Sumerian Stone Mace Head
Made of marble, this mace head from the late third millennium BCE would have been fixed to a wooden or metal staff. Used as a weapon in earlier periods, by this time in Mesopotamian history, the mace had become a symbol of authority – a ceremonial object rather than a practical weapon. This mace head bears an inscription in Sumerian by Gudea, a ruler of Lagash, and the inscription states that the object is dedicated to the god Ningišzida, who is connected with vegetation and the underworld. (Source)
Girsu, c. 2200-2100 BCE.
Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley. Photo courtesy of CDLI.