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The civilization began with the Sumerians in
Mesopotamia, developed with the Persians
Sassanid's, and under Islam spread west to Spain
and east to India.
Originally separated from the western civilizations
that begun simultaneously in the Nile valley.
The two parallel and antithetical civilizations came
to be so interlocked that there was an inevitable and
continuous interchange of ideas.


In contrast, the Eastern civilizations seemed remote

and the influence of one group of civilization upon
another was less pronounced; even when the Muslim
Mughuls overwhelmed Hindu India.
The two cultures in principles remained independent.
By AD 1700 the central Muslim civilizations had
ceased to be an originating force, and culturally the
world was there after broadly divide into east and

Eastern civilizations

Muslim civilizations

Babylon is described as the
mother city of the manufactured
landscape as well as of garden.
It has a hanging garden.
The terraces of hanging gardens
were built between 604 and 562
BC above two rows of seven
vaulted chambers and may
have risen up to 75 feet.
The structure was waterproofed
with bitumen, baked brick and
lead, and covered with soil for
trees, depth being obtained by
use of the space between the
haunches of the arches.
Water seems to have been lifted
from a well within the vaulted


The Hanging Gardens probably did not really "hang" in the sense
of being suspended from cables or ropes.
The name comes from an inexact translation of the Greek
wordkremastos,or the Latin wordpensilis, which means not just
"hanging", but "overhanging" as in the case of a terrace or
It consists of vaulted terraces raised one above another, and
resting upon cube-shaped pillars.
These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest
size to be planted. The pillars, the vaults, and terraces are
constructed of baked brick and asphalt."
"The ascent to the highest story is by stairs, and at their side are water
engines, by means of which persons, appointed expressly for the purpose,
are continually employed in raising water from the Euphrates into the

The Water Problem

Babylon rarely received rain and for the garden to survive, it would have
had to been irrigated by using water from the nearby Euphrates
River. That meant lifting the water far into the air so it could flow
down through the terraces, watering the plants at each level.
A chain pump is two large wheels, one above the other, connected
by a chain. On the chain are hung buckets. Below the bottom
wheel is a pool with the water source. As the wheel is turned, the
buckets dip into the pool and pick up water. The chain then lifts
them to the upper wheel, where the buckets are tipped and
dumped into an upper pool. The chain then carries the empty
buckets back down to be refilled.
The pool at the top of the gardens could then be released by gates
into channels which acted as artificial streams to water the
gardens. The pump wheel below was attached to a shaft and a handle.
By turning the handle, slaves provided the power to run the contraption.

Garden Construction

Construction of the garden

wasn't only complicated by
getting the water up to the
top, but also by having to
avoid having the liquid ruining
the foundations once it was
Since stone was difficult to get on
the Mesopotamian plain, most of
the architecture in Babel
utilized brick. The bricks were
composed of clay mixed with
chopped straw and baked in
the sun. These were then
joined with bitumen, a slimy
substance, which acted as a
Unfortunately, because of the
materials they were made of, the
bricks quickly dissolved when

Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian, stated that the platforms on which

the garden stood consisted of huge slabs of stone (otherwise
unheard of in Babel), covered with layers of reed, asphalt and
Over this was put "a covering with sheets of lead, that the wet
which drenched through the earth might not rot the foundation.
Upon all these was laid earth of a convenient depth, sufficient for
the growth of the greatest trees.
When the soil was laid even and smooth, it was planted with all sorts of
trees, which both for greatness and beauty might delight the spectators."

35,000 BCE (BCE = Before the Common Era, or Before the

Roman Era)
B.C. = Before Caesar (Julius Caesar), or
Before Christ (Jesus of Nazareth)
Before the Communications Era of
Handwritten Books and Scholarly Libraries
(450 BCE - 450 CE)
BCE does not mean "Before the
Christian Era."
Three persons, all offended Christians, have
written to me to insist that I use BC and AD. I'm not the only
amateur scholar using BC and BCE.
There are numerous Internet resources that
discuss this topic of dating schemes.
Actually, I would prefer BP = Before Printing
and AP = After Printing (Gutenberg, 1453-) to date the
"Common Era." Many experts consider
the invention of printing as the most
important invention of the last 1,000 years. There is no doubt