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Additionally, the Neo-Babylonians conducted significant rebuilding projects in the city, which destroyed or obscured much of the earlier record.Babylon was pillaged numerous times after revolting against foreign rule, most notably by the Hittites and Elamites in the 2nd millennium, then by the Neo-Assyrian Empire and the Achaemenid Empire in the 1st millennium.Archaeologists have recovered few artifacts predating the Neo-Babylonian period.The water table in the region has risen greatly over the centuries and artifacts from the time before the Neo-Babylonian Empire are unavailable to current standard archaeological methods.One of the earliest is a tablet describing the Akkadian king Šar-kali-šarri laying the foundations in Babylon of new temples for Annūnı̄tum and Ilaba.
Stephanus of Byzantium wrote that Babylon was built 1002 years before the date given by Hellanicus of Lesbos for the siege of Troy (1229 BC), which would date Babylon's foundation to 2231 BC.
Some portions of the city wall to the west of the river also remain.
Only a small portion of the ancient city (3% of the area within the inner walls; 1.5% of the area within the outer walls; 0.05% at the depth of Middle and Old Babylon) has been excavated.
After being destroyed and then rebuilt by the Assyrians, Babylon became the capital of the short lived Neo-Babylonian Empire from 609 to 539 BC.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, although a number of scholars believe these were actually in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.