10 Jul 2009

UN agency lists damage done to ancient city

7:06 am on 10 July 2009

UNESCO says American troops in Iraq caused considerable damage to the ancient site of Babylon by using it as a military base.

The United Nations cultural agency says US troops and contractors dug long trenches through the ruins, bulldozed hilltops and drove heavy vehicles over the paving of ceremonial paths.

But in a report on what it calls one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the agency makes it clear that the site was already suffering from neglect and poor restoration work before the American invasion in 2003.

UNESCO says it hopes to list Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as a world heritage site.