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Votive cone with a Sumerian cuneiform inscription. Cuneiform was written by using a pointed stylus to make impressions on clay. Hundreds of votive cones ('nails') would be placed in the wall of a temple, with the head showing for decoration. Only 10 lines are visible here, however, it is thought to be the same inscription as another tablet, translated as follows: 'For Ningirsu, the strong warrior of Enlil, Gudea, Prince of Lagash, has made what will last forever; (Gudea) has built his (Ningirsu's) Enninnu (temple), the flashing thunderbird, and returned it to its place for him'. Gudea of Lagash (2144-2124 BC) was a Sumerian ruler in what is now Iraq.
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