Tower of Babel, 17th-century artwork

Tower of Babel, 17th-century artwork

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Credit: ASIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN DIVISION/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tower of Babel. 17th-century artwork of the construction of the Tower of Babel. As told in the Book of Genesis in the Judaeo-Christian bible, this tower was built in Babylon on the Shinar plain by descendants of Noah. The tower, built to reach heaven, angered God who destroyed it. As punishment, the builders were scattered and instead of one language there were now many. The story, possibly inspired by the fall of the famous temple tower of Etemenanki, was used to explain the ethnic diversity of the world's population. Artwork (1670, artist names at lower right) from 'Turris Babel' (1679) by German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (circa 1601-1680).

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