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Lagash (cuneiform: LAGAŠKI;
Sumerian
Sumerian
: ''Lagaš''), or Shirpurla, was an ancient
city state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
located northwest of the junction of the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
and
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
rivers and east of
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
, about east of the modern town of
Ash Shatrah Al-Shatrah (also known as Shatrat al-Muntafiq) is a town in southern Iraq, located northeast of Nasiriyah. It is the administrative capital of the al-Shatrah District, a part of the Dhi Qar Governorate. Al-Shatrah is situated along the Gharraf Cana ...
,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
. Lagash (modern Al-Hiba) was one of the oldest cities of the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and s ...
. The ancient site of Nina (modern Surghul) is around away and marks the southern limit of the state. Nearby
Girsu Girsu (Sumerian language, Sumerian ; cuneiform ) was a Sumerian city-state, city of ancient Sumer, situated some northwest of Lagash, at the site of modern Tell Telloh, Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq. History Girsu was possibly inhabited in the Ubai ...
(modern Telloh), about northwest of Lagash, was the religious center of the Lagash state. Lagash's main temple was the
E-ninnu The E-ninnu 𒂍𒐐 (House of 50) was the E (temple) E, or e, is the fifth letter and the second vowel letter A vowel is a syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principa ...
, dedicated to the god
Ningirsu , image= Cropped Image of Carving Showing the Mesopotamian God Ninurta.png , caption= Assyrian stone relief from the temple of Ninurta at Kalhu, showing the god with his thunderbolts pursuing Anzû, who has stolen the Tablet of Destinies (mythic ...
. Lagash seems to have incorporated the ancient cities of Girsu, Nina, Uruazagga and Erim.


History

From inscriptions found at Girsu such as the
Gudea cylinders The Gudea cylinders are a pair of terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", literally "cooked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, ...
, it appears that Lagash was an important
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian city in the late 3rd millennium BC. It was at that time ruled by independent kings,
Ur-Nanshe Ur-Nanshe ( sux, , ) also Ur-Nina, was the first king of the First Dynasty of Lagash (approx. 2500 BCE) in the Sumerian Early Dynastic Period III. He is known through inscriptions to have commissioned many buildings projects, including canals and ...

Ur-Nanshe
(24th century BC) and his successors, who were engaged in contests with the
Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Br ...

Elam
ites on the east and the kings of
''Kienĝir''
''Kienĝir''
and Kish on the north. Some of the earlier works from before the Akkadian conquest are also extremely interesting, in particular Eanatum's
Stele of the Vultures The Stele of the Vultures is a monument from the Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia), Early Dynastic III period (2600–2350 BC) in Mesopotamia celebrating a victory of the city-state of Lagash over its neighbour Umma. It shows various battle and ...
and Entemena's great silver vase ornamented with Ningirsu's sacred animal Anzû: a lion-headed eagle with wings outspread, grasping a lion in each talon. With the Akkadian conquest Lagash lost its independence, its ruler or '' ensi'' becoming a vassal of
Sargon of Akkad Sargon of Akkad (; akk, 𒊬𒊒𒄀 ''Šar-ru-gi''), also known as Sargon the Great, was the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer ...

Sargon of Akkad
and his successors; but Lagash continued to be a city of much importance and above all, a centre of artistic development. After the collapse of Sargon's state, Lagash again thrived under its independent kings (''ensis''),
Ur-Baba , title=Ruler of Lagash , image=Diorite Statue of Ur-Ba'u, Prince of Lagash, c. 2130 BC.jpg , image_size=250 , caption=Diorite Statue of Ur-Ba'u (Ur-Baba), Prince of Lagash. Louvre Museum, AO 9. , spouse= , reign=c. 2100 BC , father= , predecessor=K ...
and
Gudea Gudea (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , ''Gu3-de2-a'') was a ruler (''Ensí, ensi'') of the state of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia, who ruled circa 2080–2060 BC (short chronology) or 2144-2124 BC (middle chronology). He probably did not come from ...

Gudea
, and had extensive commercial communications with distant realms. According to his own records, Gudea brought cedars from the
Amanus The Nur Mountains ( tr, Nur Dağları, "Mountains of Holy Light"), formerly known as Alma-Dağ,,( ku, Çiyayê Gewr, "The White-grayish Mountain"), the ancient Amanus ( grc, Ἁμανός), medieval Black Mountain or Arabic Jabal al-Lukkam, is ...
and
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
mountains in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
,
diorite Diorite ( ) is an intrusive rock, intrusive igneous rock formed by the slow cooling underground of magma (molten rock) that has a moderate content of silica and a relatively low content of alkali metals. It is Intermediate composition, inter ...

diorite
from eastern Arabia, copper and gold from central and southern Arabia, while his armies were engaged in battles with
Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Br ...

Elam
on the east. His was especially the era of artistic development. We even have a fairly good idea of what Gudea looked like, since he placed in temples throughout his city numerous statues or idols depicting himself with lifelike realism, (
Statues of Gudea Approximately twenty-seven statues of Gudea Gudea (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , ''Gu3-de2-a'') was a ruler (''Ensí, ensi'') of the state of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia, who ruled circa 2080–2060 BC (short chronology) or 2144-2124 BC ( ...
). At the time of Gudea, the capital of Lagash was actually in Girsu. The kingdom covered an area of approximately . It contained 17 larger cities, eight district capitals, and numerous villages (about 40 known by name). According to one estimate, Lagash was the largest city in the world from c. 2075 to 2030 BC. Soon after the time of Gudea, Lagash was absorbed into the
Ur III The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC (middle chronology The middle chronology is one chronology of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 179 ...

Ur III
state as one of its prime provinces. There is some information about the area during the
Old Babylonian period Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire Old (previously Wold and befor ...
. After that it seems to have lost its importance; at least we know nothing more about it until the construction of the
Seleucid The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hell ...

Seleucid
fortress mentioned, when it seems to have become part of the Iranian kingdom of
Characene Characene (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycena ...
.


First dynasty of Lagash (c.2500-2300 BC)

The dynasties of Lagash are not found on the ''
Sumerian King List#Redirect Sumerian King List {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{Redirect from other capitalisation {{Redirect from move ...
'', although one extremely fragmentary supplement has been found in Sumerian, known as ''The Rulers of Lagash''. It recounts how after the flood mankind was having difficulty growing food for itself, being dependent solely on rainwater; it further relates that techniques of irrigation and cultivation of barley were then imparted by the gods. At the end of the text is the statement "Written in the school", suggesting this was a
scribal
scribal
school production. A few of the names from the Lagash rulers listed below may be made out, including Ur-Nanshe, "Ane-tum", En-entar-zid,
Ur-Ningirsu Ur-Ningirsu (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , ''Ur-dingir, D-nin-gir-su'') also Ur-Ningirsu II in contrast with the earlier Ur-Ningirsu I, was a Sumer, Sumerian ruler (''Ensí, ensi'') of the state of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia who ruled c. 2110 ...
, Ur-Bau, and Gudea. The First dynasty of Lagash is dated to the 26th century BC.
En-hegal En-hegal, also Enhengal (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , ), was possibly an ancient ruler of the Sumerian city-state of Lagash. Only one inscription mentioning him is known, the "Tablet of En-hegal", describing a business transaction. If indeed a k ...
is recorded as the first known ruler of Lagash, being tributary to
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
. His successor
Lugal-sha-engur Lugalshaengur ( sux, , ''Lugal-sha-engur''), (c. 2600 BCE), was ''Ensi (Sumerian), ensi'' (governor) of the Sumerian city-state of Lagash. The First dynasty of Lagash is dated to the 25th century BCE. En-hegal is recorded as the first known ruler ...
was similarly tributary to
Mesilim Mesilim ( sux, ), also spelled Mesalim (c. 2600 BC), was ''LUGAL, lugal'' (king) of the Sumerian city-state of Kish (Sumer), Kish. Though his name is missing from the ''Sumerian king list'', Mesilim is among the earliest historical figures recorde ...
. Following the hegemony of
Mesannepada Mesannepada ( sux, , ), Mesh-Ane-pada or Mes-Anne-pada ("Youngling chosen by An") was the first king listed for the First Dynasty of Ur The First Dynasty of Ur was a 26th-25th century BCE dynasty of rulers of the city of Ur in ancient Sumer. I ...
of Ur,
Ur-Nanshe Ur-Nanshe ( sux, , ) also Ur-Nina, was the first king of the First Dynasty of Lagash (approx. 2500 BCE) in the Sumerian Early Dynastic Period III. He is known through inscriptions to have commissioned many buildings projects, including canals and ...

Ur-Nanshe
succeeded
Lugal-sha-engur Lugalshaengur ( sux, , ''Lugal-sha-engur''), (c. 2600 BCE), was ''Ensi (Sumerian), ensi'' (governor) of the Sumerian city-state of Lagash. The First dynasty of Lagash is dated to the 25th century BCE. En-hegal is recorded as the first known ruler ...
as the new high priest of Lagash and achieved independence, making himself king. He defeated Ur and captured the king of
Umma Umma ( sux, ; in modern in , formerly also called Gishban) was an ancient city in . There is some scholarly debate about the Sumerian and Akkadian names for this site. Traditionally, Umma was identified with Tell Jokha. More recently it h ...
, Pabilgaltuk. In the ruins of a building attached by him to the temple of
Ningirsu , image= Cropped Image of Carving Showing the Mesopotamian God Ninurta.png , caption= Assyrian stone relief from the temple of Ninurta at Kalhu, showing the god with his thunderbolts pursuing Anzû, who has stolen the Tablet of Destinies (mythic ...
,
terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance ...

terracotta
''
bas relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the ...
s'' of the king and his sons have been found, as well as onyx plates and lions' heads in onyx reminiscent of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...
ian work. One inscription states that ships of
Dilmun Dilmun, or Telmun, (Sumerian: , later 𒉌𒌇(𒆠), ni.tukki = DILMUNki; ar, دلمون) was an ancient East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematic ...
(Bahrain) brought him wood as tribute from foreign lands. He was succeeded by his son
Akurgal Akurgal ( sux, , "Descendant of the Great Mountain" in Sumerian language, Sumerian) was the second king (Ensi (Sumerian), Ensi) of the first dynasty of Lagash. His relatively short reign took place in the first part of the 25th century BCE (circa ...
.
Eannatum Eannatum ( sux, ) was a Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The Penns ...
, grandson of Ur-Nanshe, made himself master of the whole of the district of Sumer, together with the cities of Uruk (ruled by Enshakushana), Ur, Nippur, Akshak, and Larsa. He also annexed the kingdom of Kish; however, it recovered its independence after his death. Umma was made tributary—a certain amount of grain being levied upon each person in it, that had to be paid into the treasury of the goddess Nina and the god
Ningirsu , image= Cropped Image of Carving Showing the Mesopotamian God Ninurta.png , caption= Assyrian stone relief from the temple of Ninurta at Kalhu, showing the god with his thunderbolts pursuing Anzû, who has stolen the Tablet of Destinies (mythic ...
. Eannatum's campaigns extended beyond the confines of Sumer, and he overran a part of Elam, took the city of Uru'az on the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
, and exacted tribute as far as
Mari Mari may refer to: Places *Mari, Paraíba, Brazil, a city *Mari, Cyprus, a village *Mari, Greece, a village, site of ancient town of Marius (Laconia), Marius *Mari, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran *Mari, Punjab, a village and a union counci ...
; however, many of the realms he conquered were often in revolt. During his reign, temples and palaces were repaired or erected at Lagash and elsewhere; the town of Nina—that probably gave its name to the later
Niniveh Nineveh (; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē; akk, ) was an ancient Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ...

Niniveh
—was rebuilt, and canals and reservoirs were excavated. Eannatum was succeeded by his brother, En-anna-tum I. During his rule, Umma once more asserted independence under
Ur-Lumma ''Ur-Lumma'' ( sux, , ) was a ruler of the Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, ...
, who attacked Lagash unsuccessfully. Ur-Lumma was replaced by a priest-king,
IlliIlli may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Illi (album), ''illi'' (album), studio album by Taiwanese singer Wilber Pan People * Aleksander Illi (1912–2000), Estonian basketball player * Nora Illi (1984–2020), Swiss Islamic preacher * ...
, who also attacked Lagash. His son and successor
Entemena Entemena, also called Enmetena ( sux, , ), flourished 2400 BC, was a son of En-anna-tum I, and he reestablished Lagash Lagash (cuneiform: LAGAŠKI; Sumerian: ''Lagaš''), or Shirpurla, was an ancient city state A city-state is an indepe ...
restored the prestige of Lagash. Illi of Umma was subdued, with the help of his ally Lugal-kinishe-dudu or Lugal-ure of Uruk, successor to Enshakushana and also on the king-list. Lugal-kinishe-dudu seems to have been the prominent figure at the time, since he also claimed to rule Kish and Ur. A silver vase dedicated by Entemena to his god is now in the Louvre. A frieze of lions devouring ibexes and deer, incised with great artistic skill, runs round the neck, while the Anzû crest of Lagash adorns the globular part. The vase is a proof of the high degree of excellence to which the goldsmith's art had already attained. A vase of
calcite Calcite is a carbonate mineral Carbonate minerals are those mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid E ...

calcite
, also dedicated by Entemena, has been found at Nippur. After Entemena, a series of weak, corrupt priest-kings is attested for Lagash. The last of these,
Urukagina Uru-ka-gina, Uru-inim-gina, or Iri-ka-gina ( sux, ; 24th century BC, middle chronology) was King of the city-states of Lagash and Girsu in Mesopotamia, and the last ruler of the 1st Dynasty of Lagash. He assumed the title of lugal, king, claim ...
, was known for his judicial, social, and economic reforms, and his may well be the first legal code known to have existed. File:The cuneiform text states that Enannatum I reminds the gods of his prolific temple achievements in Lagash. Circa 2400 BCE. From Girsu, Iraq. The British Museum, London.jpg, The cuneiform text states that Enannatum I reminds the gods of his prolific temple achievements in Lagash. Circa 2400 BC. From Girsu, Iraq. The British Museum, London File:Lagash in cuneiform.jpg, The name "Lagash" () in vertical cuneiform of the time of
Ur-Nanshe Ur-Nanshe ( sux, , ) also Ur-Nina, was the first king of the First Dynasty of Lagash (approx. 2500 BCE) in the Sumerian Early Dynastic Period III. He is known through inscriptions to have commissioned many buildings projects, including canals and ...

Ur-Nanshe
. File:Eagle of Lagash.jpg, The Anzû, symbol of Lagash, in a
Master of Animals The Master of Animals or Lord of Animals is a motif in ancient art showing a human between and grasping two confronted animals. It is very widespread in the art of the Ancient Near East and Egypt. The figure is normally male, but not always, th ...
motif, at the time of
Entemena Entemena, also called Enmetena ( sux, , ), flourished 2400 BC, was a son of En-anna-tum I, and he reestablished Lagash Lagash (cuneiform: LAGAŠKI; Sumerian: ''Lagaš''), or Shirpurla, was an ancient city state A city-state is an indepe ...
.


Border conflict with Umma (c.2500-2300 BC)

In c. 2450 BC, Lagash and the neighbouring city of
Umma Umma ( sux, ; in modern in , formerly also called Gishban) was an ancient city in . There is some scholarly debate about the Sumerian and Akkadian names for this site. Traditionally, Umma was identified with Tell Jokha. More recently it h ...
fell out with each other after a border dispute. As described in
Stele of the Vultures The Stele of the Vultures is a monument from the Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia), Early Dynastic III period (2600–2350 BC) in Mesopotamia celebrating a victory of the city-state of Lagash over its neighbour Umma. It shows various battle and ...
the current king of Lagash,
Eannatum Eannatum ( sux, ) was a Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The Penns ...
, inspired by the patron god of his city,
Ningirsu , image= Cropped Image of Carving Showing the Mesopotamian God Ninurta.png , caption= Assyrian stone relief from the temple of Ninurta at Kalhu, showing the god with his thunderbolts pursuing Anzû, who has stolen the Tablet of Destinies (mythic ...
, set out with his army to defeat the nearby city. Initial details of the battle are unclear, but the Stele is able to portray a few vague details about the event. According to the Stele's engravings, when the two sides met each other in the field, Eannatum dismounted from his chariot and proceeded to lead his men on foot. After lowering their spears, the Lagash army advanced upon the army from Umma in a dense
phalanx The phalanx ( grc, φάλαγξ; plural phalanxes or phalanges, , ) was a rectangular In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is a quadrilateral A quadrilateral is a polygon in Euclidean geometry, Euclidean plane geometry with four Edge ...
. After a brief clash, Eannatum and his army had gained victory over the army of Umma. Despite having been struck in the eye by an arrow, the king of Lagash lived on to enjoy his army's victory. This battle is one of the earliest organised battles known to scholars and historians. File:Stele_of_the_vultures_(war).jpg, The armies of Lagash led by
Eannatum Eannatum ( sux, ) was a Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The Penns ...
in their conflict against Umma. File:Stele of the vultures (lancers).jpg, Lancers of the army of Lagash against Umma


Destruction of Lagash by the Akkadian Empire (circa 2300 BC)

In his conquest of
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
circa 2300 BC,
Sargon of Akkad Sargon of Akkad (; akk, 𒊬𒊒𒄀 ''Šar-ru-gi''), also known as Sargon the Great, was the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer ...

Sargon of Akkad
, after conquering and destroying
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
, then conquered and E-Ninmar and "laid waste" the territory from Lagash to the sea, and from there went on to conquer and destroy
Umma Umma ( sux, ; in modern in , formerly also called Gishban) was an ancient city in . There is some scholarly debate about the Sumerian and Akkadian names for this site. Traditionally, Umma was identified with Tell Jokha. More recently it h ...
, and he collected tribute from
Mari Mari may refer to: Places *Mari, Paraíba, Brazil, a city *Mari, Cyprus, a village *Mari, Greece, a village, site of ancient town of Marius (Laconia), Marius *Mari, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran *Mari, Punjab, a village and a union counci ...
and
Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Br ...

Elam
. He triumphed over 34 cities in total. Sargon's son and successor
Rimush Rimush (or Rimuš, 𒌷𒈬𒍑 ''Ri-mu-uš'') was the second king of the Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَا ...
faced widespread revolts, and had to reconquer the cities of ,
Umma Umma ( sux, ; in modern in , formerly also called Gishban) was an ancient city in . There is some scholarly debate about the Sumerian and Akkadian names for this site. Traditionally, Umma was identified with Tell Jokha. More recently it h ...
, Adab, Lagash, Der, and
Kazallu Kazalla or Kazallu is the name given in AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambrid ...
from rebellious ''
ensis ''Ensis'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscr ...
''. Rimush introduced mass slaughter and large scale destruction of the Sumerian city-states, and maintained meticulous records of his destructions. Most of the major Sumerian cities were destroyed, and Sumerian human losses were enormous: for the cities of and Lagash, he records 8,049 killed, 5,460 "captured and enslaved" and 5,985 "expelled and annihilated".


Stele of the victory of Rimush over Lagash

A Victory Stele in several fragments (three in total,
Louvre Museum The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's list of largest art museums, largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, and is best known for being the home of the ''Mona Lisa''. A central landmark of the city, it is ...
AO 2678) has been attributed to Rimush on stylistic and epigraphical grounds. One of the fragments mentions Akkad and Lagash. It is thought that the stele represents the defeat of Lagash by the troops of Akkad. The stele was excavated in ancient
Girsu Girsu (Sumerian language, Sumerian ; cuneiform ) was a Sumerian city-state, city of ancient Sumer, situated some northwest of Lagash, at the site of modern Tell Telloh, Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq. History Girsu was possibly inhabited in the Ubai ...
, one of the main cities of the territory of Lagash. File:Victory stele-AO 2678-IMG 9053-gradient.jpg, Possible victory stele of king Rimush (front). Generally attributed to Rimush on stylistic grounds. File:P1150890 Louvre stèle de victoire Akkad AO2678 rwk.jpg, Detail File:Man of Lagash, circa 2270 BCE (portrait).jpg, Man of Lagash, circa 2270 BC, from the Victory Stele. The same hairstyle can be seen in other statues from Lagash.


Second dynasty of Lagash (c. 2230–2110 BC)

This period lasted c. 2230–2110 BC (
Middle chronology The chronology of the ancient Near East is a chronology, framework of dates for various events, rulers and dynasties. Historical inscriptions and texts customarily record events in terms of a succession of officials or rulers: "in the year X of ki ...
). These rulers achieved a Sumerian revival, following the rise and fall of the Semitic
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
, and the conquests of the
Gutian dynasty The Gutian dynasty, also Kuti or Kutians (Sumerian: , gu-ti-umKI) was a dynasty that came to power in Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗ ...
. The Second dynasty of Lagash rose at the time the Gutians were ruling in central Mesopotamia. The rulers of Lagash, only taking the title of '' Ensi'', or Governors, achieved to maintain a high level of independence from the Gutians in the southernmost areas of Mesoptamia. Under
Gudea Gudea (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , ''Gu3-de2-a'') was a ruler (''Ensí, ensi'') of the state of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia, who ruled circa 2080–2060 BC (short chronology) or 2144-2124 BC (middle chronology). He probably did not come from ...

Gudea
, Lagash had a golden age, and seemed to enjoy a high level of independence from the Gutians.


Archaeology

Lagash is one of the largest archaeological mounds in the region, measuring roughly . Estimates of its area range from . The site is divided by the bed of a canal/river, which runs diagonally through the mound. The site was first excavated, for six weeks, by
Robert Koldewey Robert Johann Koldewey (10 September 1855 – 4 February 1925) was a German archaeologist, famous for his in-depth excavation of the ancient city of Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβ ...

Robert Koldewey
in 1887. It was inspected during a survey of the area by
Thorkild Jacobsen Thorkild Peter Rudolph Jacobsen (; 7 June 1904 – 2 May 1993) was a renowned Danish historian specializing in Assyriology Assyriology (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''Assyriā''; and , ''-logy, -logia'') is the archaeological, historical, and li ...
and Fuad Safar in 1953, finding the first evidence of its identification as Lagash. The major polity in the region of al-Hiba and Tello had formerly been identified as ŠIR.BUR.LA (''Shirpurla''). Tell Al-Hiba was again explored in five seasons of excavation between 1968 and 1976 by a team from the
Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building ...

Metropolitan Museum of Art
and the
Institute of Fine Arts The Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) of New York University is dedicated to graduate teaching and advanced research in the history of art, archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis ...
of
New York University New York University (NYU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of ne ...
. The team was led by Vaughn E. Crawford, and included Donald P. Hansen and Robert D. Biggs. The primary focus was the excavation of the temple Ibgal of
Inanna Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the ...
and the temple Bagara of Ningirsu, as well as an associated administrative area. The team returned 12 years later, in 1990, for a final season of excavation led by D. P. Hansen. The work primarily involved areas adjacent to an, as yet, unexcavated temple. The results of this season have apparently not yet been published. In March–April 2019, field work resumed under the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
Lagash Archaeological Project.


See also

*
Cities of the ancient Near East The earliest cities in history were in the ancient Near East, an area covering roughly that of the modern Middle East: its history began in the 4th millennium BC and ended, depending on the interpretation of the term, either with the conquest by ...
*
The Sumerian Game ''The Sumerian Game'' is a text-based game, text-based strategy video game of land and Resource management (gaming), resource management. It was developed as part of a joint research project between the Board of Cooperative Educational Services o ...


References


Sources

*Robert D. Biggs, "Inscriptions from al-Hiba-Lagash : the first and second seasons",'' Bibliotheca Mesopotamica''. 3, Undena Publications, 1976, *E. Carter, "A surface survey of Lagash, al-Hiba", 1984,'' Sumer'', vol. 46/1-2, pp. 60–63, 1990 *Donald P. Hansen, "Royal building activity at Sumerian Lagash in the Early Dynastic Period",'' Biblical Archaeologist'', vol. 55, pp. 206–11, 1992 *Vaughn E. Crawford, "Lagash",'' Iraq'', vol. 36, no. 1/2, pp. 29–35, 1974 *R. D. Biggs, "Pre-Sargonic Riddles from Lagash", ''Journal of Near Eastern Studies'', vol. 32, no. 1/2, pp. 26–33, 1973 *


External links


University of Cambridge Lagash projectLagash excavation site photographs at the Oriental InstituteLagash Digital Tablets at CDLIThe Al-Hiba Publication Project - digitization
{{Authority control Populated places established in the 3rd millennium BC 1887 archaeological discoveries Sumerian cities Archaeological sites in Iraq Dhi Qar Governorate Former populated places in Iraq