Campaign Chunk Volume 11.09 – Ishtar Gate
The Ishtar Gate was one of eight gates to the inner city of Babylon. It was built around 575 BC by the order of the King Nebuchadnezzar II on the northern side of Babylon. This particular gate, as the name suggests was dedicated to the goddess Ishtar, who is the Mesopotamian goddess of fertility, love/sex, and war. Her symbols were lions and the eight pointed star.
The gate itself was constructed using glazed brick with alternating rows of bas-relief dragons and bulls, symbolizing the gods Marduk and Adad respectively. The bricks were coloured blue, possibly lapis lazuli, with the animals and symbols being coloured yellow and brown. The gate stood almost 12 meters high and had a vast anti-chamber on its southern side. On the gate is a dedication plaque that explained the purpose of the gate and describes parts of its construction and details. The Ishtar Gate became so well known, that it was considered to be one of the original seven wonders of the world, only to be replaced on that list by the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Beginning in 1902, Robert Koldewey began excavation on the gate site. What was found during this excavation was used to make a reconstruction. In 1930, the reconstruction was finished at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. Sadly, due to size restrictions, the reconstruction is not the same size as the original, nor is it complete. Various parts of the original gate have been sent to museums around the world and there are several other reconstructions, the most (in)famous being the one built in Iraq under Saddam Hussein as the entrance to a museum that has not been completed.
Hooks & Rumours
- Whilst maintaining and cleaning the tiles on the gate, it was noticed that some of them glowed slightly. It was very faint and could only have been seen for a brief moment. Further investigation showed that this tiles formed an obvious pattern, but the significance of this pattern has yet to be understood
- A campaign is underway by a wealthy and eccentric celebrity to re-build the Ishtar Gate at the correct size. They wish to use as many of the original parts as possible but understand that this may not be possible. They have gone on TV and various other media around the word and the campaign is starting to gain popularity. However, a few people are arguing that this is a waste of peoples money and time and actively trying to oppose it.
- The dedication plaque has gone missing from the reconstruction in Berlin. The plaque was removed with great care and the rest of the gate has not been damaged in any way.
- An argument has broken out in academic circles over so-called evidence that suggests that Ishtar was not the original choice of the goddess to be at this gate, but instead, it was meant to be Tiamat, another Babylonian goddess.
Volume 10 of the compiled and updated Campaign Chunks is available at DrivethruRPG.com