Fragment of a stone plaque depicting Enannatum

Kingdom of Lagash, about 2450-2300 BC
From Tello (ancient Girsu), southern Iraq

Ruler of the city of Lagash

This fragment is part of a plaque that was probably originally fixed to the wall of a temple. A stone or wooden peg would have been driven through the centre of the plaque, originally square, to secure it.

The plaque would have been dedicated to the temple by the figure carved in relief. The cuneiform inscription in front of his nose identifies him as Enannatum, ruler of Lagash, one of the most important of the numerous city states in southern Mesopotamia at this time. This plaque was probably found at the important city of Girsu, (Tello, in southern Iraq) which was within his kingdom. Cuneiform inscriptions on other objects describe how Enannatum acted as a traditional Sumerian king by building temples and dedicating objects (including a garlic crusher!).

The relief is typical of this period, with the torso shown frontally and the head in profile with large eyes and ears. The figure wears a fleece skirt, often seen on Sumerian votive statues and shell inlay figures (such on the Standard of Ur).

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More information


J.E. Reade, Mesopotamia (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

D. Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)


Length: 19.050 cm
Width: 19.050 cm
Thickness: 3.810 cm

Museum number

ME 130828



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