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The predecessor of the zoological garden is the menagerie, which has a long history from the ancient world to modern times. The oldest known zoological collection was revealed during excavations at Hierakonpolis, Egypt in 2009, of a ca. 3500 BCE menagerie. The exotic animals included hippopotami, hartebeest, elephants, baboons and wildcats. King Ashur-bel-kala of the Middle Assyrian Empire created zoological and botanical gardens in the 11th century BCE. In the 2nd century BCE, the Chinese Empress Tanki had a "house of deer" built, and King Wen of Zhou kept a 1,500-acre (6. 1 km2) zoo called Ling-Yu, or the Garden of Intelligence. Other well-known collectors of animals included King Solomon of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah, queen Semiramis and King Ashurbanipal of Assyria, and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia. By the 4th century BCE, zoos existed in most of the Greek city states; Alexander the Great is known to have sent animals that he found on his military expeditions back to Greece. The Roman emperors kept private collections of animals for study or for use in the arena, the latter faring notoriously poorly. The 19th-century historian W. E. H. Lecky wrote of the Roman games, first held in 366 BCE:

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