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  Lesson 5: Assyria
  Lesson 6: Chaldea
  Lesson 7: The Innovations of Mesopotamia

Lesson 6: Chaldea

The fourth and final great civilization of Mesopotamia was Chaldea. Chaldea, or New Babylonia, was to a certain degree a recreation of the old Babylonian empire. However, this second Babylonian empire was even greater and more glorious than the first.

Under Nebuchadnezzar, the most famous of the Chaldean kings, the city of Babylon was rebuilt with great splendor. It became one of the most magnificent cities in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The city had beautiful gates of brass engraved with intricate designs. Its streets were laid with great blocks of red and white stone. The city walls were also enlarged. The walls were so thick that an eight-horse chariot could turn around on the top of them!

The Hanging Gardens of BabylonBabylon also became home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: the Hanging Gardens. These gardens were a series of earth-covered terraces in which beautiful trees,flowers, and shrubs were planted. Water was pumped from the Euphrates River and used to make waterfalls and pools throughout the gardens. Nebuchadnezzar had these gardens built to look like a mountain in order to make his queen happy (she had been raised amongst the mountains and missed her home). From a distance, the gardens looked as if they were hanging in the air.

The kings who followed Nebuchadnezzar were unable to hold power for long. One after another, the countries that Chaldea had conquered rebelled and became free. Then the Persians, mighty conquerors from the east, captured Babylon, and the last great Mesopotamian civilization fell.

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