What is the Tower of Babel?
According to the famed parable in Genesis, the Tower of Babel was a structure designed to be tall enough to reach the heavens. This was much to God’s dismay, so as a consequence, he thwarted their plans by confusing their language and scattering the people around the world.
While there are similar stories from other cultures, the Genesis tale is perhaps the most well-known version. Is it merely a Bible parable, or is there some truth behind the story of the famed tower?
Location of the Tower of Babel
According to this particular story, the tower was built in a place called Shinar. While no one can be sure of its exact location, it’s generally believed Shinar was Babylonia, somewhere in Mesopotamia.
Evidence of the Tower of Babel
Aside from depictions in the Bible and similar stories, there had never been any evidence for the Tower of Babel’s existence until the discovery of a clay tablet in Iraq.
The tablet dates back to around 600 BCE and depicts the seven tiers of a ziggurat, along with a portrait of King Nebuchadnezzar II. The text is the most notable aspect of the tablet, which reads:
“NEBUCHADNEZZAR, KING OF BABYLON AM I – IN ORDER TO COMPLETE E-TEMEN-ANKI AND E-UR-ME-IMIN-ANKI I MOBILIZED ALL COUNTRIES EVERYWHERE, EACH AND EVERY RULER WHO HAD BEEN RAISED TO PROMINENCE OVER ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD – LOVED BY MARDUK, FROM THE UPPER SEA TO THE LOWER SEA, THE DISTANT NATIONS, THE TEEMING PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, KINGS OF REMOTE MOUNTAINS AND FAR-FLUNG ISLANDS – THE BASE I FILLED IN TO MAKE A HIGH TERRACE. I BUILT THEIR STRUCTURES WITH BITUMEN AND BAKED BRICK THROUGHOUT. I COMPLETED IT RAISING ITS TOP TO THE HEAVEN, MAKING IT GLEAM BRIGHT AS THE SUN”
The text explicitly states that Nebuchadnezzar spearheaded the initiative to build the tower, assembling people from around the world to construct it. The tower is referred to as “E-Temen-Anki” (often stylized as “Etemenanki”).
Etemenanki is an ancient tower local inhabitants have long suspected to be the remains of the Tower of Babel, but there had been no evidence to support this theory until the discovery of the aforementioned clay tablet. The site was rediscovered in the 19th century by the local population and excavated in 1913 by Robert Koldewey.
Today, only some of the remains of Etemenanki are visible as much of the site is overgrown. However, it is believed to have been originally about 91 meters tall.
Tower of Babel: Fact or Fiction?
One can argue the story of the Tower of Babel isn’t entirely incredulous. People around the world built towering structures to honor their respective gods for centuries. The pyramids of Egypt, Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, and similar structures throughout the world are all notable examples, along with the slew of towering temples scattered worldwide.
With this in mind, the idea of people collaborating to build a tower with the goal of reaching the heavens doesn’t seem that far fetched. Combine this with the evidence of Etemenanki, and there is quite a strong case for the existence of the Tower of Babel; however there always room for exploration.
Want more like this article?
Don’t miss Ancient Civilizations on Gaia to journey through humanity’s suppressed origins and examine the secret code left behind by our ancestors.
The Tall, Red-Headed Demi-Gods From Orion
Humans through millennia have gazed into the night’s sky at Orion’s three outstanding stars. Among them was the Greek poet Homer who made mention of the constellation in the Odyssey;. the writers of the Old Testament referenced Orion in two of its books, Job and Amos; and the Egyptian mathematician Ptolemy, who cataloged Orion in his astronomical studies.
Named after the Greek hunter, the constellation of Orion is one of the most famous of all constellations, with nearly every ancient civilization forming an affinity to it from the Middle East to Africa and across the Americas. It is even said that the ancient Egyptians and Mayans used the three stars of Orion’s belt as a guide for positioning the pyramids, to mimic what they had seen in the heavens above.
And modern-day researchers, including Freddy Silva, are putting together the pieces embedded in the myths of the ancient world, asserting that the “gods” descended from the belt of Orion, came to Earth, and became our ancestors.
Many have questioned the origins of humans on Earth, as there seems to be no definitive starting point, but several researchers, such as Graham Hancock, Freddy Silva, and others, have concluded that mainstream science is way off the mark.
Silva cites several interesting sites and cultures that point to extraterrestrial origins of the human race, and his evidence is worldwide. The gods, Silva suggests, may have been more literal than mythical. A god, he says, “was considered any being who had control over the laws of nature… a god is a force of nature.” The gods who descended from Orion and came to planet Earth were human-like, but not quite human.
Much of this mystery has to do with the great flood occurring around 12,000 years ago that is written about in the oldest literature of myriad cultures. Following the flood, the gods seem to have moved on from this world, leaving their children behind to procreate with human women. The offspring were known as Nephila, translating to “the children of Orion.”