The Chaldean Empire612-539 BCE

ishtar_gate_at_berlin_museum.jpgAfter defeating the Assyrians in 612 B.C. the Chaldean’s formed a new empire which would rule and govern the Fertile Crescent. Under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean’s built a powerful and wealthy nation. King Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt the city of Babylon and constructed the magnificent Hanging Gardens. The era that was governed under King Nebuchadnezzar is referred to as the Neo-Babylonian era.

Chaldea was another name for Babylonia, the region in the lower valley of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The Chaldeans came to power after gaining control of the city of Babylon through a series of bloody battles. The famous Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar expanded his empire to include Mesopotamia, Syria, and a portion of the southeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Like the Assyrians, the Chaldeans were known for the cruelty of their rule over conquered peoples. When the Chaldeans conquered the Israelites, they imprisoned many, whom they marched to Babylon to work as slaves. Using the slave labor, Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt the city of Babylon including the construction of the Hanging Gardens. The Chaldean Empire fell when they were conquered by the Persians in 539 BCE.

Under the Chaldean’s, the Neo-Babylonian empire became the center of science and education. Astronomers charted the skies, they created the first sundial, or device to record the time of day, which in turn helped measure the length of the year properly (they were off by mere minutes).

The Empire only lasted 75 years, Cyrus the Great, a Persian King invaded and took over Mesopotamia.

 This is an imagined view of the Hanging Gardens. 

 This image is a carving of King Nebuchadnezzar.

This is a recreation of the Ishtar Gate at Berlin Museum


Key Dates:
1900 BCE: Babylon becomes the chief city of the Amorites
1792-1750 BCE: The reign of King Hammurabi.
1595-1155 BCE: The Kassites move in and rule the city of Babylon
900 BCE: The Chaldeans take over Babylon and begin to rebuild it
605-562 BCE:  Reign of King Nebuchadnezzar.  He builds the Hanging Gardens.