• This article uses both textual and archaeological evidence to examine the role of unbuilt land in the Babylonian city. Detailed study of such land is vital not only for understanding urban living conditions but also for any attempt to estimate urban population based on density of occupation of residential areas. By classifying and investigating unbuilt land according to its physical properties, modes of use and conditions of ownership, it is possible to reassess its role in the lives of the city-dwellers.