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Neo-Babylonian Empire at time of Nebuchadnezzar - Room 55

Objects in this room come from the Babylonian Empire during the time of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (604-562 BC) , around the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC and the exile of Judah.

The first king of the neo-Babylonian empire was Nabopolassar (625-605 BC), father of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was followed by two weaker kings. After them Nabonidus (555 - 539 BC) seized the throne. His son was the Belshazzar of Belshazzar’s feast (Dan 5).

Foundation Cylinder of Nabonidus (WA 91128) - (7 of 13)

This foundation cylinder marked the restoration of the temple of the moon-god at Ur, by King Nabonidus. It ends with a prayer for himself and his son Belshazzar.

The text runs as follows: "And as for me, Nabonidus, the king of Babylon, protect me from sinning against your exalted god-head, and give me graciously a long life: and in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born son, the off-spring of my loins, set the fear of your exalted god-head, so that he may commit no sin and that he may be satisfied with the fulness of life."

This is one of the first evidences for the historical existence of Belshazzar. Before the discovery of this cylinder, many scholars denied that Belshazzar was a name of a real historical king, as Nabonidus was known to be the last king of Babylon, when Cyrus the Persian took the city.