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.
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