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THE LECTERN
Thursday, 30 July 2015
REVISITING THE TOMB OF GILGAMESH
Topic: Giants

As it has been more than 12 years since its discovery, I thought that I would post the classic article on the Tomb of GIlgamesh, the god-king of Uruk, often equated with the Biblical Nimrod.  The timing of the discovery is interesting in that it coincided with the deployment of U.S.military forces in Iraq in the spring of 2003.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2982891.stm

I always tell my students that mythology can always be a medium for at least some historicity.  Gilgamesh seems to be no exception, as his name not only shows up in the Sumerian King's List (http://www.livius.org/k/kinglist/sumerian.html) in the early Third millennium BC as the ruler of the city of Uruk.  This is just as it is recounted in the great heroic poem, The Gilgamesh Epic, in which he is described as being 2/3 divine and 1/3 human.  For more background information on Gilgamesh, see the Epic and the Enuma Elish.

EPIC OF GILGAMESH: http://public.wsu.edu/~gened/orpheus/orpheus_gilgamesh.htm

ENUMA ELISH: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sumer_anunnaki/esp_sumer_annunaki01.htm

Was Gilgamesh a historical personage?  I believe he was.  Was he the fabled god-king of myth?  I believe it is at leat possible, if not plausible. You must decide for yourself as you weigh the evidence.


Posted by anthrojudd at 2:55 AM EDT

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