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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Hanging Gardens of Babylon site discovered?

The location of the gardens has been lost for centuries. Image Credit: Martin Heemskerck

An Oxford University academic believes she has found the precise location of the ancient wonder.

The legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the wonders of the ancient world, a paradise of plants and trees built more than 2,000 years ago. Long lost to the mists of time, the exact location of the gardens remains a mystery that has yet to be satisfactorily solved.

Dr Stephanie Dalley however believes that she may have finally found the answer. After more than 20 years of research, Dr Dalley contends that the gardens were not built near the ancient city of Babylon but were instead located almost 1,000 miles to the north near the city of Ninevah in what is now modern day Iraq.

Dr Dalley also believes that the true builders of the gardens were not the Babylonians under their king Nebuchadnezzar as is often believed but instead the Assyrians under their king Sennacherib.

While the exact area she believes the gardens were located in is now too dangerous to visit herself, she was able to direct a film crew with an armed escort to the site so that they could take pictures. What they found was a large mound of dirt sloping down in to a lush green area.

"That’s the best place for it to be. It looks like a good place for a garden," she said. "More research is now required at the site, but sadly I don’t think that will be possible in my lifetime."

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