" 4.33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. (KJV)
Leading the Deutsche Orientgessellschaft, the German archaeologist Robert Koldeway discovered the ancient city of Babylon and excavated there from 1899 to 1912, but all that was found of the gates were the foundations and the bricks. Koldeway had to develop a technique to distinguish brick from the surrounding soil. The bricks were then shipped to Berlin and reassembled into archaeologists' approximation of the original structure.
According to Somervill, the Akkadian cuneiform inscription on the Ishtar Gate boasts about the king's accomplishments and the building of the monument.
In Unearthing the past: the great archaeological discoveries that have changed history, Douglas Palmer, Paul Pettitt and Paul G. Bahn say that the two-towered gate was built on a platform and had a 25m arch. The Processional Way led from the Ishtar gate, past the king's palace, to the inner city.
Robert Koldewey, in The excavations at Babylon, provides the following translation of the consecration inscription:
"(Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, son of) Nabopolassar (King of Babylon am I). The gate of Nana (Ishtar . . . I built) with (blue) enamelled bricks ... for Marduk my lord. Lusty bulls of bronze and mighty figures of serpents I placed at their thresholds, with slabs (?) of limestone (and . . . ) of stone I . . . the enclosure of the bulls (...?) Marduk, exalted lord . . . eternal life . . . give as a gift" (trans. by Messerschmidt).
- Archaeologists: Explorers of the Human Past, by Brian M. Fagan
- Empires of Ancient Mesopotamia, by Barbara A. Somervill
- Unearthing the past: the great archaeological discoveries that have changed history, by Douglas Palmer, Paul Pettitt and Paul G. Bahn
- The excavations at Babylon, by Robert Koldewey
- Judah in Exile