One proposal is that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were actually constructed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (reigned 704 – 681 BC) for his palace at Nineveh.Stephanie Dalley posits that during the intervening centuries the two sites became confused, and the extensive gardens at Sennacherib's palace were attributed to Nebuchadnezzar II's Babylon.
Parts of the palace were excavated by Austin Henry Layard in the mid-19th century.
His citadel plan shows contours which would be consistent with Sennacherib's garden, but its position has not been confirmed.
The construction of the Hanging Gardens has also been attributed to the legendary queen Semiramis, who supposedly ruled Babylon in the 9th century BC, Three theories have been suggested to account for this.
One: that they were purely mythical, and the descriptions found in ancient Greek and Roman writings (including those of Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and Quintus Curtius Rufus) represented a romantic ideal of an eastern garden.He attributes the building of the gardens to a Syrian king, again for the reason that his queen missed her homeland.The account of Strabo ( He states that the gardens were watered by means of an Archimedes' screw leading to the gardens from the Euphrates river. Philo praises the engineering and ingenuity of building vast areas of deep soil, which had a tremendous mass, so far above the natural grade of the surrounding land, as well as the irrigation techniques.There was a tradition of Assyrian royal garden building.King Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC) had created a canal, which cut through the mountains. Also mentioned were pines, cypresses and junipers; almond trees, date trees, ebony, rosewood, olive, oak, tamarisk, walnut, terebinth, ash, fir, pomegranate, pear, quince, fig, and grapes.There are five principal writers whose descriptions of Babylon exist in some form today.These writers concern themselves with the size of the Hanging Gardens, their overall design and means of irrigation, and why they were built.Archaeological excavations have found traces of a vast system of aqueducts attributed to Sennacherib by an inscription on its remains, which Dalley proposes were part of a 80-kilometre (50 mi) series of canals, dams, and aqueducts used to carry water to Nineveh with water-raising screws used to raise it to the upper levels of the gardens.King Sennacherib's garden was well-known not just for its beauty – a year-round oasis of lush green in a dusty summer landscape – but also for the marvelous feats of water engineering that maintained the garden.Diodorus ascribes the construction to a Syrian king.He states that the garden was in the shape of a square, with each side approximately four plethra long.