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Before Noah’s Great Flood: Here Are 3 Flood Stories That Predate The Bible

Ruins of ancient city of Kish. Image via as.miami .edu

Evidence has been brought forward by a number of archaeologists who argue that a massive deluge swept across the Earth between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago.

Some argue that the historic flood may have happened, but not on a global scale, as there are those who argue that a flooding occurred in the area of what is today the Black Sea, an area many refer to as the ‘cradle of civilization’.

And while Noah’s story of the Flood may be one of the most popular ones, the truth is that it isn’t the only flood story out there.

In fact, there are a number of flood stories that predate the flood described in the Bible.

Flood myths can be traced back into the Bronze Age and Neolithic prehistory. Flood stories are often referred to as new starting points in human history.

Ancient Cuneiform Tablets and the Mesopotamian Flood

Translation of ancient cuneiform tablets discovered in the 19th century suggests the Mesopotamia Flood may have been an antecedent of Noah’s flood mentioned in the bible. The ancient Sumerian Nippur tablet is believed to describe the oldest account of the Great Flood and the creation of both humans and animals on Earth. It also records the names of Antediluvian cities on earth and their respective rulers.

In ancient Mesopotamian mythology, we find flood stories concerning the epics of Ziusudra, Gilgamesh, and Atrahasis.

In fact, the Sumerian King List divides its history into preflood (antediluvian) and postflood periods.

Before the flood had swept across the land, Earth was ruled by kings who had monstrous lifespans. In postflood myths, these lifespans were drastically reduced.

The Sumerian Flood Myth is described in the Deluge Tablet. It narrates the epic of Ziusudra, who, after finding out that the Gods plan to destroy humanity with a great flood, constructs a massive vessel which eventually saves him from the rising waters.

In the Sumerian King List, we read about the history of mankind, its Gods and rulers before the flood.

The Sumerian King list suggests how Eridu was the first city on Earth. In fact, according to Sumerian mythology, Eridu was one of the five ancient cities that were built on Earth before the Great Deluge.

The Sumerian King List reads:

“After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28,800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36,000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64,800 years. Then Eridug fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira. In Bad-tibira, En-men-lu-ana ruled for 43,200 years. En-men-gal-ana ruled for 28,800 years. Dumuzid, the shepherd, ruled for 36,000 years. 3 kings; they ruled for 108,000 years… Then the flood swept over.”

After the Great Flood, Kish is mentioned as the first city of the Gods.

“After the flood had swept over, and the kingship had descended from heaven, the kingship was in Kish.” A total of twenty-two kings ruled for a period of 16, 480 years, which make up the first dynasty of Kish.

The Aztec Story of the great flood

According to the ancient Aztecs, a massive flood swept across the lands.

No matter where we look, we find descriptions of a massive deluge that swept across the Earth in the distant past.

With a few differences, we can say that nearly all flood stories are similar in one way or another.

The Great Flood was supposedly sent by God or the gods upon the earth in order to destroy civilization as an act of divine punishment.

According to ancient mythology:

“Before the great flood which took place 4,800 years after the creation of the world, the country of Anahuac was inhabited by giants, all of whom either perished in the inundation or were transformed into fishes, save seven who fled into caverns. When the waters subsided, one of the giants, the great Xelhua, nicknamed the ‘Architect,’ traveled to Cholula, where, as a memorial of the Tlaloc which had served for an asylum to himself and his six brethren, he built an artificial hill in the form of a pyramid…”

Not far from the Aztecs we find another flood story sent by the Gods.

The Unu Pachakuti is, according to Incan mythology, a flood sent by the God Viracocha to destroy the people near Lake Titicaca. This great flood is said to have lasted for 60 days and 60 nights.

Before creating humans, Viracocha created a race of giants that inhabited Earth, but he destroyed them in a flood as they proved to be unruly. The giants were eventually turned into stone.

Viracocha, one of the most prominent Andean deities decides to save only two people, in the massive flood, giving mankind a fresh start, and bringing ‘civilization’ to the rest of the world.