The Ancient Sumerian tablet of Nippur is the oldest description of the Great Flood


Many people are completely unaware of the fact that the first and most ancient story of the Great Deluge originated in ancient Sumeria. According to ancient inscriptions, it was ‘Eridu’, –modern day Abu Shahrein, Iraq– where the gods created the first city on the planet. Eridu was home to the ancient Sumerian God Enki, who erected the city in 5400 BC.

The ancient Sumerian Nippur tablet describes the oldest account of the Great Flood and the creation of both humans and animals on our planet and records the names of Antediluvian cities on earth and their respective rulers:


This ancient clay tablet from ancient Nippur is the only surviving document of the Sumerian flood story.
This ancient clay tablet from ancient Nippur is the only surviving document of the Sumerian flood story.

According to the Ancient Sumerian King List, Eridu was the home city of the first kings: “After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridu”.

The story of the great deluge or great flood can be found in the accounts of the Eridu Genesis, the ancient Sumerian texts which accurately describes the creation of the world, the foundation of the cities and the mighty flood that swept across the land.

The Eridu Genesis, which is believed to have been composed circa 2,300 BCE, is the earliest known account of the Great Flood predating the more popular Great Flood described in the biblical book of Genesis.

As of 2300 BC we discover numerous written records of the creation of man, mighty cities and the flood that destroyed everything. Referred to by mainstream scholars as the Nippur Tablet, the ancient clay tablet recovered from the ancient city of Nippur is the only existing ancient document of the Sumerian Flood Story. It contains six columns of written text, three per side with approximately 10 to 15 lines in each column and is written in ancient Sumerian. The ancient clay tablet does not only describe the oldest account of the Great Flood, but it also describes the creation of both humans and animals on our planet and records the names of Antediluvian cities on earth and their respective rulers:


After Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag had fashioned the black-headed people, Vegetation sprang from the earth, Animals, four-legged creatures of the plain, Were brought artfully into existence [37 lines are unreadable]

After the….of kingship had been lowered from heaven After the exalted crown and the throne of kingship Had been lowered from heaven, He perfected the rites and exalted the divine ordinances… He founded the five cities in pure places,… Then did Nintu weep like a…. The pure Inanna set up a lament for its people; Enki took council with himself, Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag…. The gods of heaven and earth uttered the name of Anu and Enlil Then did Ziusudra, the king, the priest of…, Build, a giant…; Humbly obedient, reverently he… Attending daily, constantly he…, Bringing forth all kinds of dreams, he…, Uttering the name of heaven and earth, he…[…] the gods a wall…, Ziusudra, standing at its side, listened. “Stand by the wall at my left side…, By the wall I will say a word to you, Take my word, Give ear to my instructions: By our…a flood will sweep over the cult- enters; To destroy the seed of mankind…, Is the decision, the word of the assembly of the gods. By the word commanded by Anu and Enlil…, Its kingship, its rule will be put to an end.

[about 40 lines missing] All the windstorms, exceedingly powerful, Attacked as one, At the same time, the flood sweeps over the cult-centers. After, for seven days, the flood sweeps over the cult centers. After, for seven days and seven nights, The flood had swept over the land, And the huge boat had been tossed About by the windstorms on the great waters, Utu came forth, who sheds light on heaven and earth, Ziusudra opened a window of the huge boat, The hero Utu brought his rays into the giant boat. Ziusudra, the king, Prostrated himself before Utu.

[about 40 lines missing] All the windstorms, exceedingly powerful, Attacked as one, At the same time, the flood sweeps over the cult-centers. After, for seven days, the flood sweeps over the cult centers. After, for seven days and seven nights, The flood had swept over the land, And the huge boat had been tossed About by the windstorms on the great waters, Utu came forth, who sheds light on heaven and earth, Ziusudra opened a window of the huge boat, The hero Utu brought his rays into the giant boat. Ziusudra, the king, Prostrated himself before Utu. (source)


 


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5 Comments

  1. Agree. Truly a Howard Carter moment for them. Have you ever read the Epic of Gilgamesh? It’s the story told as an epic. Very interesting stuff.

    1. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a Sumerian story that gives me pause about the writings in the Bible. Clearly, the story of Noah’s ark was plaigerised and altered from the Sumerian version and incorporated into the Bible as fact. It leaves me to wonder how many of the stories in the Bible may have been fabricated or altered to suit the writers. I find the story of Noah’s ark to be quite unbelievable to begin with (obviously requiring divine intervention and superhuman effort), and the discovery of the far earlier Sumerian version casts serious aspersions on it’s credibility.

      1. I agree and have mentioned that often to others. Which is the more plausible? That a man named Noah was told by God to build a (much too small) wooden ship and load two of every animal species onto it along with provisions for their varied diets to last over a month…… or the earlier account where the genetic creator of the human race explained to one of his more trusted projects how to survive by building a water tight vessel for his family and the “spirit” (dna?) of every living land animal to restart civilization after the oncoming deluge. I’ll take the earlier one engraved in stone that makes sense.

      2. What you state is not logical. If he global flood really happened, and if the only survivors were those who were in the boat, then afterward every human being on the planet will have some memory of it in passed down from their forefathers. The existence of other flood legends corroborates the Bi local narrative, rather than undermining it. To assume that the earliest known written record of the event becomes the source that every one else copies is completely illogical, for several reasons. First, it’s illogical to think that we have discovered every written record of the flood that has ever existed. Surely if you find 20 copies of the Iliad after several thousand years, then there were more than 20 copies originally written, because written records get destroyed; we live in a world of entropy. So one cannot assume that Moses (or whoever wrote the book of Genesis was pulling the stories out of thin air or even borrowing from the Sumerian version, because at the time he lived there would likely be many more written records of the flood than exist today. Shem, Ham, and Japheth probably all wrote their own accounts. After all, if you had gone through the flood on an ark would you not leave a written record of it for your descendants? The second reason it is illogical to think that the Biblical account was not copied from the Sumerian version are the vast differences in the story, which show that these two surviving accounts were pulled from different source materials themselves. The Biblical version has realistic boat dimensions (as opposed to other accounts which use a cube- shaped ark for example). So your reasoning that supposed a more ancient record of a universally remembered historical event somehow invalidates a more recent one displays an ignorance of how historical records were preserved in ancient times. The birthplace of Abraham, the city of Ur, produced an entire library of clay tablets when it was excavated. Keep in mind that Moses could have had access to similar library material which has since been destroyed and lost to history. The Sumerian account is interesting, but it doesn’t provide much detail, and is written in the typical aggrandize bravado style that ancient kings often used to bolster their own power as coming from heaven.

    2. Yes, yes I have read the epic…came across as a Beowulf or Canterbury tales where the writing or structure was ancient and keeping one entertained was quite different than today. But, all in all…these three are truly the best at what they were.

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