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The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  90 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Recognized in ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Hanging Garden of Babylon & its location remain to this day a mystery steeped in shadow & puzzling myths. Now offering a brilliant solution to a question that has challenged archeologists for centuries, The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon is an exciting story of detection ...more
Hardcover, 1st, 301 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Oxford University Press (NYC) (first published May 23rd 2013)
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Chris
Oct 27, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received and read an uncorrected proof via Netgalley.

There really is no other way to start, so here goes.

I never thought that reading about a screw so could be so engrossing.

Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about Archimedes’ screw. And I’m not being sarcastic. Stephanie Dalley makes reading about the screw absolutely fascinating. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

The screw is important because the time and use of the device are central to the idea of how the
...more
Lois Bujold
Nov 27, 2014 Lois Bujold rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers interested in ancient history of the Mideast
Recommended to Lois by: saw the TV show

Well, hm.

This book is as much argument as history, of the author's theory that the Hanging Garden of Babylon was not built by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon (where it has never been found) but by Sennacherib in Nineveh, where likely remains exist. There are paragraphs where every single sentence is footnoted.

It is not Ancient History 101, and does not stop to coddle the novice. It would offer the most to a reader already well-versed in the history of Mesopotamia. For a reader who is not (like me), th
...more
Bettie☯
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Chris
ancient history - mesopotamia> euphrates> babylon
pdf
read feb 2013
non-fic

Disclaimer: I received and read an uncorrected proof.


This book is dedicated to the memory of my parents
Denys and Katie Page
who packed me off to Nimrud in northern Iraq in 1962
for the first of many adventures in archaeology and epigraphy.


Acknowledgements (it is always nice when the author decides to put this section at the front - shows a pleasant bowing of ego.)
Contents
List of Colour Plates
List of Figures
Timeline (I lo
...more
B.G. Brainard
Sep 14, 2013 B.G. Brainard rated it liked it
I bought the book hoping to find out more about the hanging garden of Babylon, because I was researching the subject for a book I was writing. Her conclusions did not help much with my research about the ancient city of Babylon, but did open my eyes to the Assyrian King Sennecherib's queen, garden, and palace in Nineveh.
Adam Mills
Mar 22, 2016 Adam Mills rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely interesting and compelling case for the location, layout and structure of arguably the most famous of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Erik Graff
Aug 12, 2014 Erik Graff rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ancient history fans
Recommended to Erik by: Martin Miller
Shelves: history
Dalley, Stephanie, The Mystery of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced. Oxford University Press, New York, 2013. Hardcover. 279 + xxii pp. $34.95.

I was first introduced to “The Seven Wonders of the World” by an elementary school textbook. Along with the Great Pyramid, the Colossus of Rhodes and the rest, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were illustrated as something like vines descending from a stepped temple described as a “ziggurat”. Interested in the beginnings and end
...more
Frank Terry
Mar 08, 2015 Frank Terry rated it liked it
This was a cool book. Thankfully more and more books on Assyriology are available on Audible. The writing wasn't quite as fluid, or maybe just enthusiastic, as Irving Finkel's book I read about a month ago on Mesopotamian flood stories but this was still really good.

The scholarship here from Stephanie Dalley is really, really solid. The prose is super straight forward and she presents her thesis really well and breaks the chapters down really logically and in a good order.

Her main point and th
...more
Michael
Nov 05, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
Dalley's solid conclusion is that the hanging gardens were actually in the northern Iraqi city of Ninevah, and not in Babylon. I'm little versed in Assyrology, so her book also serves as a short introduction for me, though its certainly not meant to be. Each chapter addresses critical points supporting her argument: many cities could be known as Babylon; a survey of the water works which would have watered the gardens, and most importantly, reinterpreting archaeological finds which have ...more
Margaret Sankey
Sep 03, 2013 Margaret Sankey rated it really liked it
Beginning with popular culture representations (and a startling number of New Yorker cartoons), Dally, a cuneiform scholar, traces the fascination with a Hanging Garden of Babylon back through ancient sources to eyewitness accounts and Assyrian technical boasting to locate it in Nineveh, constructed by Sennacherib as a very smart and appropriate royal patronage project addition to already sophisticated aqueduct and water management skills. Mapping and computer drafting, as well as BBC funded ...more
Linda Hunt
Mar 06, 2014 Linda Hunt rated it liked it
Written very much like a college textbook, this is not something to read just for fun. The author has done a lot of research and study in order to present her facts - which are different from the traditional beliefs of the Hanging Gardens, and which she supports well. I had a hard time getting through it, but I did. If anyone is writing a research paper, at a high school or college level, this is the book to use. It includes pictures and drawings, as well as the information, and is ...more
Brad Dunn
May 14, 2016 Brad Dunn rated it it was ok
this book is perfect, I suspect, for those doing diligent research on Babylon, Mesopotamia, or Assyria. I was really just looking for a book on the old garden. As a book, it can be a little dull to read. there is some interesting stuff in here, and I learnt a few things, but only as I floated in and out of consciousness. There is a lot of technical engineering details about inventions of the era which are not exactly enthralling. Important - yes. Im probably just the wrong audience for this ...more
Elizabeth Smith
Dec 10, 2014 Elizabeth Smith rated it really liked it
Excellent book and the premise makes perfect sense. This book will appeal to experts and enthusiasts of Mesopotamian studies more than to the general reader, I think. It needs a more complete map of ancient Mesopotamia and a king-list to be entirely intelligible to the non-specialist, but Dalley has engaging prose and good illustrations. A fascinating topic, to be sure.
Jubilado
Jan 05, 2016 Jubilado rated it it was amazing
A fascinating description of the painstaking work of exploring the world wonder; the hanging garden of Babylon. It is like a complicated jigsaw with many pieces missing. I now understand a small part of the ancient history of the middle east. Stephanie Dalley writes well and enticed me on to the next revelation.
Peter Olmsted
Dec 04, 2013 Peter Olmsted rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this. However I have a habit of enjoying incredibly dry history books. Great to fall asleep to.

It's a compelling, thoughtful argument that sheds extensive light on the elusive Hanging Gardens.
Martin Rundkvist
Oct 03, 2013 Martin Rundkvist rated it it was ok
This confused book fails to present a cohesive argument. Its main thesis is that the Hanging Gardens were in Niniveh on the Tigris in Assyria, not in Babylon on the Euphrates in Babylonia as the historical sources agree.
Andrew Hoseason
Oct 08, 2015 Andrew Hoseason rated it really liked it
This book successfully demonstrates that the Hanging Gardens were in Nineveh rather than Babylon. For me, the most convincing evidence is that the ancient accounts match the hilly landscape of Assyria rather than the plains of the Tigris/Euphrates.
Eduardo R
Jun 07, 2013 Eduardo R rated it really liked it
Some of the hypotheses seem to be nothing more than wild guesses, but the book is a great piece of scholarship nonetheless.
Debby
Jul 14, 2014 Debby rated it liked it
Very interesting book regarding the Hanging Gardens and the authors research as to the true location and builder. Not for everyone tho, as it is more "text book".
Gregory Colt
Gregory Colt rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2016
Lauren
Lauren rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2015
Karen
Karen rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2016
Eve
Eve rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2014
Mohamed Amer
Mohamed Amer rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2015
Liz
Liz rated it did not like it
Jul 08, 2015
Hannah Cole
Hannah Cole rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2015
Heather Jenkins
Heather Jenkins rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2013
Lexi
Lexi rated it did not like it
Feb 17, 2015
Alan
Alan rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2016
Alex
Alex rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2014
Amy
Jul 16, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Really quite informative. Would have loved to have this work while in school.
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