Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Contributor: Roxann Penny. Lesson ID: 12871

Have you ever helped a parent or friend with gardening? It's a lot of hard work. There was an ancient garden that was so huge it took lots of engineers and workers to build it higher than your house!

categories

World

subject
History
learning style
Visual
personality style
Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Take a look at the image below. Could this be a real place?

ancient garden

The ancient city of Babylon, known today as Iraq, is said to be the home of the next ancient wonder you will study in this series: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Take a few minutes to locate Iraq on the map below, because this will allow you a clear perspective of which region of the world you will focus on in this lesson:

map indicating Saudi Arabia and Iraq

Image by G720, via Wikimedia Commons, is available under the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Although there is no solid archeological evidence that the gardens ever existed, there are several theories about how and why these gardens were constructed. However, the most popular theory surrounds a homesick queen, Queen Amytis of Media. Legend says that Queen Amytis missed the mountains and greenery of her Persian home so much that her husband, King Nebuchadnezzar II, commissioned the gardens to be built to make her happy.

The gardens themselves did not actually "hang" from ropes or cables as the name suggests. They were instead described as part of a towering structure of overlapping terraces. Each terrace was filled with lush vegetation, including flowering plants, fruit trees, exotic animals, and waterfalls.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Image by Bine Rodenberger, via flickr, is licensed under CC BY 4.0 license.

It is estimated that this desert oasis was seventy five feet high and needed approximately 8,200 gallons of water to maintain all the plants and water features. Furthermore, the engineers and architects of this amazing structure would have had to devise an instrument or a machine to pump all that water up the tower. Considering the limited technology available during this period, the construction of these gardens would have been a monumental achievement. Perhaps this is why the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is listed as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Image by Ferdinand Knab, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

Read the following questions, then discuss the questions with your parent or teacher:

  • What type of tools do you imagine the construction workers would have used to complete the gardens and the structure?
  • What challenges do you think the engineers may have encountered when constructing the gardens?
  • What challenges do you think the gardeners may have faced maintaining all the plants, animals, and water features?
  • Why do you think the gardens no longer exist? What are some possible reasons for their disappearance?

Next, transport yourself back in time. Imagine yourself as a guest of Queen Amytis as you tour the Hanging Gardens of Babylon by viewing 3d Babylon hanging gardens palace, courtesy Omixmax. As you watch the video, carefully observe the different features of the gardens and document your impressions as you look around. Share your impressions with your parent or teacher:

 

  • How long do you estimate it would have taken to complete construction of the hanging gardens?
  • Why do you think King Nebuchadnezzar II built such an elaborate structure for his queen?

Talk about these questions with your parent or teacher, then continue to the Got It? section to test your knowledge about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon by identifying some true and false statements.

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