The earliest record of a Sumerian creation myth , called The Eridu Genesis by historian Thorkild Jacobsen ,  is found on a single fragmentary tablet excavated in Nippur by the Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania in , and first recognized by Arno Poebel in It is written in the Sumerian language and dated to around BCE. The beginning of the tablet is lost, but the surviving portion begins by recounting how the gods An , Enlil , Enki , and Ninhursanga created the Sumerians and comfortable conditions for the animals to live and procreate. Kingship then descends from heaven, and the first cities are founded: Eridu , Bad-tibira , Larak , Sippar , and Shuruppak.
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Eridu Genesis : a Sumerian text dealing with the subject matter best known from the first chapters of the Bible. The Eridu Genesis is written on a Sumerian cuneiform tablet of which about two thirds are now lost. The missing parts can be reconstructed from texts like the Sumerian King List and Berossus :.
The story of the Creation and Flood has been extremely influential. The translation of the Eridu Genesis offered here is adapted from a translation by Thorkild Jacobson.
It starts after a long lacuna, in which the creation of man must have been described. Let they come and build cities and cult places, that I may cool myself in their shade; may they lay the bricks for the cult cities in pure spots, and may they found places for divination in pure spots! She gave directions for purification, and cries for clemency, the things that cool divine wrath,. When An, Enlil, Enki, and Nin h ursaga fashioned the dark-headed people, they had made the small animals that came up from out of the earth come from the earth in abundance and had let there be, as befits it, gazelles, wild donkeys, and four-footed beasts in the desert.
When the royal scepter was coming down from heaven, the august crown and the royal throne being already down from heaven, the king regularly performed to perfection the august divine services and offices, and laid the bricks of those cities in pure spots. They were named by name and allotted half-bushel baskets.
These cities, which had been named by names, and had been alloted half-bushel baskets, dredged the canals, which were blocked with purplish wind-borne clay, and they carried water, Their cleaning of the canals established abundant growth. Working in the canals and on the fields, they produced so much noise, that the supreme god Enlil persuaded the other gods to destroy humankind.
At that time Ziusudra was king and lustration priest. He fashioned, being a seer, the god of giddiness note [A statue is meant. As he stood there regularly day after day. The touching of throats is a gesture to indicate that if someone breaks his oath, he allows himself to be beheaded.
The Kiur mentioned in the next line was a part of the temple of Enlil in Nippur. And as Ziusudra stood there beside it, he went on hearing: "Step up to the wall to my left and listen!
Let me speak a word to you at the wall and may you grasp what I say, may you heed my advice! By our hand a flood will sweep over the cities of the half-bushel baskets, and the country; the decision, that mankind is to be destroyed, has been made. A verdict, a command of the assembly, can not be revoked,.
What I have to say to you After the flood had swept over the country, after the evil wind had tossed the big boat about on the great waters, the sun came out spreading light over heaven and earth. The king was butchering oxen, was being lavish with the sheep, barley cakes, crescents together with He will disembark the small animals that come up from the earth!
That day they made Ziusudra, preserver, as king, of the small animals and the seed of mankind, live toward the east over the mountains of Dilmun. It was later identified with present Bahrain.
Sumerian creation myth
The following excerpt is taken from "The Harps That Once Yale University Press, Publishers; Copyright It is related here for educational purposes only. The "earth" in Genesis is not the globe.
The Great Flood: Eridu Genesis
Eridu Genesis : a Sumerian text dealing with the subject matter best known from the first chapters of the Bible. The Eridu Genesis is written on a Sumerian cuneiform tablet of which about two thirds are now lost. The missing parts can be reconstructed from texts like the Sumerian King List and Berossus :. The story of the Creation and Flood has been extremely influential. The translation of the Eridu Genesis offered here is adapted from a translation by Thorkild Jacobson.