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Epic Hero (Gilgamesh Saga)
Smithsonian Magazine ^ | 5-1-2007 | Daqvid Damrosch

Posted on 05/01/2007 4:20:40 PM PDT by blam

Epic Hero

How a self-taught British genius rediscovered the Mesopotamian saga of Gilgamesh—after 2,500 years

By David Damrosch

In November 1872, George Smith was working at the British Museum in a second-floor room overlooking the bare plane trees in Russell Square. On a long table were pieces of clay tablets, among the hundreds of thousands that archaeologists had shipped back to London from Nineveh, in present-day Iraq, a quarter-century before. Many of the fragments bore cuneiform hieroglyphs, and over the years scholars had managed to reassemble parts of some tablets, deciphering for the first time these records of daily life in Assyria of the 7th and 8th centuries B.C.—references to oxen, slaves, casks of wine, petitions to kings, contracts, treaties, prayers and omens.

As scholars go, Smith, 32 years old, was an anomaly; he had ended his formal education at age 14 when he was apprenticed to a printer, and perhaps it was because of his training as an engraver that he had such a knack for assembling coherent passages of cuneiform out of the drawers and drawers of old rubble. In fact, Smith had already established dates for a couple of minor events in Israelite history, and on this brisk fall day he was looking for other references that might confirm parts of the Bible. Then, on a fragment of a tablet, he came across a story that would soon astonish the Western world. He read of a flood, a ship caught on a mountain and a bird sent out in search of dry land—the first independent confirmation of a vast flood in ancient Mesopotamia, complete with a Noah-like figure and an ark.

Yet he could read only a few lines of the tablet, much of which was encrusted with a thick, lime-like deposit. The museum had

(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmagazine.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blacksea; blackseaflood; epic; gilgamesh; godsgravesglyphs; grandcanyon; greatflood; hero; mesopotamia; noah; noahsflood

1 posted on 05/01/2007 4:20:42 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 05/01/2007 4:21:06 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

I read that yesterday while home sick. Very interesting considering he was uneducated according to the standards of the day.


3 posted on 05/01/2007 4:28:05 PM PDT by doodad
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To: blam

What a story! Great post. Thanks.


4 posted on 05/01/2007 5:04:02 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: blam

Great article. Thanks for posting.


5 posted on 05/01/2007 5:09:48 PM PDT by Captain Rhino ( Dollars spent in India help a friend; dollars spent in China arm an enemy.)
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To: blam
I have have a friend of mine who's rather disreputable ancestor was British Council at Smyrna, when Layard went to Nineveh, terrible drunk, according to his family lore.

Booze seemed be a problem in the family, his great grandfather was exiled, by the family, to the US and was on that Gun Boat, on display at Vicksburg, when it was sunk. (He had the papers on both)

We start talking about it because I had several family members in US and CSA units at the siege and surrounding fights.

6 posted on 05/01/2007 5:35:56 PM PDT by Little Bill (Welcome to the Newly Socialist State of New Hampshire)
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To: blam

Outstanding story! Thanks for posting.


7 posted on 05/01/2007 5:49:11 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: blam
“Darmok and Picard at Tanagra.”
8 posted on 05/01/2007 5:57:27 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (NSDQ)
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To: blam

Thank you for the great read!


9 posted on 05/01/2007 6:21:00 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: blam

Very interesting article Blam. Thanks for posting.


10 posted on 05/01/2007 6:52:15 PM PDT by Redhd2
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To: blam

read later


11 posted on 05/01/2007 8:47:02 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: blam

Not only was this the first “Hero’s Journey” literature, it also featured the first ‘sidekick’ partner, Enkidu.

Think about that. Gabby Hayes was merely one of a 5,000 year, long line of sidekicks to action heroes.


12 posted on 05/01/2007 8:57:22 PM PDT by wildbill
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

13 posted on 05/01/2007 9:53:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, April 28, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam
He and Schliemann!

:-)

Drive a nail through the “elite” old archaeologists.

14 posted on 05/02/2007 5:39:24 AM PDT by bannie
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To: wildbill
There are some that think Enkidu was a comet.

Enkidu the Rival and Friend of Gilgamesh Sent by the Gods Arrives on Earth in the Form of a Comet


15 posted on 05/02/2007 6:09:16 AM PDT by blam
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To: Al Gator; carton253; CharlesWayneCT; Corin Stormhands; Dolphy; Dr.Zoidberg; Eleutheria5; ...
Righter's ping.

Thought this might be an interesting bit about a famous piece of literature from anitiquity.
16 posted on 05/02/2007 7:20:05 AM PDT by JamesP81 (Eph 6:12)
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To: JamesP81

This was a classical hero. Modern literary heroes are mere shadows.


17 posted on 05/02/2007 7:38:21 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: JamesP81

Thanks for the ping.

Interesting article.


18 posted on 05/02/2007 7:40:36 AM PDT by marsapan
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To: blam

Excellent article, thanks for posting.


19 posted on 05/02/2007 7:56:31 AM PDT by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: mad_as_he$$

GMTA :) But it was “Darmok and Gilaad at Tanagra”. I forget what the alien captain’s name was, offhand. Oh, I’m such a Star Trek geek.


20 posted on 05/02/2007 8:06:46 AM PDT by -YYZ-
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To: blam

Might have arrived from space (comet=spacecraft) but comets seldom take human form, enjoy sex, and fight demons like humbaba.

Some academics also believe that humans are the principal cause of global warming and that the tooth fairy really does leave money under your pillow.

We mustn’t be seduced into spreading those theses.


21 posted on 05/02/2007 9:20:30 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: mad_as_he$$
“Darmok and Picard at Tanagra.”

There's a Trek Head for you.

I thought the same thing when I saw the title as well.

22 posted on 05/02/2007 10:07:06 AM PDT by AFreeBird (Will NOT vote for Rudy. <--- notice the period)
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To: JamesP81

Indeed, very interesting. Thanks ...


23 posted on 05/02/2007 10:58:20 AM PDT by MHGinTN (You've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: -YYZ-
Huum I thought when Picard told the other crew he used “Darmok...” could be wrong but the story is so close to how Gilgamesh had to be translated it struck me.
24 posted on 05/02/2007 4:28:25 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (NSDQ)
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To: AFreeBird

Yikes I thought I was the only twisted one!!! both are great stories and the parallels are interesting.


25 posted on 05/02/2007 4:30:50 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (NSDQ)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


26 posted on 01/16/2013 7:00:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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