“No Sound Comes from their Throats”: The Inscription on Statue B of Gudea, Ruler of Lagash
Gudea was a ruler of the city-state Lagash in the 22nd c. BC. More than twenty statues of him have been preserved. Statue B, dedicated to Ningirsu, the tutelary god of Lagash, carries his longest statue inscription, consisting of 366 lines. It commemorates the building of Ningirsu’s main temple, the E-ninnu.
The inscription on Statue B is not only the longest but also the most complex one among the statue inscriptions of Gudea. In ancient Mesopotamia statues were considered as animated representatives of the person they portrayed, capable of communication and action on their own. The present talk aims to discuss the consequences of this ontological status to the way events are narrated in statue inscriptions.