- Important Sumeriancity-state in the third millennium B.C. It had several urban centers: Lagash itself (modern Al-Hibba), Girsu (modern Tello), and Nin-Sirara (modern Zurghul). Girsu, excavated by the French archaeologist Ernest de Sarzec in the 1880s, was the first Sumerian city to be discovered. No important architectonic structures were detected at the time, but the team found a large number of cuneiform tablets, artifacts, and statuary that provided valuable information on the Early Dynastic and Neo-Sumerianperiods. Lagash does not feature as a seat of kingshipin theSumerian King List, but according to the inscriptions of its rulers (who always bore the title ensi), it enjoyed periods of political independence and prosperity. The inscription by an ensi called Enhegal dates from the Early Dynastic period III, around 2570 B.C. Best known is Ur-Nanshe (c. 2494–2465), who recorded his many building projects, such as the templesof Nanshe, Ningirsu, and the mother goddess Gatumdug, as well as the city walls of Lagash. He fought wars against Ur and especially Umma. His grandson Eannatum (reigned c. 2454–2425) won the famous victory over Umma. Ur-Nanshe’s dynasty ended with Uruinimgina (previously read as Urukagina) (reigned c. 2351– 2342), who was defeated by Lugalzagesi.Little is known of what went on in Lagash during the Akkad period, but while the Gutians held sway in the north, the city-state enjoyed another period of prosperity and expansion, especially during the reign of Gudea(reigned c. 2141–2122). It became part of the unified state created by the Third Dynasty of Ur and began to decline in the Old Babylonian period.
Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. EdwART. 2012.