Babylon was an Akkadian city-state (founded in 1867 BC by an Amorite dynasty) of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers (55 mi) south of Baghdad. Babylon, along with Assyria to the north, was one of the two Akkadian nations that evolved after the collapse of the Akkadian Empire, although it was rarely ruled by native Akkadians. All that remains of the original ancient famed city of Babylon today is a mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The city itself was built upon the Euphrates, and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Available historical resources suggest that Babylon was at first a small town which had sprung up by the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. The town flourished and attained independence with the rise of the First Amorite Babylonian Dynasty in 1894 BC. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After the fall of Babylon it came under the rules of the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, Roman and Sassanid empires. It was dissolved as a province after the Arab Islamic conquest of the 7th century AD.
The site at Babylon consists of a number of mounds covering an oblong area roughly 2 kilometers by 1 kilometer, oriented north to south. The site is bounded by the Euphrates River on the west, and by the remains of the ancient city walls otherwise. Originally, the Euphrates roughly bisected the city, as is common in the region, but the river has since shifted its course so that much of the remains on the former western part of the city are now inundated. Some portions of the city wall to the west of the river also remain. Several of the sites mounds are more prominent.