In a new article published in the journal PLOS ONE, a team of researchers has dated the construction of the Ishtar Gate in Babylon to ca. 583 BC using archaeomagnetism. The team obtained samples from five fired mud bricks from all three construction phases of Ishtar Gate and analyzed the geomagnetic field of each sample. The results indicated that there were no significant chronological gaps between the construction phases, as previously thought. Some scholars had suggested that King Nebuchadnezzar had commissioned the gate, based on his dedicatory inscription on the structure, but that it may have been completed in phases, possibly even after his death. The new study affirms that the second two construction phases are related to the first, and that the gate was completed in 583 BC (+/- 22 yrs), within the lifetime of Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned from 605 to 562 BC. According to the Bible, King Nebuchadnezzar invaded the land took captives from Judah into exile in Babylon on three different occasions: in 605 BC (when the prophet Daniel was taken), in 597 BC (when the prophet Ezekiel was deported) and finally in 587/586 BC, when Jerusalem was destroyed (2 Kgs 25:1–11).
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