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Thu Oct 1, 2015, 10:12 AM

New clay tablet adds 20 lines to Epic of Gilgamesh


A newly discovered clay tablet in the Sulaymaniah Museum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has corrected the order of chapters, filled in blanks and added 20 lines to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Since the invasion of Iraq and subsequent orgy of looting, the museum has a matter of policy paid smugglers to keep artifacts from leaving the country, no questions asked. The tablet was acquired by the museum in late 2011 as part of a collection of 80-90 tablets sold by an unnamed shady character. Professor Farouk Al-Rawi examined the collection while the seller haggled with museum official Abdullah Hashim. When Al-Rawi he saw this tablet, he told Hashim to pay whatever the seller wanted: $800.

Even caked in mud the tabletís importance was instantly recognizable to the expert. Once it was clean, Al-Rawi identified it as a fragment of Tablet V of the Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh.

The tablet is the left half of a six-column tablet written in Neo-Babylonian. Itís composed of three fragments that have been glued together, oddly enough, probably either by the original excavators or the seller. It is 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) high, 9.5 cm (3.7 inchs) wide and three cm (1.2 inches) thick.

The tablet adds new verses to the story of how Gilgamesh and Enkidu slew the forest demigod Humbaba. Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, gets the idea to kill the giant Humbaba, guardian of the Cedar Forest, home of the gods, in Tablet II. He thinks accomplishing such a feat of strength will gain him eternal fame. His wise companion (and former wild man) Enkidu tries to talk him out of it ó Humbaba was set to his task by the god Enlil ó but stubborn Gilgamesh wonít budge, so Enkidu agrees to go with him on this quest. Together they overpower the giant. When the defeated Humbaba begs for mercy, offering to serve Gilgamesh forever and give him every sacred tree in the forest, Gilgamesh is moved to pity, but Enkiduís blood is up now and he exhorts his friend to go through with the original plan to kill the giant and get that eternal renown he craves. Gilgamesh cuts Humbabaís head off and then cuts down the sacred forest. The companions return to Uruk with the trophy head and lots of aromatic timber.

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http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/38631

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Reply New clay tablet adds 20 lines to Epic of Gilgamesh (Original post)
n2doc Oct 2015 OP
packman Oct 2015 #1
Nitram Oct 2015 #2

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 10:46 AM

1. Isn't the Epic suspected to be the origins of Noah and the flood?

Seems I read that during the capture of the Israelites by the Babylonians, they were influenced by the Epic during their 60 year captivity.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 01:12 PM

2. The epic was disjointed and clearly had parts missing when I read it.

Looking forward to a new translation with the newly discovered additions and changes.

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