In some stories, people say
that the Hanging Gardens went hundreds of feet into the air,
but through archaeological explorations people now think were
probably weren't that big. The ancient city of Babylon, which
was under King Nebuchadnezzar II, must have been a wonder to
a travelers. In 450 B.C., a historian named Herodotus wrote,
"In addition to it's size, Babylon surpasses any city in
the known world." Herodotus said the outer walls were 80
feet thick, 320 feet high, and 56 miles in length. He said that
it was wide enough for a four-horse chariot to turn. Fortresses
and temples containing immense statues of solid gold were inside
the inner walls.
Above the city was the famous tower of Babel, which was a temple
to the God Marduk. It looked like it reached the heavens.
Archaeological examination has found that some of Herodotus's
claims (the outer walls seem to be only 10 miles long, and not
nearly as high) might not be true. But his story does tell us
how cool the features of the city appeared to those who visited
Accounts indicate that King Nebuchadnezzar built the garden.
He ruled the city for 43 years starting in 605 B.C. According
to accounts, the Gardens were built by Nebuchadnezzer to cheer
up his homesick wife. Where she came from, there was green grass
and mountainous plains. She found the dry, flat ground of Mesopotamia
depressing. The King wanted to recreate her homeland.
Babylon rarely got rain and for the gardens to survive, it would
have to have been irrigated by using water from the Euphrates
River. People would have probably had to lift water very far
into the air at each level. A chain pump was probably used to
help. A chain pump is two large wheels on top of each other.
Buckets are hung on a chain that connects the wheels. The bucket
goes into the water then comes up and goes into a new pool.The
empty buckets go back into the water to be refilled. The water
at the top is then emptied through into a channel gate that is
like a artificial stream to water the gardens.
Construction of the garden wasn't only complicated by getting
water to the top, but also by having to avoid having the water
wreck the foundation once it was released. Stone was difficult
to get in Mesopotamian. Most of the buildings in Babel used brick.
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