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Seven Wonders of Ancient World/Hanging Gardens of Babylon

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When we talk about seven wonders of ancient world we immediately think about magnificent architectural works, colossal statues or awesome temples.That’s not the case of Hanging Gardens of Babylon whose real existence still is today subeject of discussion! You read right indeed this is the only seven wonders of ancient world of which has never been ascertained its real existence and even less its precise location. Historical sources never mention about exact location of such wonderful gardens,although there are several descriptions of them.

According to traditional sources they were made build by Nabucodonosor II in the ancient Babylon even though very strangely babilonian sources  do not mention at all existence of such gardens which is very suspicious! How come babilonian sources do not talk about this ancient wonder maybe even praised it as their great invention and outstanding fabrication?

Hanging gardens were formed from a series of elevated terraces arranged on different levels and connected to each other by large stairways. They were irrigated in an artificial way by a system of cisterns and pipes rather complex that allowed to such gardens to shine and adorn the city in all likelihood for most of the year! Water was taken from nearby Euphrates river and it permitted growth and life of  several species of plants and trees imported from the four corners of the globe to Babylon.

babylon gardens
Possible appearance of Hanging Gardens

These magnificent gardens were really located in Babylon? During the years have been developed several theories concerning real location of gardens the first of which was that of german archaeologist Robert Koldeway( he was a discover of ancient ruins of Babylon) which propose theory under which gardens were in the northest corner of the south Palace. In fact during excavations he found a structure composed of about 14 rooms and covered by barrel vaults plus the discovery of a well with holes which assumed its use for watering of gardens. However such theory did not take into account of excessive distance of Euphrates river from possible location of gardens.      

Another theory placed gardens to the north of the south Palace therefore closer to the shores of Euphrates river; but even this assumption did not convince all scholars indeed someone dissent regarding to such placement since according to some experts in those times Euphrates had already covered that area reffered to as possible site of gardens.

An interesting alternative hypothesis advanced after the most recent studies and archaeological excavations, suggested as real place that hosted gardens,even a different city from Babylon, namely the famous Niniveh once the capital of powerful Assyrian empire! Such theory would seems really interesting since there are assyrian reports during the kingdom of monarch Sennacherib,which mention important water works and describe existence of large gardens nearby of the Khors shores! Will we need maybe to change name to such wonder of ancient world? It would become “Hanging Gardens of Niniveh” it doesn’t sound so bad,but for the moment,without more concrete evidence,gardens  still belong to Babylon! Also because above the door of Ishtar( the eighth door of inner city of Babylon) have been discovered vaulted structures that could form the support base of gardens and their terraces!

The building of Hanging Gardens of Babylon was an hydraulic and engineering complex unusual at the time and in all likelihood hosted a wide variety of botanical species from various parts of the world. According to the historian Herodotus,terracing that made up gardens were built mostly by stone and most likely they were conceived for ornamental purposes  that made Babylon as a shining and luxurian city such as artificial oases,rivers and streams which formed the whole of a wonder of ancient world  lost for ever and that nowadays lives just in the ancient historical reports and in the imagination of people.         

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