Mesopotamia once had ancient cities as architecturally grand and magnificently adorned as Egypt and Greece. So how come the region’s great cities, like ancient Babylon, are in such poor archaeological condition?
Answer: Just like Leonardo da Vinci made his Last Supper with an experimental pigment that proved not very durable, so ancient Mesopotamian kings, like Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, built with non-durable materials.
This today in the New York Times:
The ruins at Babylon have long suffered. Mud bricks lack the durability of the marble of Greece or the limestone of Egypt, leaving behind little more than heaps of earth. “You need to be kind of a romantic to love the Mesopotamian sites,” said Elizabeth C. Stone, an archaeologist at Stony Brook University on Long Island.