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Herodotus, who describes Babylon in his Histories , does not mention the Hanging Gardens, although it could be that the gardens were not yet well known to the Greeks at the time of his visit.

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To date, no archaeological evidence has been found at Babylon for the Hanging Gardens. It is possible that evidence exists beneath the Euphrates, which cannot be excavated safely at present. The river flowed east of its current position during the time of Nebuchadnezzar II, and little is known about the western portion of Babylon.

Rollinger has suggested that Berossus attributed the Gardens to Nebuchadnezzar for political reasons, and that he had adopted the legend from elsewhere. One proposal is that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were actually constructed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib reigned — BC for his palace at Nineveh. Stephanie Dalley posits that during the intervening centuries the two sites became confused, and the extensive gardens at Sennacherib's palace were attributed to Nebuchadnezzar II's Babylon.

Archaeological excavations have found traces of a vast system of aqueducts attributed to Sennacherib by an inscription on its remains, which Dalley proposes were part of a series of canals, dams, and aqueducts used to carry water to Nineveh with water-raising screws used to raise it to the upper levels of the gardens. Dalley bases her arguments on recent developments in the analysis of contemporary Akkadian inscriptions. Her main points are:. King Sennacherib's garden was well-known not just for its beauty — a year-round oasis of lush green in a dusty summer landscape — but also for the marvelous feats of water engineering that maintained the garden.

There was a tradition of Assyrian royal garden building. Fruit tree orchards were planted. Also mentioned were pines, cypresses and junipers; almond trees, date trees, ebony, rosewood, olive, oak, tamarisk, walnut, terebinth, ash, fir, pomegranate, pear, quince, fig, and grapes. A sculptured wall panel of Assurbanipal shows the garden in its maturity.

One original panel and the drawing of another are held by the British Museum, although neither is on public display. Several features mentioned by the classical authors are discernible on these contemporary images. Of Sennacherib's palace, he mentions the massive limestone blocks that reinforce the flood defences. Parts of the palace were excavated by Austin Henry Layard in the midth century.

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His citadel plan shows contours which would be consistent with Sennacherib's garden, but its position has not been confirmed. The area has been used as a military base in recent times, making it difficult to investigate further. The irrigation of such a garden demanded an upgraded water supply to the city of Nineveh. The canals stretched over 50 km into the mountains. Sennacherib was proud of the technologies he had employed and describes them in some detail on his inscriptions. At the headwater of Bavian Khinnis his inscription mentions automatic sluice gates.

An enormous aqueduct crossing the valley at Jerwan was constructed of over 2 million dressed stones. It used stone arches and waterproof cement. On it is written: Sennacherib king of the world king of Assyria. Over a great distance I had a watercourse directed to the environs of Nineveh, joining together the waters Over steep-sided valleys I spanned an aqueduct of white limestone blocks, I made those waters flow over it. Sennacherib claimed that he had built a "Wonder for all Peoples," and said he was the first to deploy a new casting technique in place of the "lost-wax" process for his mo….

Place and see.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Descriptions There are five principal writers whose descriptions of Babylon exist in some form today. Historical existence It is unclear whether the Hanging Gardens were an actual construction or a poetic creation, owing to the lack of documentation in contemporaneous Babylonian sources. Her main points are: The name "Babylon", meaning "Gate of the Gods" was applied to several Mesopotamian cities. Sennacherib renamed the city gates of Nineveh after gods, which suggests that he wished his city to be considered "a Babylon". Only Josephus names Nebuchadnezzar as the king who built the gardens; although Nebuchadnezzar left many inscriptions, none mentions any garden or engineering works.

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By contrast, Sennacherib left written descriptions, and there is archaeological evidence of his water engineering. His grandson Assurbanipal pictured the mature garden on a sculptured wall panel in his palace. Sennacherib called his new palace and garden "a wonder for all peoples".

He describes the making and operation of screws to raise water in his garden. The descriptions of the classical authors fit closely to these contemporary records. The historians who travelled with him would have had ample time to investigate the enormous works around them, recording them in Greek.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

These first-hand accounts do not survive into our times but were quoted by later Greek writers. Hotels Hanging Gardens of Babylon From. There were even waterfalls among the Hanging Gardens. Sennacherib was a brilliant engineer who revolutionized architecture.


He used stone arches to support the massive weight of plants and dirt and water. Although many of the buildings in Assyria were made out of sun-baked mud bricks, the Hanging Gardens were made of stone. Each garden was made from a stone slab covered in a bed of reeds, a layer of asphalt, a level of tiles, and more, including soil of course. The ascending series of tiers contained a wide variety of trees, shrubs, bushes and vines, resembling a large green mound from a distance. This gave the building the appearance of a strange forested mountain in the desert. Among the Hanging Gardens there were numerous exotic flowering plants.

All of this was meticulously arranged and attended to by landscape architects. Everything was absolutely beautiful and some of it was even edible. There were pomegranates, oranges, and lemons, to name but a few. The fragrances were captivating. The whole place was just absolutely breathtaking. They were all sort of living in a kind of utopia for the first time ever, and then war broke out. So, after being the largest city in the world for decades, the coalition of forces sacked Nineveh in BCE. The bitter civil war in Mesopotamia was won, so the Hanging Gardens eventually just withered away.

As time has passed, the ruins of the capital city of the Assyrian Empire have succumb to the erosive forces of wind and sand.

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  • Plus, a whole lot of things have happened in Iraq in the last 2, years. The Global Heritage Fund has even named Nineveh as one of a dozen sites that are the most on the verge of irreparable damage. Plus, as long as conflict continues in the area, the historic site remains too dangerous for archaeologists to excavate and explore.

    Regardless, all the evidence points to Nineveh as the real location of the Hanging Gardens. Babylon is hundreds of miles from the immense canals that were seen from space fifty years ago by the Corona satellites.

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    So, the Ancient Wonder could have very well been in the city of Nineveh, not Babylon. Although some historians would tend to disagree, the Hanging Gardens were certainly in Nineveh. The history books need to be rewritten! Become a member. Sign in. Get started. The Hanging Gardens. An Ancient Wonder of the World.