“There was one language and one tongue in all the earth. Moving from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said one to another: let us make bricks and burn them with fire. And they had bricks instead of stones, and earthen resin instead of lime. And they said: We will build ourselves a city and a tower, high to the heavens, and we will make a name for ourselves before we scatter on the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men built. And the Lord said: Behold, the people is one, and they all have one language; and this is what they started to do, and they will not be left behind what they have planned to do; Come down and mix their language there, so that one does not understand the speech of the other. And the Lord scattered them from there over all the land; and they stopped building the city. Therefore, his name was given to him: Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them throughout the whole earth. ”
What is Sennaar, where the proud ones decided to build a colossus? So the Bible calls the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates in ancient times. He is Schumer, geographically - modern Iraq.
The events described occur in the period between the Flood and the migration of Abraham from Mesopotamia to Palestine. Biblical scholars (biblical believers) date the life of Abraham to the beginning of the second millennium BC. Consequently, the Babylonian Confusion in the literal biblical version occurs somewhere in the third millennium BC, several generations earlier than Abraham (the reality of the character is not the topic of this article).
Josephus supports this version: post-flood people do not want to depend on the gods and build a tower to the skies. The gods are angry - mixing languages, ending construction.
Something we already have: the tower was built in Sumer in the III millennium BC. However, for historians of the same Bible is not enough, therefore, further we will listen to the inhabitants of the Interfluve:
“By this time, Marduk commanded me the Tower of Babel, which was weakened to me and brought to a fall, to erect, setting its foundation on the chest of the underworld, and its top to go in the sky”- writes the Babylonian king Nabopolasar.
"I had a hand to finish building the top of Etemenanki so that she could argue with the sky"- writes his son, Nebuchadnezzar.
In 1899, the German archaeologist Robert Koldevey, exploring the desert hills 100 kilometers south of Baghdad, discovers the ruins of the forgotten Babylon. Koldewei will dig this city for the next 15 years of its life. And he will confirm two legends: about the Gardens of Semiramis and the Tower of Babel.
Koldewei discovered the square base of the Temple of Etemenanki, 90 meters wide. The above words of the kings were discovered precisely during these excavations on the cuneiform clay tables of Babylon. Every great city of Babylon had to have a ziggurat (pyramid-temple). The Temple of Etemenanki ("The Temple of the cornerstone of heaven and earth") had 7 tiers, painted in different colors. Each tier functioned as a temple to a deity. The pyramid was crowned with a golden statue of Marduk, the supreme god of the Babylonians. Etemenanki's height was 91 meters. If you compare it with the Pyramid of Cheops (142 meters), this is a rather impressive structure. To ancient man, the pyramid seemed to be a ladder to the sky. And this “ladder” was built of baked earthen bricks, as it is written in the Bible.
Now we will join the data. How did the temple of Etemenanki get into the bible?
Nebuchadnezzar II (Nebuchadnezzar II) at the beginning of the 6th century BC destroyed the kingdom of Judah and relocated its population to Babylon. It was there that the Jews, who by that time had not yet completed the formation of the Old Testament, and saw the ziggurats that struck their imagination. And the dilapidated or unfinished temple of Etemenanki. It is most likely that Nebuchadnezzar used the prisoners to restore the cultural monuments of their ancestors and to build new ones. There was a version of slaves ("balal" - "mixing" in Hebrew). After all, the Jews had never before encountered such multilingualism. But in the native language "Babylon" meant "God's Gate." There appeared a version that God once destroyed this tower. The ancient Jews are trying, as it were, through a myth to condemn construction work involving slaves. Where the Babylonians wanted to be closer to the gods, the Jews saw blasphemy.
Herodotus describes the Tower of Babel as an 8-tier, 180 meters at the base. It is possible that under our ziggurat is another, the missing tier. In addition, there is indirect evidence that the temple of Etemenanki was already under King Hammurabi (XVIII century BC). When construction began, while it is authentically unknown.