Lower Mesopotamia is a country of Sumerians. By the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC here there were several city-states - Lagash, Eridu, Ur, Uruk, Larsa, Nippur. They were located on natural hills and were surrounded by walls. In each of them lived about 40 - 50 thousand people. The rulers of these cities wore the title of lugal ("great man") or ensi ("priest-lord").

In the second half of the 3rd millennium BC Lagash becomes the leader among the cities of the Sumerians

In the second half of the 3rd millennium BC Lagash becomes the leader among the cities of the Sumerians. In the middle of the 25th century the army of the city of Lagash in a fierce battle routed its eternal enemy - the city of Ummu. During the six-year reign of Uruinimginy, Ensi Lagash (2318-2312 BC), important social reforms were implemented, which are the oldest legal acts in the field of socio-economic relations to date. Uruinimgina proclaimed the slogan: "Let the strong does not offend widows and orphans!" On behalf of the supreme god of the city of Lagash, he guaranteed the rights of citizens, abolished some taxes from artisans, reduced the size of labor obligations for the construction of irrigation facilities, eliminated polyandry (polydomism) - a relic of matriarchy.

However, the heyday of the city of Lagash did not last long. The ruler of the Ummah Lugalzagesi, having concluded an alliance with Uruk, attacked Lagash and defeated him. Subsequently, Lugalzagsi extended his domination almost to the whole of Sumer. The capital of his state was Uruk. And Lagash slowly died down, although his name still rarely appears in documents until the time of the reign of the Babylonian king Hammurabi and his successor Samsuiluny. But gradually clay and sands absorbed the city of Lagash.

In 1877, in the desert tract of Tello, under a whole complex of clayey hills, the vice-consul of France, Sarzek discovered the destroyed Lagash, and in it - a huge, well-organized archive consisting of more than 20 thousand cuneiform tablets and lying in the ground almost four Millennium. It was one of the largest libraries of antiquity.

As it turned out, Lagash was in many ways atypical for the cities of Sumer: it was a cluster of settlements that surrounded the core core of the city that had formed earlier. In the city of Lagash was discovered a whole gallery of sculptures of the rulers of the city, including now the famous group of sculptural portraits of the ruler Gudea. From the inscriptions engraved on them and from the texts of clay tablets, the scientists learned the names of dozens of kings and other outstanding people of that time who lived in the 3rd millennium BC.

On other bas-reliefs of the city of Lagash, bulls with human heads are depicted. In some bulls, the entire upper part of the trunk is human. These are echoes of the ancient agricultural cult of a bull.

The discovery of Sarzek dropped the veil of secrecy enveloping the Sumerian civilization. Until recently, there was a bitter debate about the Sumerians in the scientific world, some scholars rejected the very existence of this people. And here was found not only the Sumerian city of Lagash, but also a huge amount of cuneiform texts in the language of the Sumerians!

In 1903 the French archaeologist Gaston Kroy continued excavating the city of Lagash. These researches of Lagash enriched science with new numerous finds. Even today, when more than one hundred years have passed since the opening of the city of Lagash, these findings have not lost their significance.