The Landscape Guide

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Sennacherib had his capital at Nineveh and the famous 'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' are now believed to have been in Nineveh. The evidence is presented in the following articles:

  1. Dalley, Stephanie 'Ancient Mesopotamian gardens and the identification of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon resolved' Garden History Summer 1993 Vol 21 No 1 pp 1-13
  2. Dalley, Stephanie 'Nineveh, Babylon and the Hanging Gardens: cuneiform and classical sources reconciled' Iraq Vol LVI 1994 pp. 45-58

Greek descriptions of the Hanging Gardens survive and a relief in the British Museum shows how the hanging gardens were provided with water. The illustrations below show the original and a diagrammatic analysis of the original. With so little known about the layout of such diagrams, it is not possible to produce even a diagrammatic plan. It was probably closer to the Egyptian domestic garden than any known layout.

This relief, now in the British Museum in London, is believed to show the 'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' which are, in fact, most likely to have been in Nineveh. The structure at the top is an arcaded shelter outside the city walls. A stream can been seen running through the gardens. The feature which made the gardens so famous is the mechanism which pumped water up from the River Tigris so that it could irrigate fruit trees and flowers as it triclked back down the hill.

Relief, British Museum