The Hanging Gardens of … Nineveh?

Blame it on a bad translation. This ancient wonder may not have been in Babylon.

A man stands near the massive walls of Nineveh.


The legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon are exactly that: legendary. And they may not have been located in Babylon.

The gardens, famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, were, according to Stephanie Dalley, an Oxford University Assyriologist, located some 340 miles north of ancient Babylon in Nineveh, on the Tigris River by Mosul in modern Iraq.

Dalley, whose book The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon will be published later this summer, writes that earlier sources were translated incorrectly, leading to the confusion. The misinterpretation also explains why years of excavations never yielded any credible evidence of the fabled gardens in Babylon, the capital city of Babylonia on the Euphrates River. Historians have questioned their existence for some time.