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Hanging Gardens of Babylon


Wonders of the World ::--Ancient 7 Wonder||Medieval 7 Wonder||Modern 7 Wonder||Natural 7 Wonder||Wonder of Underwater||Wonder of Industrial||Wonder didn't know Existed||Human with Diffrent||20 Strange Place's||


Seven Wonders of the Ancient World ::-- 1.Great Pyramid of Giza|| 2.Hanging Gardens of Babylon|| 3.Statue of Zeus at Olympia|| 4.Temple of Artemis at Ephesus|| 5.Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus|| 6.Colossus of Rhodes|| 7.Lighthouse of Alexandria||


Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one of the Wonders that may have been purely legendary. They were purportedly built in the ancient city-state of Babylon, near present-day Al Hillah, Babil province, in Iraq. The Hanging Gardens were not the only World Wonder in Babylon; the city walls and obelisk attributed to Queen Semiramis were also featured in ancient lists of Wonders.
The gardens were attributed to the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled between 605 and 562 BC He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his homesick wife, Amytis of Media, who longed for the plants of her homeland. The gardens were said to have been destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are documented by ancient Greek and Romans writers, including Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, and Quintus Curtius Rufus. However, no cuneiform texts describing the Hanging Gardens are extant, and no definitive archaeological evidence concerning their whereabouts have been found.
Ancient writers describe the possible use of something similar to an Archimedes screw as a process of irrigating the terraced gardens. Estimates based on descriptions of the gardens in ancient sources say the Hanging Gardens would have required a minimum amount of 8,200 gallons of water per day. Nebuchadnezzar II is also reported to have used massive slabs of stone, a technique not otherwise attested in Babylon, to prevent the water from eroding the ground.

Seven Quick Facts

Location: City State of Babylon (Modern Iraq)
Built: Around 600 BC
Function: Royal Gardens
Destroyed: Earthquake, 2nd Century BC
Size: Height probably 80 ft. (24m)
Made of: Mud brick waterproofed with lead.
Other: Only wonder whose archaeological remains cannot be verified.

The city of Babylon, under King Nebuchadnezzar II, must have been a wonder to the ancient traveler's eyes. "In addition to its size," wrote Herodotus, a Greek historian in 450 BC, "Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world."

Herodotus claimed the outer walls were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high. Wide enough, he said, to allow two four-horse chariots to pass each other. The city also had inner walls which were "not so thick as the first, but hardly less strong." Inside these double walls were fortresses and temples containing immense statues of solid gold. Rising above the city was the famous Tower of Babel, a temple to the god Marduk, that seemed to reach to the heavens.

While archaeological excavations have disputed some of Herodotus's claims (the outer walls seem to be only 10 miles long and not nearly as high) his narrative does give us a sense of how awesome the features of the city appeared to those ancients that visited it. Strangely, however, one of the city's most spectacular sites is not even mentioned by Herodotus: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.



Gift for A Homesick Wife

Accounts indicate that the garden was built by King Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled the city for 43 years starting in 605 BC (There is an alternative story that the gardens were built by the Assyrian Queen Semiramis during her five year reign starting in 810 BC). This was the height of the city's power and influence and King Nebuchadnezzar is known to have constructed an astonishing array of temples, streets, palaces and walls.

According to accounts, the gardens were built to cheer up Nebuchadnezzar's homesick wife, Amyitis. Amyitis, daughter of the king of the Medes, was married to Nebuchadnezzar to create an alliance between the two nations. The land she came from, though, was green, rugged and mountainous, and she found the flat, sun-baked terrain of Mesopotamia depressing. The king decided to relieve her depression by recreating her homeland through the building of an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens.

The Hanging Gardens probably did not really "hang" in the sense of being suspended from cables or ropes. The name comes from an inexact translation of the Greek word kremastos,or the Latin wordpensilis, which means not just "hanging", but "overhanging" as in the case of a terrace or balcony..


hanging garden babylon

The Greek geographer Strabo, who described the gardens in first century BC, wrote, "It consists of vaulted terraces raised one above another, and resting upon cube-shaped pillars. These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest size to be planted. The pillars, the vaults, and terraces are constructed of baked brick and asphalt."

"The ascent to the highest story is by stairs, and at their side are water engines, by means of which persons, appointed expressly for the purpose, are continually employed in raising water from the Euphrates into the garden."

Garden Construction

Construction of the garden wasn't only complicated by getting the water up to the top, but also by having to avoid having the liquid ruining the foundations once it was released. Since stone was difficult to get on the Mesopotamian plain, most of the architecture in Babel utilized brick. The bricks were composed of clay mixed with chopped straw and baked in the sun. These were then joined with bitumen, a slimy substance, which acted as a mortar. Unfortunately, because of the materials they were made of, the bricks quickly dissolved when soaked with water. For most buildings in Babel this wasn't a problem because rain was so rare. However, the gardens were continually exposed to irrigation and the foundation had to be protected.

Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian, stated that the platforms on which the garden stood consisted of huge slabs of stone (otherwise unheard of in Babel), covered with layers of reed, asphalt and tiles. Over this was put "a covering with sheets of lead, that the wet which drenched through the earth might not rot the foundation. Upon all these was laid earth of a convenient depth, sufficient for the growth of the greatest trees. When the soil was laid even and smooth, it was planted with all sorts of trees, which both for greatness and beauty might delight the spectators."

How big were the gardens? Diodorus tells us they were about 400 feet wide by 400 feet long and more than 80 feet high. Other accounts indicate the height was equal to the outer city walls, walls that Herodotus said were 320 feet high. In any case the gardens were an amazing sight: A green, leafy, artificial mountain rising off the plain. But did it actually exist? Some historians argue that the gardens were only a fictional creation because they do not appear in a list of Babylonian monuments composed during the period. Either that or they were mixed up with another set of gardens built by King Sennacherib in the city of Nineveh around 700 B.C.. Is it possible that Greek scholars who wrote the accounts about the Babylon site several centuries later confused these two different locations? If the gardens really were in Babylon, can the remains be found to prove their existance?

 

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