The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World are documented to have been built approximately 2500 years ago in 600 BC. There is much speculation about whether or not the gardens really existed. Substantial evidence of the gardens remains has has not been found to prove they really existed. Some people who think that the gardens didn't exist, believed that soldiers who had passed through Babylon, were fascinated by the gardens because their hometowns were nothing like this and they may have exaggerated when describing the gardens. This could have easily been done because Nebakanezer, the king who had the Hanging Gardens built, did have many amazing structures built (Hanging, 2008). Others argue that the documentation of the gardens was written in Greek or Latin so the translation of these writings could be incorrect (Twelve, 2010). Another reason people think the gardens didn't exist is because documentation has been found that listed all of the structures in Babylon at that point in time, and the gardens are not mentioned (Hanging, 2010). If they did exist, the gardens are the second oldest of the Seven Wonders.
Documents state that the gardens were built for King Nebakanezer II, king of Babylon for 43 years. Nebakanezer 's wife, Amytis, was missed her hometown when she moved to Babylon. Babylon was very flat and dry, with very little rain and therefore had very little greenery. Her hometown was very mountainous, so Nebakanezer had the gardens built for her so it would resemble where she used to live. The gardens were huge and contained many types of flowers, fruit, animals, and waterfalls, which were said to have been from places all over the world. The gardens were supposedly built about thirty miles south of Baghdad, Iraq, along the Euphrates River (Hanging, 2008).
Although no ruins have been found, very detailed documentation of the gardens has been discovered. Nebuchadezzar had many other amazing structures build during his rule of Babylon so it is very likely that the hanging gardens really existed (Hanging, 2009).
Documentation of the gardens explains how the gardens were built. They were planted along a hill and had many different levels. Not only were the plants and flowers amazing, but also the technology used to water them. The different levels of the garden were very high up, and it barely ever rained in Babylon, so how did they construct the waterfalls and how did they water the plants? (Hanging 2007). The Babylonians created a water pump that transported water from the Euphrates River up to the Hanging Gardens. They created the pump by attaching buckets to a chain. The chain was connected to two big wheels at the top and bottom. These would allow the chain to come back up after it went to the bottom to retrieve the water. Slaves powered the chain by pulling it so that it would continue to move. As the chain moved, the buckets would go into the river and fill with water. They tipped over at the top of the pump so that the high gardens could be reached and irrigated. The water traveled down channels so that all of the plants could be watered (Hanging, 2010).
A historian by the name of Philo, described these water pumps: The Hanging Garden has plants cultivated above ground level, and the roots of the trees are embedded in an upper terrace rather than in the earth. The whole mass is supported on stone columns. Streams of water emerging from elevated sources flow down sloping channels. These waters irrigate the whole garden saturating the roots of plants and keeping the whole area moist. Hence the grass is permanently green and the leaves of trees grow firmly attached to supple branches. This is a work of art of royal luxury and its most striking feature is that the labor of cultivation is suspended above the heads of the spectators (Hanging, 2008).
Evidence of these pumps may have been discovered in 1899 by the archeologist, Robert Koldewey. (Hanging, 2010). He found stone ruins that fit the description of the documentation of the gardens. Documentation stated that only two structures in this area were created using stone. These were the Hanging Gardens and one other structure, which had already been discovered. So, Koldewey thought he had discovered the gardens. He also discovered a room with three big holes that he was convinced this had been part of the water chain pump. The structure that Koldewey found was around 100 by 150 fifty feet. This is not near as big as documents have claimed, but it is still amazing for that time period (Hanging, 2010).
In order to preserve the building from water damage, the gardens were built with big stone foundations that were covered with lead. This would protect the foundation from all the water that was constantly flowing down. But, much of the gardens were built using clay bricks which had been set outside to be dried by the sun. Soil for the plants to grow was placed on top of the stone and clay bricks. Some documentation states that the stones were eighty feet tall and stretched 400x400 feet, or three acres. Other documentation says the gardens were over 300 feet tall (Hanging, 2010).
Some people believe that the ruins of another building, which was named the Vaulted Building, are the remains of the Hanging Gardens. There is a hole which some believe was used as a well, which people suggest could have been used for the irrigation system. The problem with this theory, is that the Vaulted Building would have been too far away from the Euphrates River. Technology during that time period was not advanced enough to carry water that far away, which would have been thousands of feet (Hanging, 2009). Until more evidence of ruins is found, people will continue to speculate that the Vaulted Building could be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or that maybe the gardens didnt exist at all