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Lagash (lā´găsh) or Shirpurla (shĬrpŏŏr´lə), ancient city of Sumer, S Mesopotamia, now located at Telloh, SE Iraq. Lagash was flourishing by c.2400 BC, but traces of habitation go back at least to the 4th millennium BC After the fall of Akkad (2180 BC), when the rest of Mesopotamia was in a state of chaos, Lagash was able to maintain peace and prosperity under its ruler Gudea. Excavations begun on the site in 1877 revealed the beautiful sculptures of Gudea, which had been dedicated to the city's patron goddess, Ningirsu. Thousands of inscribed tablets were also found at the site.