The hanging gardens of babylon

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Melliou Vasiliki

Bitsani Alexandra

Nasiopoulos Themis

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are listed #2 on the list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. They were located south of Baghdad, Iraq along the banks of the Euphrates River. They were supposedly built by king Medes for his wife who had come from a green, mountainous land. That is why the kind decided to relieve her depression by recreating her homeland through building an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens. The hanging gardens probably didn't literally hang in the sense of being suspended from ropes. It has also been said that the hanging gardens were built by the great warrior queen Semiramis, but that's only a legend. The main material was mud brick that was waterproofed with lead and also the mechanism that pumped the water (the chain pump) from the river. This method would help the water be distributed throughout the garden from the upper pool into the channels and then into the artificial streams so the gardens could be watered. Later on the screw pump was used. It took 40-43 years for this project to be completed and it was not very easy. The construction was very hard trying to make this oasis in the middle of a Mesopotamian dessert. The mud bricks would eventually dissolve in the water and bringing stone to the Mesopotamian plain was very difficult. As for the plants and trees it was also challenging to keep up with them because the climate wasn't exactly the best. The number of workers isn't known yet but obviously a large number was needed over the 43 year period. This green oasis was destroyed somewhere about the 2nd century B.C by a strong earthquake.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are considered one of the 7 ancient wonders because of:

1) the many foreign plants that survived in the dry climate

2) the work needed to move the soil to the terraces to grow large trees

3) the complex system of piping that distributed the water to the top (this was very advanced for the time)

4) the general strangeness of having a garden built on a manmade structure in the middle of a city.

Just the thought of this beautiful garden really amazes you but it is still unknown if this oasis ever existed.I n 1899 a German archaeologist by the name Robert Koldewey supposedly found an ancient ruin and was convinced that he had found this magnificent structure. Modern day archaeologists do not agree with this because the ancient ruin was found too far from the river. This made people wonder and question: ''Did these gardens exist?-Did they disappear with the strong earthquake?'' We will never know the answer but all we have to do is imagine this ancient sanctuary and the happiness this brought to the queen.

1) What are they seven wonders?

a) The Great pyramids of Egypt

b) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

c) The statue of Zeus at Olympia

d) The temple of Artemis at Ephesus

e) The Mausoleum at Halincarnassus

f) The Colossus of Rhodes

g) The Lighthouse of Alexandria

2) Where are they?

a) Egypt, Giza

b) South Baghlad, Iraq

c) Olympia, Greece

d) Ephesus, Turkey (Selcuk)

e) Bodrum, Turkey

f) Rhodes, Greece

g) Alexandria, Egypt

3) Who built them?

a) The largest pyramid was built by King Khufu (Cheops), king of the 4th dynasty

aprox 2680 B.C

b) Built by Nebuchandnezzar 605-562 B.C. (600 B.C.)

c) The great seated statue was created by the Greek sculptor Phedias

d) It was built by King Croesus, designed by architect Chersiphron

e) It was built by queen Artemisia for her husband

f) It was the work of sculptor Chares

g) It was built and designed by Sostratus of Cnidus, while construction was under

the command of Ptolemy I Soter, Egypt's first Macedonian ruler and general of

Alexander the Great.

4) When were they discovered?

a) Herodotus in 440 B.C, Strabo (geographer) in 24 A.D. , Arab Abdulla Al Mamum

813 A.D., but in 1637 A.D. Oxford astronomer John Geaves made a new

discovery and in 1799 Napoleon .... (and many others)

b) Robert Koldeway 1899 A.D. by German architect

c) Never found

d) Discovered in 1860 by John Turtle Wood

e) In 1852 the British Museum sent the archaeologist Charles Thomas Newton to

search for more remains of the Mausoleum. From 1966 to 1977, the

Mausoleum was thoroughly researched by Prof. Kristian Jeppesen of Aarhus

University, Denmark. He has produced a six-volume monograph, The

Maussolleion at Halikarnassos.

f) Media reports in 1989 initially suggested that large stones found on the seabed

off the coast of Rhodes might have been the remains of the Colossus. However

this theory was later shown to be without merit.

g) French archeologists led by Jean-Yver Empereur discovered remains of the

lighthouse in late 1994 on the floor of Alexandria's Eastern Harbour. Some of

these remains were brought up and were lying at the harbour on public view at

the end of 1995.

5) What do they look like?

a) Height 482 ft ,contains 2.300.000 blocks (pyramid)

b) Archeologist think that the gardens were laid out a top of a vaulted

building, with provisions for raising water, the terraces were said to rise from 75

to 300 ft

c) 40 ft statue made out of ivory and gold

d) Marble structure with ionic columns 60 ft. high

e) Large above ground tomb. The Mausoleum was revolutionary in design at the

time it was built. It was adorned with many freestanding statuettes (King 8) and

contained a rectangular 'basement' beneath a colonnade embodying 36

columns. It even included a stepped pyramid, which rested on the top of the

colonnade. Atop the pyramid sat a beautifully sculpted statue of Mausolus and

Artemisia in a chariot drawn by four horses. Covering the foundation of the

Mausoleum was a stepped podium, whose sides were decorated with

statues. The Mausoleum was a huge construct, especially since its main purpose

was to serve as a tomb. The podium was 60 feet tall, the colonnade was 38 feet

tall, the pyramid was 22 feet tall, and the chariot statue at the top was 20 feet

tall. Altogether, the Mausoleum was 140 feet tall and its base dimensions were

120 feet by 100 feet.

f) Bronze statue of Helios (Apollo) 105 ft high

g) Constructed from large blocks of light-coloured stone, the tower was made up

of three stages: a lower square section with a central core, a middle octagonal

section, and, at the top, a circular section. At its apex was positioned a mirror

which reflected sunlight during the day; a fire was lit at night.

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