The Ishtar Gate: The Processional Way The New Year Festival Of Babylon by Joachim Marzahn
The Processional Way of the ancient city of Babylon is a half-mile brick road connecting the outer city of Babylon to the Temple of Marduk. Nebuchadnezzar II commissioned the construction of the gate in the late 6th century BCE as a symbol of his personal power and the power of the Babylonian empire, and the Processional Way is a tribute to the omnipotence of the gods to whom everything was subject. The gate and Processional Way were the site of the important religious observance of the New Year. The gate and the walls are made of hundreds of standard sized rectangular bricks roughly 33 cm squared , which were made of clay pressed through a wooden mold, sun-dried and fired, and then glazed either blue or gold. Although the exact glazing process is unknown, it is suggested that a combination of plant ash, sandstone conglomerate and silicate pebbles were melted then cooled. The complexity of the work is in the ornate designs that the stacked bricks create, including lions, dragons and bulls, which were made of larger reusable molds to ensure all of the animals appearing on the walls and gates look the same.
As well as the Ishtar Gate, they unearthed remains of the city's great Processional Way, temples including the Esagila (dedicated to Marduk).
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A Reconstructed Processional Way in Berlin
Posted by Thomas Dowson Photo Essays 0. One of these, perhaps the most obvious as this is how the Museum acquired its name, is the Pergamon Altar — from the ancient city of the Pergamene Kingdom in modern-day Turkey. Another imposing reconstruction is the Ishtar gate from Babylon, the ancient Mesopotamian city in what is today Iraq. The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. Hence its name. In the German archaeologist Robert Koldewey began excavating at the city of Babylon. The finds from this excavation were then used to create a life-size construction of the Ishtar Gate, widely regarded as one of the most spectacular reconstructions in the history of archaeology.
All rights reserved. Babylon was a city famous for many things, but most notable was its wondrous architecture. Both the Tower of Babel and the Hanging Gardens were associated with the city and referenced in many historic and sacred texts. At the site in what is today central Iraq , they aimed to uncover the splendid city built by Nebuchadrezzar II of the sixth century B. Although they did not find the Hanging Gardens, the Babylon that they unearthed was richly endowed with spectacular art and architecture. Among the marvels they did discover was the glorious Ishtar Gate, constructed of vibrant glazed bricks and adorned with depictions of fantastic beasts. The principal entrance to the city, the Ishtar Gate was designed to make a big impression.
Travelers to ancient Babylon were met with an astonishing sight: a gate nearly 50 feet high and feet wide made of jewel-like blue glazed bricks and adorned with bas-relief dragons and young bulls. Reconstruction by E. The Processional Way was paved with red and yellow stones inscribed with a prayer from Nebuchadnezzar to Marduk and flanked by soaring walls of enameled tiles decorated with lions and flowers. Two Panels with striding lions B. But colorful fragments of the lion figures would one day lead to the unearthing and rebirth of the Ishtar Gate.