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Artists of Mesopotamia

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Entemena, King of Lagash

2450 BCE — 2400 BCE

Restoring the land after a century of war.

Biography

Entemena's reign was the culmination of the Lagash Kings and their generations-long war with the neighboring people of Umma. Entemena's uncle Eannatum had sacked Umma with "savage fury" — a victory commemorated in the "Stele of the Vultures." But it was not until Entemena that restoration began. Entemena drafted a treaty with Il, the priest-king of Umma, and established water-communication by building canals connecting the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Though after his reign Lagash would be ruled by a series of increasingly weak and corrupt priest-kings, Entemena's work to stabilize the Mesopotamian region would be felt for centuries.

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