Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (also known as Hanging Gardens of Semiramis) (near present-day Al Hillah in Iraq) are considered one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. They were built by Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC. He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his wife, Amytis of Media, who longed for the trees and fragrant plants of her homeland. The gardens were destroyed in an earthquake after the 1st century BC.
The lush Hanging Gardens are mainly documented by Greek historians such as Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. Through the ages, the location may have been confused with gardens that existed at Nineveh, since tablets from there clearly show gardens. Writings on these tablets describe the possible use of something similar to an Archimedes' screw as a process of raising the water to the required height.
The Greek Historian Diodorus:
"The Garden was 100 feet (30 m) long by 100 feet wide and built up in tiers so that it resembled a theater.“
Scriptores Rerum Alexandrii Magni
"And then there were the Hanging Gardens. Paracleisos going up to the top is like climbing a mountain. Each terrace rises up from the last. This gives the appearance of a theatre. It was flanked by perfectly constructed walls twenty-five feet thick. The galleries were roofed with stone balconies . The earth was deep enough to contain the roots of the many varieties of trees which fascinated the beholder with their great size and their beauty. There was also a passage which had pipes leading up to the highest level and machinery for raising water through which great quantities of water were drawn from the river, with none of the process being visible from the outside."
Did they exist?
In ancient writings the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were first described by Berossus, a Chaldean priest who lived in the late 4th century BC. These accounts were later elaborated on by Greek historians. Recent archaeological excavations of the palace in Iraq have uncovered evidence of a building with vaults and a well nearby. However, the location of the palace complex contradicts where Greek historians placed the Hanging Gardens, which was on the banks of the Euphrates River. However, recently there have been excavations on the banks of the Euphrates River of some substantial 25 meter-thick walls. Also, excavations have shown that there may be some seeds scattered around this area which may suggest that the Gardens were real after all.
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Hanging Gardens of Babylonia
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