In the Louvre Museum in Paris stands an impressive basalt stele called “The Code of Hammurabi”.
This four tonne slab of stone was created in 1780BC by the ruler of Babylon and features the King in ceremonial dress before the sun god Shamash.
A list of 282 rules (minus the unlucky number 13) is inscribed beneath the sun god, outlining the code of conduct for the city of Babylon.
These laws were a code of living for the Babylonians. They covered issues such as business transactions, marriage relationships and penalties for lying.
Law number 153 states, “If a woman had brought about the death of her husband because of another man, they shall impale that woman on stakes”.
Law 229 was the original building insurance policy – any builder who failed to construct a house properly would be put to death!
Religious life for the Babylonians revolved around sacrifices and prayers to their gods.
Each person had their own personal god who protected them from devils and evil spirits.
The Babylonians would place their god in a prominent place in the home.
They would light fires, offer banquets, wear dedicated jewellery and recite ritual prayers in a form of worship.