The Sculptural Work Called Estela De Los Buitres

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The sculptural work called Estela de los Buitres

The work chosen to comment corresponds to the so -called "stele of vultures" or "Eannatum’s victory, King of Lagash. Its author is of unknown origin and is currently in the Antiques section of the Near East in the Louvre Museum (it is located in this museum on the occasion of a donation made by the British Museum of London) and was “recovered” in excavationsthat were carried out in 1881. It belongs to the archaic dynastic period (2900-2330 to.C.) and its approximate dating is around 2500 to.C.

Mesopotamia is known as the country between two rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates;and was divided into two regions: Assyria and Babylon. The arrival of the Sumerians caused a process of great development for the country. During the archaic dynastic stage, various cities-states appeared, which had great political control of the territory. This development of urbanity, together with the consolidation of ways to cause a great impact on society .

At the top of this Mesopotamian society was the king or sovereign, who monopolized all power, even the religious. The king had to have a close relationship with the gods, to whom he had to worship and protect his temples. In this way, Mesopotamian art was an anonymous art that was dedicated to the exaltation of sovereigns and gods, and intended to convey an "ideology of power" . Mesopotamian sculpture intended to reflect the characteristics of the organization of society, as well as express a strong relationship with nature. Aesthetics was not important, it was subject to religious and political ideas. For this reason, the sculptures tend to honor or idealize the character represented (a god or a sovereign normally)

This work pays tribute to the figure of King Eannatum, king of Lagash, for his victory against the city of Umma (ending with the problem of borders) Eannatum reigned during the archaic dynastic period and happened to his father Akurgal. It was a great conqueror, which led him to found one of the first known empires.

This wake is historical-narrative, is sculpted in limestone, has a height of 180 cm and stands out especially for its masterful reliefs, in which you can see a lot of detail . Its structure is rectangular, although in its upper part it presents a rounded shape, and is full of reliefs throughout its surface. Currently only seven fragments of the same are preserved.

The trail of vultures is considered a brilliant work. In it we can find a high degree of idealization of the battle that narrates and the winning character, in addition to a clear application of the Law of Frontality, of the Hierarchy (we can properly witness the importance of King Eannatum, since it appears represented with alarger size), as well as a certain degree of isocephaly in the head of the different soldiers. It is also essential to highlight how frieze resource is used to tell the war conflict between Lagash and Umma. . Something that attracts a lot of attention is the position in which the soldiers are. These are represented in attack formation. This arrangement, along with other scenes such as the one that illustrates the king trying to nail a spear to an enemy, allows us to capture a clear sense of movement.

As I have pointed out before, this sculpture has a great historical and narrative component, although it could also be said that it has a clear religious component. What is represented is a war in which King Eannatum’s soldiers, led by the king himself, advance in victorious attitude on the bodies of his enemies. The Army (Falange closed) Lanzas, Axes, Yelmos and Helmets on top of its heads. Something unique in this composition is the appearance of lions and vultures by stirring enemy bodies. Hence this work is called "Estela de los Buitres"

To perform a deep analysis of this culture and, since it is divided into different fragments and records, I will perform a historical and mythological analysis of the same.

Regarding the "historical face: in the" upper part ", we observe Eannatum, king of Lagash carrying the famous" kaunakes ", directing their soldiers to protect after some shields. These advance through enemy bodies. In a second record, a “ceremonial parade” appears, in which the king is represented on a car, followed by his victorious army. In a third part, offerings made to dead soldiers in the bloody battle are illustrated.

In the "mythological or religious face", God’s God, God of Lagash, is represented, which provides help to the Eannatum army to overcome enemy soldiers.

Nonersu (represented as the IMDUGUD Águila) appears carrying a network in which the members of the Defense Army of the city of Umma are trapped. With a mace, God hits them. With this representation, it can be considered that the God none reflects the anthropomorphism of the Sumerian society.

In this sculpture, you can see an inscription in which some oaths appear. The text that appears in this wake is considered the oldest that has been known to date in Lagash.

The sculpture was found in excavations made in 1881 by the archaeologist and.of Sarzec. You can consider a work dedicated to the noirsu God and in this the characteristics of Mesopotamian art are perfectly reflected. Eannantum, helped by this divinity, manages to defeat Umma soldiers. The monarch acts as a faithful follower of nonersu and this, in an act of thanks, makes the army of Lagash impose itself. The trail of vultures is a clear tribute of veneration to King Eannantum and the noirsu divinity.

This wake notoriously influences another that, about two hundred years later, is also going to leave its mark on ancient history: the Stela of Naram-Sin. During the reign of Eannatum, Lagash developed great peak and consolidated itself as a hegemonic city throughout Sumeria.

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