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Handuru 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 12, 2018 08:46 AM History
Most 7th-century B.C. Assyrian inscriptions record that Nineveh had eight south- and east-facing gates: the Handūru Gate was the first of these. The Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib constructed it and gave it the Akkadian ceremonial name Šarur-mušamqit-ayyāb-šarri ("The God Šarur Is the One Who Cuts Down the King's Enemy"). This unlocated gate is now generally thought to have been located near southwest corner of the city.

36.336974, 43.170814

unlocated, gate (of a city), city gate


The gate is mentioned in Akkadian inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib dating to ca. 697-691 B.C. There is some contradictory information about it in these texts. According to texts written in 697-695 and 691 B.C., the Handūru Gate was the first of the eight south- and east-facing gates. However, according to an inscription dated to mid-694 B.C., it was the last of the five west-facing gates.

Maps of Nineveh produced before the publication of the text dated to 691 B.C. (RINAP 3 Sennacherib 018) generally place the gate on the western wall, between the armory and the southwest corner of the city; this placement follows the arrangement of the gates recorded in the inscription written in 694 B.C. Those maps generally place the Handūru Gate 1,000 m (approximate coordinates: 36.344742, 43.16281) or 400 m (estimated coordinates: 36.340416, 43.167032) north of the southwest corner of the city; these spots are where one expects to find the Barhalzi Gate (possibly originally the Armory Gate) and the Desert Gate. If the Handūru Gate was one of the western gates of Nineveh, then it is possible that it was built only ca. 100 m north of the southwest corner (approximate coordinates: 36.338081, 43.16826).

If the inscriptions of Sennacherib dated to 697-695 and 691 B.C. accurately record that the Handūru Gate was the first of the south- and east-facing city gates, then one should expect that gate on the south wall, close to the southwest corner.  Based on an aerial photograph of Nineveh taken in 1929, Corona satellite imagery (1967-68), and Google satellite imagery, there appears to have been a gate built by Sennacherib about 180 m east of the southwest corner. Given the present available information, this spot seems the most likely location of the Handūru Gate.

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Jamie Novotny, and Jeffrey Becker, 'Handuru Gate: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2018 <> [accessed: 09 June 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 681842440 (Handuru Gate) |author=Novotny, J. |accessdate=June 9, 2023 6:19 pm |publisher=Pleiades}}