Imagining the Ishtar Gate

By Iris Fernandez

Babylon’s Ishtar Gate comprised a 200 meter long Processional Way leading up to a 50 meter long Gate which intersected two city walls.

To create this drawing, Alfred Bollacher used surviving archaeological evidence, found by archaeologists working at Babylon beginning in 1899. Combining fragments of molded bricks found scattered across the site with the Gate’s foundation levels--which were found intact--Bollacher imagines what the superstructure of this famous monument might have looked like.

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Alfred Bollacher
Reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate
1918 CE
Ink on paper
H. 33.7 cm; W. 46.9 cm
Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Berlin: ArDOG V.29.60
© Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Photo: Olaf M. Teßmer