Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Richard L. Zettler


Tell al-Hiba, ancient Lagash, is one of the largest mounds in southern Iraq and part of one of the most important third-millennium BCE city-states on the Mesopotamian floodplain. A joint expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University conducted six seasons of excavation at the site between 1968 and 1990. However, despite the site’s significance, data from the excavations have only been published as preliminary reports. In this dissertation, I analyze the late third millennium (ca. 2600–2100 BCE) religious architecture from Tell al-Hiba using the original excavation records. My research focuses on two major temple complexes: the Ibgal of Inana and the Bagara of Ningirsu. Both complexes are well-attested in textual records throughout the latter half of the third millennium BCE. Through this work, I identify a new type of temple layout, demonstrate the existence of a regional religious architectural tradition, and reconstruct the layout and contents of the earliest well-excavated kitchen/brewery in a temple complex in southern Mesopotamia. Further, I contribute to rectifying the imbalance between textual and archaeological data concerning temples and temple activities during this period.

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