Operation Q ("Khabur Gate")

November 24, 2013

The Operation Q gate structure (the “Khabur Gate”) was one of the principal entrances into Tushhan from the south. It was first discovered via subsurface geophysical survey in which the gate appeared as a two-chambered structure. Subsequent excavation by Dr. John MacGinnis and his teamsupported this interpretation. Four distinct phases of the gate were recorded, each corresponding to a hard cobbled surface leading up to the gate itself. Enormous stone slabs were laid as the threshold into the city, through which thousands of people and carts passed over the 200 or more years the Khabur Gate was in use. We can even see the ruts created on the threshold stones from the passage of wheeled transport. The interior chambers, one each to the west and east, housed the city guards and were probably secured each evening to keep the city safe on the northern Assyrian frontier. Burials located underneath the floors and immediately adjacent to the wall were perhaps the remains of those who loyalty served as guards in the gate structure.