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Demystifying the Hanging Garden of Babylon

For centuries, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World have captivated scholars as some of the most magnificent — and last remaining — representations of classical antiquity. Of those seven, the Hanging Garden of Babylon has particularly intrigued scholars, due in large part to the ambiguity surrounding the history of its physical construction, geographical location, and enduring architectural legacy. Stephanie Dalley, author of The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon, discusses the most elusive of world wonders, evaluating the accuracy of popular interpretations, the uniqueness of its origins, and its disputed impact on several imitative gardens in ensuing eras, including those constructed by Herod the Great and Nero.

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On possible imitations of the Hanging Garden of Babylon:

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Stephanie Dalley is an Honorary Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford, and a member of the Oriental Institute at Wolfson College, Oxford. With degrees in Assyriology from the Universities of Cambridge and London, her academic career has specialized in the study of ancient cuneiform texts and she has worked on archaeological excavations in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan. Her most recent book, The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon, was published by OUP in 2013.

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