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Archimedes’ Screw & The Date Tree of Babylon


Archimedes of Syracuse is known for inventing a device that efficiently raised water for irrigation. Dr. Stephanie Dalley translated a cuneiform text from of the Assyrian king Sennacherib which led her to believe the Hanging Gardens of Babylon made use of a comparable device approximately 350 years before the time of Archimedes. In addition, certain ancient legends of the Hanging Gardens described screw-like irrigation devices similar to the Archimedes’ Screw.

Secret of the Dead: The Lost Gardens of Babylon, premiering Tuesday, May 6 at 9-10 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).