Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon at Nineveh are Depicted in a Relief at Plate 52, Figure 1 Rawlinson: An Octopus as a Model for an Archimedes Screw Invented in the Days of Sennacherib

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon at Ninevah are in our opinion depicted in a relief found at Plate 52, Figure 1 in Rawlinson, The Project Gutenberg EBook of George Rawlinson, The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World: Assyria, Volume 2 of 7.

Unless it is mentioned and we have missed a reference in the text, Stephanie Dalley in The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon does not reference or picture that relief at Plate 52, Figure 1 in Rawlinson.

That should in no way detract from Dalley's pioneer achievement in concluding that the Hanging Garden(s) of Babylon were in fact at Nineveh or in suggesting the invention of a type of Archimedes Screw prior to Archimedes in the era of Sennacherib.

Dalley found no visual proof of the Archimedes-type screw she suggested at Nineveh -- but it may in fact be significantly documented in principle in the very strange relief found at Plate 52, Figure 1 in Rawlinson, Vol. 2:

This is the original relief:

Here is our marked version of that relief:

Here is our explanation based on our motto that you have to LOOK carefully:

If one in fact looks at the relief carefully, it becomes apparent that it has very strange features that virtually demand explanation and which suggest that Sennacherib was hiding much of his invention while revealing here its engineering "machine" principle.

At the top of the relief is a stream of water of some kind filled with fish, almost like an ancient roller coaster. Very strange. Is this an exaggerated representation of the river water that has been drawn from the river to the top of the hanging gardens? We think so.

Below that stream of water on a "viewing platform" are a group of three people, very plainly dressed it seems to us for that era (unless this is a reconstruction), apparently showing and being shown the wonder that they see -- perhaps they are in their "private" clothing (?), father Sennacherib, mother Semiramis and son Esarhaddon.

The apparent -- what we have labelled -- "conduits" could be representations of pipes or channels of some kind being used to draw water to the top of the terraced gardens. Otherwise, what could they possibly be?

The perspective of the relief could be deceiving, as the building to the right could be the palace of the king in the far background, while the building in the foreground would be the "irrigation building" Nebi Yunus.

Strangest of all in terms of the "theme" of the relief is the river and fish found at the front of the relief. The fish are normal. All the rest is strange. We see an object that can only be a "drawing compass", a "twisted swimmer", and what we will show to be an "octopus". To what purpose?! What are those figures doing placed in this relief, where they would not seem to belong normally, and yet they appear to have been given the major roles!

Here is our answer: All three in our opinion are subtle hints at the invention working in the background in the irrigation building, an Archimedes screw of some kind, with the drawing compass representing the "revolving" element of the screw, the twisted swimmer -- with toes otherwise pointed in the wrong direction (!) -- representing the "twisted" principle of action of the revolving element, and the octopus showing the fan-type "shape" of the multiple blades of the Archimedes-like screw.

We were lucky to see an octopus like this during a vacation to Greece many years ago, and are particularly indebted to a fantastic photograph of an octopus that we found at Spetses Photography in Greece which is found via this page at this link and shows an octopus that has arms in fan-type "blades" as on an "Archimedes screw" and corresponds to the octopus image on Plate 52.

In the image below we have zoomed a clip of the presumed Plate 52 Nineveh "octopus" to a larger size, then traced its main lines and reduced the image to those main lines. Below that reduced image is then a similarly reduced outline of the octopus photograph at Spetses Photography via this page at this link

If we were skeptical about Stephanie Dalley's idea that Sennacherib and his engineers actually had invented such a screw many hundreds of years prior to Archimedes, it dissipated totally upon seeing that octopus photograph, an octopus that must have served as a model for the engineer who invented it.

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