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Desert Gate

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Jamie Novotny
Contributors: Jeffrey Becker
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Feb 10, 2018 09:13 AM History
Nineveh's western wall had seven (or eight) gates: the Desert Gate was the southernmost gate along that stretch of wall. The Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib constructed it sometime between 695 and 691 B.C. and he gave it the Akkadian ceremonial name Kadrê-Tēme-u-Sumuʾel-qerebša-irrub ("The Presents of the People of Tēma and Sumuʾel Enter Through It").

36.3389972, 43.1677065

gate (of a city), city gate


The gate is mentioned in Akkadian inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib dating to 694-691 B.C. Its original ceremonial name was Kadrê-Sumuʾel-u-Tēme-qerebša-irrub ("The Presents of the People of Sumuʾel and Tēma Enter Through It"). By early 691 B.C., the gate was renamed Kadrê-Tēme-u-Sumuʾel-qerebša-irrub ("The Presents of the People of Tēma and Sumuʾel Enter Through It").

There is some contradictory information about this gate in Sennacherib’s inscriptions. A text dated to mid-694 B.C. states that the Desert Gate was the third of the five west-facing gates and that it was located between the Quay Gate and the Armory Gate. An inscription dating to 691 B.C., however, records that it was the tenth and last gate of the ten north- and west-facing city gates and that is was situated between the Barhalzi Gate and the Handūru Gate, which was the first gate of the southern city wall according to texts dating to 697-695 and 691 B.C. Because the gate itself has not been positively identified from in situ inscriptions and because Sennacherib’s texts contain contradictory information, there is no scholarly consensus on the location of the Desert Gate. Scholars prior to the publication of the text dated to 691 B.C. (RINAP 3 Sennacherib 018) generally place the Desert Gate north of the armory, either at the northwest corner of the armory or halfway between the Quay Gate and the armory. Most scholars nowadays think that this city gate was south of the armory and place it about 200 m north of the southwest corner of the city. Satellite imagery and old aerial photography seem to indicate that there might have been a gate located approximately 400 m north of the southwest corner and that spot might prove to be where Sennacherib had the Desert Gate built.

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Jamie Novotny, and Jeffrey Becker, 'Desert Gate: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2018 <> [accessed: 10 December 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 156485252 (Desert Gate) |author=Novotny, J. |accessdate=December 10, 2023 1:53 am |publisher=Pleiades}}