Brick And Tar Found In Iraq Tallies With Tower Of Babel Story
The Tower of Babel remains one of the most mysterious elements of the Bible story. According to the book, it was a structure located in the land of Shinar — Babylon — built sometime after the Deluge or Great Flood. Its construction and the story behind it is given in Genesis 11:1-9, where people said: "'Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.'
Photo Insert: The Tower of Babel
"They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar,” another verse said. “Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.'"
There are no remains of the tower with many researchers of the opinion that the story may have been an attempt to explain the existence of various human languages. Others contend that the tower is pure myth: a metaphor.
However, there is at least some evidence that suggests the tower was built under the watch of the great King Nebuchadnezzar II, who, in 585 BC, led a bid for world supremacy, reported Joel Day for Daily Express.
In order to fulfill this ambition, he laid siege to Jerusalem, 500 miles to the west. His army sacked the city and captured its most highly-skilled and highly-educated citizens, taking them back to Babylon as prisoners of war. They were forced to work for Nebuchadnezzar in a period that is now known as the Babylonian captivity.
Dr. Irving Finkel of the British Museum said: "When you look at the early chapters of the Bible, it is clear that some of it is drawn from the Judeans' own records, and some of it incorporates narratives which they must have encountered for the first time in Babylon which were so powerful and striking that the authors, the philosophers who worked on the Hebrew texts incorporated them to tell their own story."
While little remains from the time period concerned, during excavation work, archaeologists have come across a brick commissioned by Nebuchadnezzar. It was, at first, difficult to conclude whether or not it had been used to construct the tower.
After analysis of its material was carried out, researchers had something of a eureka moment, discovering that it carried traces of a strange, highly unusual material from the time: bitumen, which is an ancient tar and mortar.