Gudea of Lagash
2141-2122 B.C.; NEO-SUMERIAN 16 1/8 in.
Of all the rulers of ancient Mesopotamia, Gudea, Ruler of Lagash, emerges the most clearly across the millennia due to the survival of many of his religious texts and statues. He ruled his city-state in southeast Iraq for twenty years, bringing peace and prosperity at a time when the Guti, tribesmen from the northeastern mountains, occupied the land. His inscriptions describe vast building programs of temples for his gods. This statuette depicts the governor in worship before his gods wearing the persian-lamb fur cap and a shawl-like fringed robe with tassles.
A Sumerian cuneiform inscription on the back describes the building of a temple to the goddess Geshtinanna, Gudea's personal god, and the making of this statue for her.