Erich Lessing

Gudea, the ruler of the Mesopotamian city-state of Lagash in the late third millennium B.C.E., was probably not considered a divine king. Even so, he erected dozens of monuments to himself throughout his realm. This 2-foot-high diorite statue, from a temple in Gudea’s capital city of Girsu, depicts the king in a standing position to suggest his respect for the Sumerian gods (compare with photo of 1.5-foot-high statue).