Presentation of Offerings to Inanna (Warka Vase) Uruk (modern Warka), Iraq, ca. 3200–3000 BCE The Sumerians, pioneers in so many areas, also may have been the first to use pictures to tell coherent stories. Sumerian narrative art goes far beyond the Stone Age artists’ tentative efforts at storytelling. The so-called Warka Vase from Uruk is the first great work of narrative relief sculpture known. Found within the Inanna temple complex, it depicts a religious festival in honor of the goddess.
A Sumerian king (rt) has a drink while being attended by a servant. The king is holding a fly whisk, a symbol of authority: the servant holds his hand under his armpit as a gesture of obedience. Detail from a lyre inlay, partially restored