Hanging Gardens of Babylon

In ancient Babylon in Mesopotamia (now Iraq), King Nebuchadnezzar II built this extremely beautiful and impressive city. Legend has it that it was built for his wife who was homesick for the Medes, a naturally lush, green and mountainous area.

The garden at the time was purported to be around 56 miles in length; however, current excavations can account for only 10 miles long. This in no way distracts from the beauty and awe it must have imposed on visitors from foreign lands. There were incredibly thich and high walls with avenues so wide that two, four-horse drawn chariots were said to pass each other with ease. The famous Tower of Babel was located inside its perimeter surrounded by solid gold statues.

The actual “hanging” gardens only appeared that way. There were trees and lush greenery planted within terraces built purposely for this illusion. They were hollow and then filled in with the plants and soil.

The main challenge for this un-natural phenomenon was the issue of getting water to the plants and trees. Babylon was a natural, dry and arid region and got little water so the main source would have been from the Euphrates River. It is believed that there were employees who continually generated by man power a chain pump. This is nothing more than buckets on a revolving chain and connected to a wheel. As the wheel turns, the buckets would rise up to a high point where the water would continually fill a pool. This pool would then be cycled through a pipe system acting as irrigation for the foliage. Ingenuous. They don’t know positively that this is what was employed to supply the trees with life-nurturing water, but certainly something was used and this method seems likely – such as a screw pump. Here, below, is an interesting demonstration of the differences between the two (credit unmuseum.org):

Unfortunately for us all, the city was destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century bc.

Speaking of trees!  If you’re in the Middlesex or Monmouth County areas in New Jersey, call on oldbridgetreeservice.com for fantastic service for YOUR hanging gardens!

The Great Pyramid of Giza

One can’t even imagine the work and strength that went in to the building of this incredible edifice. Unless you’ve actually been to Egypt and seen it first hand, you can’t possibly be as awestruck as I was when I first saw it.

I went to Egypt with my sister in 1996 – i.e. before the super dangerous days. We had a wonderful time and took a cruise up the Nile stopping at Luxor and the Valley of the Kings and Karnak. We actually stayed in Aswan for New Year’s Eve and then flew back up to Cairo. That’s when we were truly bowled over.

The great pyramid built by Khufu in the 4th dynasty (2575 bc) was originally thought to have been built by slave labor. They have since renounced that and now know that Khufu provided very well for his labor force with homes, food, clothing, etc. But how in the world they moved more than 2 million stone blocks which each weighs between 2.5 to 10 TONS EACH and completed this master work in 20 years?!!! There are three burial chambers inside = how in the world did they build around these chambers.

There are other pyramids in the complex which includes the Sphinx, two smaller pyramids and an entire complex with a mortuary temple, a causeway and other burial chambers.

Here’s a fantastic “flyover” virtual tour of what it was like:


(credit to markmillmore)

And here’s one of the inside of The Great Pyramid itself:


(credit to Maz Maz MazZika)

The Seven Wonders of the World

 

Did you know that when referring to the seven wonders of the world, we assume that we’re talking about the ancient world.  On this site, we’re going to start with that premise and then we’ll move on to the other wonders such as:

  • Seven Wonders of Nature
  • Seven Wonders of Space
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • USA Today’s New Seven Wonders

And many more!

 

As for now, let’s list the seven wonders of the ancient world and go from there:

  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria