Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon at Nebi Yunus in Nineveh, Mosul -- Aerial and Ground Photos

Nebi Yunus viz. Nabi Yunis at Nineveh
as the currently built-upon ruins of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

One must look at the photographs found at http://cchag.org/html/09476/iraq05-050.html (CCHAG "COCOM Cultural Heritage Action Group", U.S. Department of Defense) though we have no idea how long these photos will remain accessible, so we embed here the two most illustrative ones as "non-commercial fair use" as well as providing the relevant links, where more photographs can be found.

The photos are subject to the CCHAG Disclaimer and Terms of Use. Seeing as how they are Google Earth Digital Globe photos, we presume they can be used here in ancient world research without incurring the wrath of the authorities or copyright holders, but it is surely illegal to use them commercially without CCHAG permission.

Google Earth Satellite Image
of Nebi Yunus at Nineveh in Mosul

(external resource) http://cchag.org/html/09476/images/iraq05-050-01.jpg.
"Nabi Yunis (prophet Jonah) mosque on Al-Tawba mountain",
Latitude 36° 20' 52.8000", 36.348° N, Longitude 43° 9' 32.4000", 43.159° E. Image © 2007 DigitalGlobe, © 2007 Europa Technologies, © 2012 Google™.

Ground Level Image of Nebi Yunus 
at Ninevah in Mosul
http://cchag.org/html/09476/images/iraq05-050-06.jpg CCHAG writes:
"The city [Mosul] is a historic center for Christian Assyrians,
containing the tombs of several Old Testament prophets such as Jonah,
who is commemorated in a rare
joint Muslim/Christian shrine
(originally a Nestorian church, now a mosque).

We presume the magnificent "tree terracing" seen here
was inspired by the ancient lay of the land as found by the builders
underneath those modern terraces, suggesting this use of the surface.

The above photos speak for themselves on the location of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which we will discuss in detail in subsequent postings.

Evidence and the Ancient World, Nineveh, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Tomb of Jonah at the Mosque of the Prophet Yunus in Mosul, Iraq, Neo-Assyria

"Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me."
The above is cited from Jonah 1:2, King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition
In The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon 

-- a marvelous but in our opinion not yet "analytically fully accurate" book to which we shall be turning in epic grandeur in our subsequent postings --

that book's truly pioneer author Stephanie M. Dalley cites to J.A. Soggin that "The Book of Jonah is currently dated no later than the late 5th or early 4th century BC", meaning that the Book of Jonah is an ancient Biblical source.

Recall that we have previously focused on various evidentiary aspects of academic scholarship, especially regarding the ancient world. Indeed, in recent postings on the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Adad-Nirari III, Jonah, and the founding of Rome, we challenged scholars to carry forward our work about Jonah -- if they could -- but, perhaps expectedly, nothing has been forthcoming.

We ourselves thus have had little choice but to continue our own thus far unassisted research concerning the underlying mystery of the Biblical Jonah (Arabic سYūnus, Yūnis), such research as has led us to Nebi Yunus viz. Nabī Yūnus (formerly also written Nebbi Yunus) at Nineveh..

There are two enormous ancient mounds at Nineveh.

The larger mound -- a mound known in Archaeology as Kouyunjik (also written Koyunjik) -- is formed by the ruins of the royal palace of the famed Assyrian king Sennacherib, successor to Sargon II, and himself succeeded by Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal, the last of the strong Neo-Assyrian kings, prior to Nabopolassur and Nebuchadnezzar II, the latter being credited (surely erroneously by only one ancient source) with constructing the famed Hanging (more correctly "high-raised, terraced") Gardens.

Nebi Yunus is the somewhat "smaller" of the two large mounds left as ruins of the ancient Assyrian capital city of Nineveh, a location in fact often confused with Babylon due to diverging definitions of Mesopotamia in usage.

Stephanie Dalley has convincingly written in The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon -- so our opinion -- that the Hanging Garden(s) of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World -- the only one of the Seven whose location has not been modernly subject to proof -- was in fact not located at the city of Babylon, but rather at the more northern Nineveh.

She claims, however, that the "Hanging Garden" was located at the mound which represents the ruins of the palace of Sennacherib.

We will suggest, on the other hand, that the garden(s) was/were at the mound of Jonah, who is an increasingly significant figure of Neo-Assyria.

Duane L. Christensen recently authored Nahum: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, Yale University Press, October 20, 2009, ISBN 9780300144796, a publication that relates also to the Book of Jonah.

The Yale University Press describes its publication as follows:
"Duane Christensen is professor of Old Testament languages and literature (retired), Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. He is President of BIBAL Corporation and lives in Rodeo, CA." ...

"This volume represents a significant breakthrough in the study of Hebrew prosody with important implications for understanding the formation of the canon of the Hebrew Bible. Duane Christensen, a renowned biblical scholar, offers a detailed analysis of the Hebrew text of Nahum and demonstrates the intricate literary structure and high poetic quality of the work.

Nahum is a book about God’s justice and portrays God as strong, unyielding, and capable of great anger.

This view of God’s nature stands in contrast to that found in Jonah, another book in the section of the Hebrew Bible known as the Book of the Twelve Prophets, which presents God as “compassionate, gracious . . . [and] abounding in steadfast love.”

Christensen shows how Nahum and Jonah present complementary aspects of God’s nature, each essential for an understanding of the divine being. The commentary includes the most extensive bibliography published to date of works cited."
The ancient building that underlies part of the mound at Nebi Yunus is thought by the archaeologists to have been used by Sennacherib and son Esarhaddon as an arsenal viz. storehouse, and that may be true, but in view of the square form attributed by the ancients to the Hanging Gardens, one must note the words of Austen Henry Layard in A Popular Account of Discoveries at Nineveh, J. C. Derby, New York, 1854, at the dawn of true archaeological investigation of the Ancient Near East:
"Then also the edifice, now covered by the village of Nebbi Yunus, stood entire above the stream, and the whole quadrangle was surrounded by lofty walls cased with stone, their towers adorned with sculptured alabaster, and their gateways formed by colossal bulls. The position of the ruins proves, that at one time this was one of the most important parts of Nineveh ; and the magnificence of the remains, that the edifices must have been founded by one of the greatest of the Assyrian monarchs." [emphasis added]
A Wikipedia List of burial places of biblical figures tells us that according to Jews, Jonah was buried at Mashhad, Israel, near to where he was born, but, according to Muslims, Jonah was buried at Halhul, near Beit Ummar, Hebron.

Paradoxically, the most famous last site of Jonah is in fact still found in the land in which he was a prophet of the Assyrian kings, and that is the Tomb of Jonah at the Mosque of the Prophet Yunus in Mosul, Iraq, Ancient Nineveh.

Does the Tomb of Jonah actually mark the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

See our next postings.


For our previous related postings, see e.g.:

Scholars Prefer to Research, Teach and Write "Concepts" Rather than Facts: Göbekli Tepe as an Example

The Founding of Rome and a Starry Etruscan Mirror (Part I, the Object)

The Founding of Rome and a Starry Etruscan Mirror (Part II, The Stars Represented - Moon between Gemini and Auriga, Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Sun at the Vernal Equinox)

The Founding of Rome and a Starry Etruscan Mirror (Part III -- Chronology by Solar Eclipses, Secular Games and Dendrochronology)

The Starry Etruscan Mirror of Rome (Part IV) and the Neo-Assyrian Empire: Adad-Nirari III Stelas of Tell al-Rimah and Saba'a

The Starry Etruscan Mirror of Rome (Part V - Conclusion): Jonah and the Whale

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

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