From British daily The Morning Star:
Friday 10 July 2009
Heavy machinery was driven over sacred paths, hilltops were bulldozed and trenches destroyed potential areas of interest on the site of the ancient city of Babylon.
The UN cultural agency noted: “The use of Babylon as a military base was a grave encroachment on this internationally known archaeological site.”
The report did not single out any nationalities of forces on the base, except to mention “contractors employed by them, mainly Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR),” a US corporation that was then a Halliburton subsidiary.
The report said that soldiers and KBR contractors had “caused major damage to the city by digging, cutting, scraping and levelling.”
Steel stakes were driven into ancient walls, which included fragments with inscriptions from the time of King Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled two-and-a-half millennia ago and is credited with building the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
A helicopter pad, roads and car parks were built and heavy vehicles devastated ancient brick roads, the report said.
KBR spokeswoman Heather Browne said that the firm would not comment before seeing the report.
UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, has issued a report outlining the extensive damage caused by US occupation forces in Iraq to the archeological site of ancient Babylon: here.