The ancient city of Babylon, now a vast archaeological site in Iraq about 100km south of Baghdad, has captured people’s imagination up to this day. Who has not heard of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Biblical Tower of Babel, or the sci-fi TV series Babylon 5? Yet, how much of that reflects the reality of ancient Babylon? This course will explore the city of Babylon through its texts and archaeology and contrast this data with the way the city has been remembered over the past two thousand years. However, the goal of the course is not only to investigate how myths about Babylon have been constructed throughout the centuries. It will also look at the shortcomings of contemporary academic research on Babylon, and how difficult it is to reconstruct humankind's distant past. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.