The evolution of visual representation : the elite art of early dynastic Lagas and its antecedents in late Uruk period Sumer and predynastic Egypt
The corpus of artifacts from the Lagas state constitutes what is arguably the single largest cohesive body of elite representational display forms thus far discovered to have come from Early Dynastic (ED) Sumer. Unlike the equally extraordinary finds from ED levels of Ur, which consist primarily of grave goods and small finds (Woolley 1934; Woolley 1956), what is unique about the finds from Lagas is that the majority of them are programmatic artifacts that were intended to be displayed to specific audiences. Specifically, many of them are relief carvings or, to a lesser degree, statues that were carefully composed and executed in order to encode and transmit carefully constructed messages on the part of individual rulers, or the religious establishment. As such, the ED Lagas corpus is a particularly important record of how one particular group of Sumerian rulers viewed themselves and how the wished to be viewed by others.