Please tell the story of the Lagash and Umma border conflict in detail. What were they fighting over? And what can you tell about the political, military, and economic structures of the cities?

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Lagash and Umma were neighboring city-states in ancient Sumeria, near the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates (the area generically termed "Mesopotamia," which occupies the territory of modern Iraq). Lagash's opinion is that the borders were sanctified by the gods of the Sumerian pantheon, and Umma disagreed and claimed rights...

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Lagash and Umma were neighboring city-states in ancient Sumeria, near the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates (the area generically termed "Mesopotamia," which occupies the territory of modern Iraq). Lagash's opinion is that the borders were sanctified by the gods of the Sumerian pantheon, and Umma disagreed and claimed rights to a local waterway and nearby field. Enlil was the primary, common Sumerian god; Shara was the patron god of Umma; and Ningirsu of Lagash. These deities are thought to be depicted on the archaeological evidence. Lagash was ultimately victorious, as commemorated by the so-called "vulture stele" (currently in the Louvre, named for the vultures in the battle scenes). The stele is conventionally understood to have a mythological side and historical side.

The historical side shows Eannatum, the leader of the soldiers of Lagash (who was struck in the eye with an arrow and still survived to see his troops victorious). Eannatum used the war as a means to stimulate the economy. The conflict started around 2500 BC and lasted for many decades, culminating in the battle of 2450.

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