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Ancient Mesopotamian Gardens and the Identification of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon Resolved

Stephanie Dalley
Garden History
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Summer, 1993), pp. 1-13
DOI: 10.2307/1587050
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1587050
Page Count: 13
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Ancient Mesopotamian Gardens and the Identification of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon Resolved
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Abstract

The Babylonians and Assyrians planted gardens in cities, palace courtyards, and temples, in which trees with fragrance and edible fruits were prominent for re-creating their concept of Paradise. The famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of late antiquity, have finally been identified as the palace garden of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, constructed not at Babylon but at Nineveh, which was also known as 'old Babylon', around 700 B.C. Sennacherib invented the Archimedean screw, using cast copper or bronze, for watering the gardens. A sculpture now in the British Museum shows a part of the gardens in the reign of Sennacherib's grandson, when the trees had matured.

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