The Garden Guide


Born - Died : ? - 681 BC

Sennacherib was king of Assyria from 704 to 681 BC. The empire he ruled included much of the Middle East and modern Turkey. He fought several campaigns against Babylonia and sacked the city of Babylon in 689 BC (it was later re-built by Nenuchadnezzar). Nineveh was sometimes known as 'Babylon' because it was a great city and a religious centre. This has caused confusion. Sennacherib put great energy into rebuiding Nineveh and providing it with new walls, parks and plantations of fruit trees. To irrigate these plantations he made a canal to bring water from the hills 10 km to the north. Sennacherib's palace was on the hill of Kuyunjik. The famous Hanging Gardens, probably at Kuyunjik, are illustrated and discussed by Gothein and further analysed by Stephanie Dalley. The 'Hanging Garden' irrigated was by 'Archimedian' screws made long before the time of Archimedes. They were hollowed palm trees with large bronze screws in the core.The use of palace gardens was similar to that of Egyptian domestic gardens. They were places for growing fruit and sitting in shady places to enjoy the breeze and the view. The gardens are 'hanging' in the sense of being supported by arches. Water was brought by an aqueduct and flowed down the hill through the gardens. Water supply with screws and an aqueduct enabled the construction of gardens on an elevated hillside site with a view. Egyptian irrigation technology could not raise water to a high level. This made the garden at Nineveh one of the marvels of the ancient world. Later, many hillside gardens were made in Europe. Sennacherib's wife's name (Naqia) was not Assyrian and the hillside gardens were said to remind her of her native land. Nineveh was destroyed, though not completely, in 612 BC.

Gardens designed by Sennacherib,