Stele of the Vultures
- An ancient Sumerian stone marker, of which a large fragment was discovered at the ancient site of Lagash by French excavatorErnestdeSarzecinthe late 1800s. The monument, now on display in Paris's Louvre Museum, earned the name "Stele of the Vultures" because one section of it depicts dead soldiers being picked at by vultures. The stele was erected circa 2525 b.c. by King Eannatum of Lagash to celebrate his military victory over King Enakalle of Umma, a rival city lying about 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Lagash.Modern scholars attach major importance to the stele as a crucial early depiction of Sumerian and, in a more general sense, Mesopotamian warfare. The artifact shows a large group of armored foot soldiers from Lagash marching in a tightly packed formation over the bodies of their slain enemies from Umma. The men in the front rank hold up their shields, creating a protective barrier, and some of the men behind them point their spears forward through the spaces between the shields, making the unit even more formidable. Such a formation was designed either to mow down or to scare off enemy forces. Many modern scholars point out the similarities this battlefield unit bears to the phalanx formation developed by the Greeks much later, in the early centuries of the first millennium b.c. (Ironically, the Greek phalanx, as modified by Macedonia's Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great, became a major factor in the Greek conquest of Mesopotamia in the fourth century b.c., when the area was part of the Persian Empire). In a lower part of the stele, King Eannatum is seen holding a battle-ax and riding in a wheeled cart drawn by four onagers (wild asses); this was the early Sumerian version of the war chariot. In this respect, the stele contains the earliest-known depiction of the military application of the wheel. The Stele of the Vultures is also notable for having the earliest-known depiction of soldiers wearing metal helmets.
Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. Don Nardo Robert B. Kebric. 2015.
Look at other dictionaries:
stele — A common form of monument used across the ancient world, including the nation states and empires of Mesopotamia, to commemorate an important event, ruler, or decree. A typical stele (or stela) consisted of a slab of stone, or occasionally… … Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary
Akkadian Empire — The first large scale empire that rose in Mesopotamia, centered on the city of Akkad, situated perhaps east or northeast of Babylon. Modern scholars usually use the term Akkadian to describe the inhabitants of northern Babylonia or, more… … Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary
Période des dynasties archaïques — Stèle des vautours, face, registre supérieur : la « phalange » de l armée de Lagash triomphant des troupes de la cité rivale, Umma. La période des Dynasties archaïques (DA) est une phase de l histoire de la Mésopotamie, parfois… … Wikipédia en Français
History of Sumer — The history of Sumer, taken to include the prehistoric Ubaid and Uruk periods, spans the 5th to 3rd millennia BC, ending with the downfall of the Third Dynasty of Ur around 2004 BC, followed by a transition period of Amorite states before the… … Wikipedia
Military history of Iraq — The military history of Iraq, due to a rich archaeological record, is one of the longest in written human history. The region of Iraq, which used to be Mesopotamia, has been referred to as the cradle of civilization , and wars of conquest have… … Wikipedia
Middle Eastern Empires — The Middle East has been the political center of several empires through history. Many of the earliest known empires originated in the middle east. Middle eastern empires have been instrumental in the spreading of ideas, technology and religions… … Wikipedia
Sumerians — The first important ancient people to inhabit Mesopotamia, specifically the flat lands of southeastern Mesopotamia near the Persian Gulf, the region called Sumer by the Babylonians. The Sumerians were well entrenched in the area by the fourth… … Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary
weapons and warfare, land — Mesopotamia was not only the site of the world s first cities, but also of humanity s first major land armies and wars. Archaeological evidence shows that small scale fighting among tribes and villages was an inevitable phenomenon across the… … Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary
Eannatum — was a Sumerian king of Lagash who established one of the first verifiable empires in history.Conquest of SumerEannatum, grandson of Ur Nanshe, was a king of Lagash who conquered all of Sumer, including Ur, Nippur, Akshak, Larsa, and Uruk, which… … Wikipedia
History of Mesopotamia — Ancient Mesopotamia was settled and conquered by numerous ancient civilizations. Dates for events in ancient Mesopotamia are still controversial, and several different methods and standards of dating exist for the Chronology of the ancient Near… … Wikipedia