Koldewey, Robert

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German architect and archaeologist who worked in Anatolia, the eastern Mediterranean (Assus, Lesbos), and especially Mesopotamia. He excavated at Al Hiba, Fara, Assur, and Babylon, uncovering the Ishtar Gate, the temple of Marduk, a ziggurat, and palace of Nebuchadnezzar. He began digging on March 26, 1899, and continued to work there with little interruption for the next 18 years. He believed he had found the remains of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, when he uncovered an arched structure with a well nearby. His work revealed the destroyed capital of Hammurabi, the capital of the Neo-Babylonian empire (7th-6th centuries BC), and remains from Seleucid-Parthian and Sassanian periods. This work marked the beginning of scientific archaeology in Near East. The results were published in Koldewey's book "The Excavations at Babylon" (1914) as well as in reports over the years.