Lagash visit and photos - Page 1

Tell al-Hiba (Lagash)
Visited 06.33-08.10, 7 June, 2008
Lagash is one of the largest mounds in the Ancient Near East (some 600 hectares).

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Tell al-Hiba (Lagash)
Visited 06.33-08.10, 7 June, 2008
Lagash is one of the largest mounds in the Ancient Near East (some 600 hectares).

The earliest excavations were undertaken by R. Koldewey in 1887. Six field seasons were conducted by D. P. Hansen starting in 1968.

D. P. Hansen, “Al-Hiba, 1968-1969: A preliminary report”, Artibus Asiae 33/4 (1970), pp. 243-58; D. P. Hansen, “Al-Hiba, 1970-1971: A preliminary report”, Artibus Asiae 35/1-2 (1973), pp. 62-70; E. Carter, “A surface survey of Lagash, al-Hiba, 1984”, Sumer 46/1-2 (1989-90), pp. 60-3; D. P. Hansen, “Royal building activity at Sumerian Lagash in the Early Dynastic Period’, Biblical Archaeologist 55 (1992), pp. 206-11.

Some evidence suggests an Ubaid and Uruk occupation but the city became important in the Early Dynastic period (c. 2900-2350 BC) with substantial temple architecture; the settlement was one of three urban centres that comprised the state of Lagash, the others being Girsu (modern Telloh, 25 km to the north-west) and Nina-Sirara (modern Zurghul, 10 km to the south-east). Al-Hiba was largely abandoned after c. 2350 BC, with only limited occupation at the site until around 1800 BC when it was completely deserted.

The helicopter landed near excavated Area B. The archaeological remains are in a good state of preservation. The site, which is unfenced, is under the strong protection of the Beni Said tribe and has seven guards from two villages: Ali Khan and Rebaih. The team was met by the local guard and villagers who reported that there had been some small-scale looting in 2003 by people from the town of Fajr but none since that date.

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