Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/30/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The only catch - they're 300 miles north of where we've been looking.

The Bible tells us of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, describing a tall, lush, terraced structure that was cool and inviting amid the desert sands of Mesopotamia. Exotic fragrances from herbs and flowers added to the pleasantry. Amid this, strolled it's builder, Nebuchadnezzar and his wife, for whom the gardens were built. So, what became of this wonder of the world?

The Hanging Gardens are one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The Hanging Gardens are one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/30/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Dalley, Assyrian, Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After years of fruitless searching in the desert sands of modern Iraq, historians have given up on the Gardens. The Gardens either remain buried too deep under desert sand, or have long been paved over with more recent construction. Or perhaps, the Gardens never existed at all.

These are the conclusions of frustrated historians and archaeologists who have searched for the elusive wonder only to be disappointed.

However, the conclusion that they never existed seems premature. The Hanging Gardens are cross referenced, an important clue when deciphering historic mysteries. In addition to mention in the Bible, both Greek and Roman writings refer to the Gardens as an actual place, although the writings are late, and follow the destruction of the Gardens by centuries. This lends credibility to the notion that they were more than legend.

Still, the Gardens have remained elusive, at least until now.

A researcher from Oxford University thinks she knows where the Gardens can be found - and it's not in Babylon. If true, it would explain why the gardens haven't been located where archeologists have been looking.

Dr. Stephanie Dalley, an honorary research fellow and member of the Oriental Institute at England's Oxford University, says the gardens existed, but not in Babylon, hence the lack of physical evidence for them. Instead, she suggests, archaeologists should be looking somewhere else.

Delly is a scholar of ancient Mesopotamian languages and she has studied ancient cuneiform texts. According to her readings, she believes the Gardens were built 300 miles to the north of Babylon, in Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian civilization.

The Assyrians were legendary for their ruthless military conquests that often involved acts of brutality that were shocking even by ancient standards. Assyrian accounts tell of towers built with the heads of captured warriors, the skins of flayed nobles draped over city walls, and the mass burning of adolescent children.

Despite this savagery, the Assyrians were also fond of writing and built libraries, collecting all the cuneiform texts they could find. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest known written story for which we have a manuscript, came from an Assyrian library.

Among the many Assyrian writings are references a King Sennacherib who was called "king of the world." His palace was described as "unrivaled" according to Delly. An account in the writing tells of his having "a watercourse directed to the environs of Nineveh."

Such a watercourse, or aqueduct, could feed the hanging gardens.

On the walls of his palace, bas reliefs depict lush gardens being fed by water.

Certainly, the nearby mountains of Assyria, now northern Iraq, would have allowed for easier construction of aqueducts to feed water to the city.

So far, the references to the gardens in Assyria are composed of ancient writings and a bas relief. However, they provide a crucial clue for anyone seeking the gardens elsewhere beyond Babylon.

So what does this mean for the scriptural references to Babylon? Is the Bible in error?

Not at all.

Dalley explains that Nineveh was often referred to as the "New Babylon" and King Sennacherib even renamed the city gates to mirror those in ancient Babylon.

Also, modern names and references are different than those used in ancient times. Modern historians sometimes refer to the empire of King Nebuchadnezzar as the Chaldean or Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Ancient kings sometimes also took credit for the work of others, as they sought to increase their prestige with others.

This fluidity could contribute to modern confusion, causing archaeologists to mistake ancient locales and assume legends where there remains fact.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

Wholesale slaughter of Palmyra residents begins as Islamic State invades Watch

Image of Will this marble altar depicting the Goddess Allat with a lion from the Temple of Baal Shamin in Palmyra be destroyed by ISIS jihadists?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Shocking images have emerged of decapitated bodies strewn across blood-filled streets in Palmyra While the world worries that the Islamic State will destroy the cities many priceless historical treasures, the wholesale slaughter of Palmyra's citizens has begun. ... continue reading


OOPS! Comment riles Iran, threatened to rain down '80,000 missles on Tel Aviv and Haifa' Watch

Image of The misquote was most likely based on Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's comments from the May 5 Shurat Hadin conference.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon made a comment recently that was taken out of context. The comment was so misunderstood that it prompted war talk from Iran. While the war talk was mostly bluster, Iran obviously took the comment seriously as Iran's United ... continue reading


Foreign Legion: 17,000 men and women from more than 90 countries wage Muslim holy war for ISIS Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State continues to round up and recruit foreign fighters to join their "Muslim holy war." During the past three and a half years, ISIS has gained between 16,000 and 17,000 men and women from 90 countries, according to The Jakarata Post. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Catacombs becomes popular as graveyard space in Jerusalem grows scarce Watch

Image of The first phase of construction includes 22,000 crypts, arranged floor to ceiling in three tiers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many of the Jewish faith yearn to be interred in the Holy Land. Jerusalem, however, is running out of graveyard space. To meet this growing demand, plans are in the works for a new, massive necropolis - located deep underground. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Islamic State seizes control of Palmyra Watch

Image of The capture of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, one monitoring group said, now gives ISIS control of half the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State extremists have seized full control of the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra. Syrian Government defense lines collapsed there earlier this week. It is not yet known how close to the famed archaeological site the extremists advanced, activists said. ... continue reading


Extreme female terrorist 'White Widow' commands army of 200 female jihadist spies Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The so-called "White Widow" is now reported as commanding an army of around 200 female jihadists who pose as normal citizens and workers, like shop owners and hotel receptionists, and gather classified information for the leaders of the Al-Shabaab, according to ... continue reading


Islamic State captures World Heritage site despite Kurdish offensive Watch

Image of Islamic State fighters continue to make gains both in Iraq and Syria, despite efforts from Kurdish forces as well as government and militia units.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the Islamic State's recent capture of Mosul in Iraq has been making the news, it's there current conquests in Syria that are more worrying to several international historical groups. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Islamic State fighters recently seized ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia beheading rate increases, new executioners recruited Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Saudi Arabia, death sentences are usually performed by beheading. Now, Saudi Arabia is recruiting eight new executioners to carry out the rising number of death sentences. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Saudi Arabia has begun advertising for new ... continue reading


Killing of Abu Sayyaf by U.S. prompts cries of revenge by Islamic State supporters Watch

Image of Senior leader Abu Sayyaf was responsible for directing many of the group's military activities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A U.S. military strike deep in Islamic State territory took out senior leader Abu Sayyaf, captured his wife and freed a Yazidi woman they had kept as their slave. Supporters of the extremist organization are calling for revenge. Taking place near the eastern ... continue reading


Will archaeological marvel of Palmyra be destroyed by ISIS? Watch

Image of Will the ancient city of Palmyra fall prey to Islamic State's march against antiquity?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ancient city of Palmyra, which has stood for 2,000 years, now faces being reduced to rubble at the hands of the Islamic State. There are fears that the Syrian World Heritage Site could face destruction of the kind the jihadists have wreaked in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 11:4, 5, 7
4 Yahweh in his holy temple! Yahweh, his throne is in ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:20-25
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 23rd, 2015 Image

St. John Baptist Rossi
May 23: This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter