Ishtar Gate Lion


Ishtar Gate Section, circa 575 BCE, glazed brick, Pergamon Museum, Berlin.

The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. The polychrome relief tiles of the processional way were excavated in the 1930s. The lion is the symbol of Babylon, and represents Ishtar, the goddess of fertility, love, and war. The lion and the bull were especially prominent in the art of the ancient Near East as images expressing the power of rulers.  Over 100 lions were created in polychromed relief tiles for the processional way towards the northern entrance to Babylon, the Gate of Ishtar, as well as Nebuchadnezzar’s Throne Room.