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Discovering Ancient Oman

Statue of Gudea ‘Architect’

Statue of Gudea ‘Architect’ (Invernizzi A., Dal Tigri all'Eufrate, II, Florence 1992: fig. 86)

Tello, ancient Girsu
Paris, Louvre Museum (AO 3)
Diorite; H 93, W (at the shoulders) 41
Neo-Sumerian Period (22nd century BC)
 
This acephalous statue depicts Gudea, 'ensi' of Lagash. The royal figure is represented seated on a stool, wearing a kind of toga, with naked foot and hands joined under the chest. As he is keeping on his knees a tablet with the map of the temple, the statue is conventionally reported of Gudea ‘architect’, a designation coherent with the image of the ‘king builder’, chosen by Gudea, in opposition to the ‘king warrior’ of the Akkadian rulers.
 
The solid and brawny figure is portrayed in the conventional iconography of this period, which produced a large number of statues of this ruler, housed, for the most part, in the Louvre Museum. The very long cuneiform inscription, starting from the back and covering the lower half of the statue, records its consecration to the god Ningirsu, listing all the countries which contributed with various materials to the building of the god temple ‘eninnu’, among them the land of Magan. (AL)