One of 7 Wonders of Ancient World Finally Tracked Down
Hanging Gardens of Babylon wasn't in Babylon: researcher
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2013 7:17 AM CDT
Updated May 11, 2013 12:42 PM CDT
Hanging Garden of Babylon.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – There has long been a slight problem with the declaration of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—there was no proof it actually existed. Now, an Oxford University researcher says she's tracked down evidence the garden did indeed grow in what is now Iraq, just some 300 miles north of where legend placed it. Stephanie Dalley spent roughly two decades pinpointing its location, which she has IDed as being located 300 miles from Babylon in Nineveh, and built by an entirely different king—an enemy one at that, reports the Guardian.

Though the story went that Babylonia's King Nebuchadnezzar constructed the gardens to appease his homesick wife, Dalley asserts that it was instead Assyria's King Sennacherib behind them. Using her expertise in the region's ancient language, Dalley translated a number of Babylonian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman texts, and found what the Independent describes as "four key pieces of evidence." Among them: indications that Nineveh may have been seen as a "new Babylon" after the Assyrians conquered the Babylonians in 689 BC, studies of the topography near the respective locations, and signs that the historians who wrote about the gardens a few centuries later actually visited locations near Nineveh. The Guardian also reports that, by Dalley's translation, a 7th-century BC Assyrian inscription that had been woefully deciphered about a century ago revealed Nineveh was home to an intricate system of waterways that would have transported water 50 miles to the gardens. Recent digs have uncovered signs these aqueducts existed, notes the Guardian, which says the dangerous nature of the area has prevented much exploration of it.

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Showing 3 of 39 comments
richard123vmt
May 11, 2013 7:50 PM CDT
Very intriguing, but is it logical to accept the premise that there was a hanging garden but then ascribe it to another king at a location 300 miles away? What it suggests to me is the researcher may have found a knock-off of the Babylon gardens. Why would history get right that the garden existed but get wrong where it was built and by whom? Of course talk is cheap. And of research I have none.
HMD-SMD-ITY
May 11, 2013 4:17 PM CDT
Nothing in Nineveh created during that time would be still in existence today because Nahum had warned the people their town would be destroyed, which wound up happening in 612 B.C. and the palaces and royal structures were burned and destroyed. This was not the first time a warning was put forth because if you remember, Jonah also warned them and they headed his words. Nothing in this lady's research suggests the Bible was wrong. Nowhere does it say, "The hanging gardens of Babylon." There are plenty of non-biblical references to the hanging gardens of Babylonia though. We do know Nebuchadnezzar existed and that Sadam Hussein wanted to mold himself in his image. He built a new palace at the ruins of Babylon and ironically it was the US forces who used it as a command center. That is poetic justice at best because the US Marines actually came the closest to reopening up the city of Babylon than Hussein ever imagined. With the tens of thousands of soldiers that made camp there, it was the US who fulfilled Bible prophecy by once again establishing it as a military center of power. The very first regiments of soldiers returning from the region came back with oil lamps and other odd antiquities that could very well be from the Nebuchadnezzar era.
jarkoer
May 11, 2013 1:26 PM CDT
Holy s***. All they did was find one of the lost 7 wonders of the world. Why do you a**h**** always have to make everything into a flame war over religion or politics even over things that don't have anything to do with either one?!