- Museum number
Stone plaque showing Enannatum, king or governor of Lagash, with hands folded in an attitude of worship; carved; inscription; 3ll.
- Production date
Height: 19.05 centimetres
Thickness: 3.81 centimetres
Width: 19.05 centimetres
- Curator's comments
"Treasures of the World's Cultures: The British Museum after 250 Years" catalogue entry
Fragment of a plaque
Southern Iraq, Kingdom of Lagash, Sumerian, about 2450-2300 BC.
From Telloh (ancient Girsu)
H19.0, W19.0, D3.8 cm
From the Duke of Northumberland's collection at Alnwick Castle.
D Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995), p. 64, fig. 45
J E Reade, Mesopotamia (London, The British Museum Press, 1991), p. 33, fig. 37
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.
This object was originally probably fixed on the wall of a shrine.
This object was sent for moulding in the Cast Shop between 22 June and 10 July 1961 (WAA, 'Transfers' book). The cast is listed as available in the British Museum Facsimile Service 'Catalogue of Replicas from British Museum collections' (n.d.), in the series "Monuments of Early Kings".
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2018, 6 May- 30 June, National Museum, New Delhi, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
2017-2018, 10 Nov 2017 - 18 Feb 2018, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, India, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
2016-2017 2 Nov-23 Jan, Lens, Musee du Louvre-Lens, 'History Begins in Mesopotamia'
2007 14 Sep-2 Dec, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2007 3 Feb-27 May, Taipei, National Palace Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2006 18 Mar-4 Jun, Beijing, Capital Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2005 27 Oct-2006 31 Jan, Haengso Museum, Keimyung University, Daegu, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2005 25 Jul-8 Oct, Busan Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2004 26 Jun-29 Aug, Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2004 10 Apr-13 Jun, Fukuoka Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2004 17 Jan-28 Mar, Kobe City Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2003 18 Oct-14 Dec, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
Early Babylonian Room, case C (in 1961).
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- From the Duke of Northumberland's collection at Alnwick Castle.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: North 2263 (Collection number in Duke of Northumberland's collection.)