Today’s modern scientists and archaeologists consider the magnificent structures of ancient times, which they cannot understand, as one of the wonders of the ancient world. This is exactly the same kind of cheating that if you fail in an exam, you try to convince your parents that the question paper itself was outside the syllabus .The mysterious Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon were a similar deception.
Where is Hanging gardens ?
Since ancient times, experts have been curious to know how these gardens, known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon today’s Iraq, could have been grown on multi-storey terraces without soil and how they could have hung without the roots going into the earth. These hanging gardens have been included in the seven ancient wonders of the world. Although there has been only one mention of those mysterious hanging gardens in ancient remains, till date archaeologists who have excavated there have not been able to find the remains of a garden matching this description.
But there is written evidence of such a miraculous garden, and historians are unanimous that these hanging gardens were indeed there. The Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon are described in ancient writings as a stunning feat of technology with their variety of trees, wonderful shrubs and a climbing series of tiered gardens with graceful vines. It was so huge in size that it looked like a green mountain.
They were built by King Nebuchadnezzar
It is popular about these gardens that they were built by King Nebuchadnezzar II to please his wife Queen Amytis, who was the princess of the country of Media. It is said that Queen Amytis often remained sad and depressed in his palace. She missed the lush green hills and valleys of her kingdom.
Emperor Nebuchadnezzar II, to please the queen, built a wonderful structure in the form of hanging gardens and also built a grand palace named “The Marble of Mankind”. King Nebuchadnezzar II ruled Babylon for about 43 years, from about 605 BC to 562 BC. At that time Assyrian civilization was ruling in Babylon.
Named as Marble of Mankind
Nebuchadnezzar II was a powerful emperor of the Assyrian civilization. His father, Nabopolassar, was an official in the fledgling Assyrian Empire in the early Middle Ages who declared himself emperor of the entire Assyrian Empire around 620 BC and took control of the empire.
It is said that the reign of his son, Emperor Nebuchadnezzar II, was one of the golden ages of Assyrian civilization. The earliest description of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon comes from a writing by Berossus, a Babylonian priest, in 290 BC.
Describing it, a Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, said that it was a square garden 400 feet long and 400 feet wide and it was situated at a height of about 60 meters. According to Diodorus, large trees were provided with sufficient depth at their base to allow root growth, and the gardens were irrigated from the nearby Euphrates River.
Unavailability of documents
In such a situation, making arrangements for their irrigation by taking water from the river to that height must have been amazing. Due to the unavailability of documents from the Babylonians about the time of its construction, it is not clear whether the Hanging Gardens were actually a construction or merely mentioned in the legends. Details of many adventures and conquests of Nebuchadnezzar II are available in other articles but there is no description of any such construction work anywhere.
This suggests that these mysterious hanging gardens may date back even further to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II. Archaeologists believe that these gardens may have been south of Baghdad in Iraq and were destroyed due to the continuous wars going on in Iraq since ancient times. While some other experts believe that these gardens were destroyed due to a devastating earthquake that occurred two centuries before Christ.
18 years of Research
Between 1899 and 1917, Robert Koldewey, a German archaeologist, discovered gardens resembling the Hanging Gardens described by Diodorus Siculus south of Baghdad. But Stephanie Daly of Oxford University, after 18 years of research, concluded that these gardens might not have been in the south of Baghdad but in northern Mesopotamia (Iraq) and they might have been built by the Assyrians who settled there.
These included a large variety of large trees, herbs and vines. This interpretation of Stephanie is also strengthened by the fact that documents have been found of magnificent gardens on high walls in the Assyrian kingdom. In the fort of the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib, canals have been cut through the mountains, which makes irrigation possible on high places and terraces.
Due to this technology, it would have been possible to grow lush green gardens even in the dusty, hot summer season. This arrangement creates an astonishing artistic effect which was many times better than the arrangements of his previous kings. This irrigation system is a great example of water engineering.
Still a mystery
Many pictures of these gardens from the era of Emperor Sennacherib are preserved in the British Museum but they are not displayed, but why this is so, also remains a mystery. Don’t know what they want to hide. That is why most of today’s historians and archaeologists consider the trees and plants grown on the high walls and towers of the fort of the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib as hanging gardens, but these too have now been completely destroyed.
The Hanging Gardens are the only one of the seven wonders for which definite evidence has not yet been found. There is also a possibility that in reality these gardens may never have existed. Over the past two decades, both Babylon and Nineveh have suffered heavy losses from wars and plundering, and with everything destroyed by this terrible catastrophe, it seems unlikely that this mystery will ever be completely solved in the future.