Mystery of Hanging Garden

by | History |

Mystery of Hanging Garden

It has been said that they were one of the most magnificent examples of opulence and beauty of ancient Babylon, which was an area in Iraq. Known for their magnificent beauty, they were called ‘hanging’ gardens.

Due to the fact that they were made in such a way that terraces upon terraces had beautiful trees and plants of exotic beauty.

 

Though they have been written about by many historians, today one can only look at the ruins of the area in which they were supposed to have been. Excavations at the site at which historians put its location do, in some way, suggest an interesting site but do not give sufficient proof that it was where these fabled gardens were.

Some researchers argue that since there were many gardens at another ancient site of Nineveh and stone tablets do show lovely gardens there, The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon might just be either confused with other gardens or might not have existed as they have been described.

They were built in a region that was a sandy desert, the most unfriendly site for a garden and yet it is said to have had the most luxuriant and delicate flowering plants. The way the plants hung from the terraces covering them made the whole scene look like an entire cliff-like garden hanging in midair.

The garden containing the fragrant smell of roses and lilies to almond and cypress trees! Another interesting aspect was that the gardens were raised by stone columns, which supported the terraces, and thus the trees and plants took roots in the stones, tiles, and asphalt.

The mystery as to how these plants were given water, in such a feat in the desert would have been a most daunting task. Some excavations have led archaeologists to think that perhaps such a difficult feat might have been accomplished by clever designing and engineering of pumps and buckets moving along a chain pulley to the topmost terrace, making the water cascade to the lower levels, watering them constantly. Though the method of watering the plants is still a mystery.

Some seeds have also been found which might indicate a garden there in ancient times. But mere seeds are not enough to prove that it is the site of the Hanging Gardens.

There is another mystery about who built this garden.

Ancient writers indicate that it was built by King Nebuchadnezzar II, around 600 BCE in the region, which was called Mesopotamia. The area of the gardens has been said to be 50 miles from Baghdad in Iraq. It is argued that the Hanging Gardens were never built by King Nebuchadnezzar II but by an Assyrian Queen named Semiramis, around 810 BCE to 805 BCE, and the other name for the Hanging Gardens could be the Gardens of Semiramis.

Diodorus Siculus (active c.60–30 BC) seems to have consulted the 4th century BC texts of both Cleitarchus (a historian of Alexander the Great) and Ctesias of Cnidus. Diodorus ascribes the construction to a Syrian king. He states that the garden was in the shape of a square, with each side approximately four plethora long. The garden was tiered, with the uppermost gallery being 50 cubits high. The walls, 22 feet thick, were made of brick. The bases of the tiered sections were sufficiently deep to provide root growth for the largest trees, and the gardens were irrigated from the nearby Euphrates.

The problem with the Babylonian site is that though stone tablets recovered from the rule of Nebuchadnezzar do mention elaborate descriptions of the palace, walls and the rest of the city of Babylonia, they do not give any record of the Hanging Gardens.

Some strongly believe that the Hanging Gardens are just confusing and a fantasy tale by ancient writers exaggerating the many gardens of ancient times.

 

The area was destroyed by earthquakes and all that remains are the ruins. So, where the Hanging Gardens were exactly and there actual existence is indeed a mystery.