain, Unesco experts said Thursday. “The use of Babylon as a military base was a grave encroachment on this internationally known archaeological site,” said a report that the United Nations cultural agency presented in Paris.

This is what the Hanging Gardens of Babylon looked like before the American occupation 2500 years ago.  It’s a shame that one of the original Seven Wonders of the World still isn’t able to be recognized as a World Heritage site.  Saddam carving his name into some of the buildings also didn’t help.

(image from flickr user Carla216 under a Creative Commons license)