Babylon's famous Hanging Gardens were probably in Nineveh
May 07, 2013
Well, well. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar is more famous than he should be. It appears that the famous "Hanging Gardens" were not built by the conqueror of Judah, but rather by the Assyrian king who conquered most of Judah a century earlier (2 Kings 18:13). Shamanezer conquered Samaria in 721 B.C., but eight years later, his successor, Sennacherib, returned and captured the whole nation of Judah with the exception of Jerusalem.
Ms Daley argues that the garden was never at Babylon at all and Nebuchadnezzar has been wrongly credited with its birth. The true authors of this wonder were the Assyrians at their capital, Ninevah, found near today's city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
Ms Daley bases this on new translations of cuneiform inscriptions, many of which had been misinterpreted in the past. In particular, she came across a description attributed to Sennacherib, an Assyrian king, of his "unrivalled palace" with a "wonder of all peoples". There is also archaeological evidence of a sophisticated system of aqueducts, canals and dams in the area of Nineveh.
Ms Daley overturns every orthodoxy, concluding that the Hanging Gardens were built in a different century, in a different location, by a different king leading a different civilisation.