Obverse. Photo © acsaerch.info
  • 5 Fils 1982, KM# 159, Iraq, Restoration of Babel, Ishtar Gate
  • 5 Fils 1982, KM# 159, Iraq, Restoration of Babel, Ishtar Gate

On 14 February 1978, the Ba'athist government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein began the "Archaeological Restoration of Babylon Project": reconstructing features of the ancient city atop its ruins. These features included the Southern Palace of Nebuchadnezzar, with 250 rooms, five courtyards, and a 30-meter entrance arch. The project also reinforced the Processional Way, the Lion of Babylon, and an amphitheatre constructed in the city's Hellenistic era. In 1982, the government minted a set of seven coins displaying iconic features of Babylon.


Depicts the outer view of Ishtar Gate with a repeated pattern of images of a dragon Mušḫuššu and aurochs, dividing dates in Western and in Arabic years both in Arabic numerals.

The mušḫuššu is the sacred animal of the king of the gods Marduk and a creature from ancient Mesopotamian mythology. A mythological hybrid, it is a scaly animal with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, lion-like forelimbs, a long neck and tail, two horns on its head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest.

The aurochs, a now-extinct ancestor of cattle, was the sacred animal of Hadad also known as Ishkur, who had power over destructive storms and beneficial rain.

The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon (in the area of present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, Iraq). It was constructed circa 575 BCE by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city. It was part of a grand walled processional way leading into the city.

German archaeologist Robert Koldewey led the excavation of the site from 1904 to 1914. After the end of the First World War in 1918, the smaller frontal gate was reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Other panels from the facade of the gate are located in many other museums around the world, including various European countries and the United States.

١٤٠٢هـ ١٩٨٢م


Value in Arabic in a central circle with lettering, the country name above. The inscription "The restoration of Babel, a public and national responsibility" below.

الجمهورية العراقية
أحياء بابل أثريا واجب وطني و قومي و انساني


5 Fils

KM# 159 Schön# 66
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Stainless Steel
Weight 5 g
Diameter 21 mm
Thickness -
Shape wavy (scallop, sun-shaped)
Notches 12
Alignment Medal
Alt # KM# 159a
Royal Mint

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