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Step 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 Mar 03, 2023 07:39 PM History
Most 7th-century B.C. Assyrian inscriptions record that Nineveh had eight south- and east-facing gates: the Step Gate was the sixth of these. The Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib constructed it and gave it the Akkadian ceremonial name Mušēṣât-šīr-asakki, which means "The One Who Exorcises the 'Flesh' of the Asakku-demon."

36.3632768, 43.1724032

unlocated, gate (of a city), city gate


The gate is mentioned in Akkadian inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib dating to 697-691 B.C. Most of Sennacherib’s inscriptions record that the Step Gate was the sixth of the south- and east-facing gates. One inscription, however, states that it was the fifth of those gates.

The gate’s exact position is uncertain and cannot be confirmed from in situ inscriptions. Most scholarly reconstructions place the Step Gate about 3,000 m north of the southeast corner and approximately 2,000 m south of the northeast corner (coordinates: 36.3632768, 43.1724032). However, a postern gate partially excavated in 1988 about 500 m south of that spot (36.3590074, 43.1740733) could be the Step Gate, as Julian Reade (SAAB 22 [2016], 74-77) proposes. The assumed position of this city gate depends largely on where one believes Sennacherib had the Šibaniba Gate and Halahhu Gate constructed; there are four suggested locations for the former and two for the latter. Based on available textual and archaeological evidence, as well as satellite imagery, the Step Gate is tentatively located in this resource north of the Khosr River, following traditional scholarly placement of the gate.

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

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 639153005 (Step Gate) |author=Novotny, J. |accessdate=June 10, 2023 9:16 pm |publisher=Pleiades}}