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Gudea, ensi of Lagash

Gudea, ensi of Lagash

This is a diorite statue of Gudea, ensi of Lagash, dedicated to the god Ningishzida, his personal god, ca. 2120 BCE (“Neo-Sumerian” period), excavated in Telloh (ancient Girsu), Iraq. Many statues of this early ruler have been found, depicting Gudea either seated or standing with his hands clasped in a form of reverence and wearing the same headgear and robe. The time of Gudea is often referred to as the “Neo-Sumerian” period because Gudea appears to hark back to an earlier form of rulership, a time when the rulers were called ensi, rather than lugal (“king”), and in contrast with the Sargonic kings, he most often depicts himself in an attitude of reverence to the gods, rather than as a conqueror.

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