[[Image:Gudea of Lagash Girsu.jpg|thumb|left|150px|[[Gudea]] od Lagaša, dioritska statua pronađena u [[Telloh]]u, [[Louvre]]]]
Prema natpisima pronađenim u [[Telloh]]u izgleda da je Lagaš bio prilično važan grad u sumerskom periodu, vjerojatno u [[3. milenijum pne.|3. milenijumu pne.]]. U to doba su njime vladali nezavisni kraljevi, [[Ur-Nina]] ([[24. vijek pne.]]) i njegovi nasljednici, koji su se borili za prevlast s [[Elam]]itima na istoku i kraljevima "Kengija" i [[Kiš (Sumer)|Kiša]] na sjeveru. Nakon [[Semiti|semitskog]] osvajanja je izgubio nezavisnost, a njegovi vladari ili ''patesiji'' postali vazali [[Sargon Akadski|Sargona Akadskog]] i njegovih nasljednika; ali je i dalje ostao sumerski gradi nastavio biti važno središte, prije svega, umjetničkog razvoja. Upravo je u tom periodu, kao i pod nešto kasnijom vladavinom kraljeva [[Ur]]a, [[Ur-Gur]]a i [[Dungi]]ja dosegao vrhunac umjetničkog stvaralaštva
After the collapse of Sargon's Empire under pressure from the [[Guti (Mesopotamia)|Guti]] tribes, Lagash again thrived under the ''patesis'' Ur-baba (Ur-bau) and [[Gudea]], and had extensive commercial communications with distant realms. According to his own records, Gudea brought cedars from the Amanus and [[Lebanon]] mountains in [[Syria]], [[diorite]] from eastern Arabia, [[copper]] and [[gold]] from central and southern Arabia and from Sinai, while his armies were engaged in battles in Elam on the east. His was especially the era of artistic development. Gudea, following Sargon, was one of the first rulers to claim divinity for himself; and we have even a fairly good idea of what Gudea looked like, since he had his numerous statues or idols depicting himself with unprecedented, lifelike realism, placed in temples throughout Sumer. Gudea took advantage of artistic development because he evidently wanted posterity thousands of years later to know exactly what he looked like, and in that he has succeeded -- a feat that was available to him as royalty, but not to the common people who could not afford to have statues engraved of themselves.
Some of the earlier works of Ur-Nina, En-anna-tum, Entemena and others, before the Semitic conquest, are also extremely interesting, especially the famous Stele of the Vultures and a great silver vase ornamented with what may be called the coat of arms of Lagash: a lion-headed eagle with wings outspread, grasping a lion in each talon.