Exists Nineveh today
The hanging gardens of the Semiramis are arguably the most mysterious of the ancient seven wonders of the world. According to legend, King Nebuchadnezzar II created the first large botanical garden in human history for his wife, who came from a green region and missed the plants in the desert-like Babylon.
Only written reports exist of this masterpiece of architecture - second-hand, from people who may never have seen the Hanging Gardens of Babylon themselves. Many scientists even doubt their existence.
So it's all just a legend? A researcher at Oxford University comes to a different conclusion. She doesn't doubt the Hanging Gardens existed. But she believes that the green oases with the sophisticated water supply system were built in another city - and by the greatest enemy of the Babylonians, of all places: In Nineveh, 480 kilometers from Babylon, in present-day Iraq, the Assyrians would have created the miracle.
Stephanie Dalley is the name of the woman who ensures that the story of one of the seven wonders of the world now has to be rewritten. The scientist from the Oriental Institute at Oxford University had already worked in the UK in 1992 Independent It is said that the Hanging Gardens were actually built by the Assyrian King Sennacherib in Nineveh - and not by the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. Now Dalley has submitted evidence to support her thesis:
- Sennacherib had a splendid garden built for his wife Tašmetun-Šarrat in the palace of Nineveh. Dalley compared records of the Hanging Gardens to a bas-relief from the Royal Palace of Nineveh. In both cases, trees growing on a covered colonnade were described in exactly the same way.
- In 689 BC the Assyrians conquered Babylon and from then on built their capital, Nineveh, on the model of this city. After the conquest of Babylon, Sennacherib named the city gates of Nineveh - just like in Babylon - after deities. Dalley's conclusion: Nineveh could henceforth have been viewed as a kind of second Babylon. This is how the palace gardens of Nineveh could have got their "new" name.
- The topography also provides clues. Stephanie Dalley compared the areas around Babylon and Nineveh and found that the flat area around Babylon could not possibly produce enough water to irrigate the Hanging Gardens.
- After all, even Alexander the Great helps out. In 331 BC he stayed with his army near Nineveh - shortly before he defeated the Persians at Gaugamela. An aqueduct is said to have stood near the night camp. Dalley's research suggests that it carried water to the Hanging Gardens.
"It took us years to prove that the gardens and aqueduct system were built by Sennacherib in Nineveh and not by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon," says Dalley. "For the first time it is clear that the Hanging Gardens actually existed."
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