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The Sumerian Renaissance 

Friday, April 21 – 11:00 am 
Odeion Room, Humanities Building
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Rome

The results of the first two research campaigns at the Tell Zurghul site in Southern Iraq will be presented at a conference held at Sapienza on April 21.

The Italian Archaeological Mission, which is based in Nigin, has been working on a site considered to be the third most important urban centre of the ancient State of Lagash. The Mission is coordinated by Prof. Davide Nadali from Sapienza and Prof. Andrea Polcaro from the University of Perugia.

The Italian digs have brought to light the region’s antiquities from sites dating back to the 5th Millennium BC. The discovery of cuneiform inscriptions on site reveal the importance of the Sumerian city even during the second half of the 3rd Millennium BC when it was the main shrine of the Goddess Nanshe, rebuilt and reconstructed by King Gudea of Lagash (22nd Century BC). 

Two main sites were analysed in the most recent research mission: Mound A and Mound B. Mound A is the main settlement in the area where a building entirely built in raw bricks and dating back to 3000 BC was brought to light together with several objects like jars for food storage. Mound B, on the other hand, is the sites where the Goddess Nanshe’s Temple was found. The Goddess is linked to the cult of water and many artifacts found here are now exposed at the Louvre.

The conference will be presented by the Sapienza Archaeologist Paolo Matthiae.