The Hanging gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the World in the ancient times. However, it is interesting to note that their exact location has not been identified. They are said to have been built in the ancient city of Babylon, Iraq.
This place is said to be near modern day Hillah, Babil province. The details of this place have been in many texts; however, there is no archaeological evidence of their existence. According to one legend, these gardens might have been built by Nebuchadnezzar II for his beloved wife who missed the greenery of her homeland in about 600 B.C.
These gardens are thought to be destroyed in an earthquake in the second century B.C. The name “hanging” has been derived from a Greek word “kremastos” meaning “overhanging”. The gardens are described to be 100 ft. Length by 100 ft. Wide. They were constructed on quadrangle shaped, brick-made terraces which were arranged in steps.
Vaults were supposed to be present underneath each terrace supporting the weight of the whole garden. The highest vault was about 75 ft High, 16 ft Long stone slabs formed the roofs which covered the vaults. The use of such slabs was new at that time in Babylon. The roofs were then layered with dirt, enough to plant even the largest of trees. According to some legends, the gardens were elevated to allow the people to walk beneath them.
There are controversies on the type of irrigation in the dry desert climate that allowed the gardens to nourish. However, it is believed that a very complex irrigation system would have been needed to transport the water from the River Euphrates to the plantation on the elevated stone slabs. This leads the historians to believe that the gardens may not have existed after all.
Moreover, there is no mention of the gardens in the Babylonian history. Some believe that the gardens might have confused with the gardens of Nineveh, located on the east of the Tigris River. The tablets from that area prove the existence of these gardens and also describe a system of irrigation to carry the water to elevated levels. Thus, in the light of these facts, it is generally assumed that the hanging Gardens of Babylon are merely a myth.