It was these biblical references which sparked interest in Mesopotamian archaeology and the expedition by the German archaeologist Robert Koldewey who first excavated the ruins of Babylon in 1899 CE.
Outside of the sinful reputation given it by the Bible, the city is known for its impressive walls and buildings, its reputation as a great seat of learning and culture, the formation of a code of law which pre-dates the Mosaic Law, and for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon which were man-made terraces of flora and fauna, watered by machinery, which were cited by Herodotus as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
While such is its size, in magnificence there is no other city that approaches to it.
It is surrounded, in the first place, by a broad and deep moat, full of water, behind which rises a wall fifty royal cubits in width and two hundred in height.
Whatever early role the city played in the ancient world is lost to modern-day scholars because the water level in the region has risen steadily over the centuries and the ruins of Old Babylon have become inaccessible.