GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tower of Babel. Engraving of the legendary Tower of Babel. According to the Genesis book of the Bible, the tower was erected on the plain of Shinar in Babylonia by the descendents of Noah. The builders intended to reach heaven with the tower. Their actions angered God, who stopped construction by giving the builders different languages and scattering them around the world. 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. Assyro- Babylonian word "bab-ili", meaning "gate of God", and has led to the modern English word "babble".
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