World Monuments Fund began working with Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in 2008 to conserve the fragile archaeological remains of Babylon. This exhibit presents Babylon, one of the marvels of the cradle of civilization, through photographs, drawings, and 3D images that help conservators understand the site and are some of the tools necessary for the current work.
Digital documentation provides a detailed picture of how Ishtar Gate is being affected by the elements.
Conservation work addressed immediate needs such as repointing the brick at Ishtar Gate and measuring the changing groundwater level, and its impact on masonry humidity. The project team analyzed the correlation of these factors to the conditions of the nearby Shatt al-Hillah, a branch of the Euphrates River. A weather station on site also provides valuable data on climatic conditions.
All of this information helps conservators understand the current conditions on the site and how treatments must take into consideration the realities of rainwater, groundwater, sandstorms, temperature and humidity. All of which can affect the existing historic materials and choices for conservation treatment.
Based on the archaeological remains exposed during campaigns from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, the cluster of highly speculative modern reconstructions pictured below are meant to recreate historic building types of Babylon.
Above is the reconstructed Southern Palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, as seen from the northeast, showing the adjoining Processional Street to the left and part of the inner city walls to the lower right.
World Monuments Fund is pleased to work with our ongoing partners, CyArk, University of Florida's Envision Heritage and others who address cultural heritage conservation.