Skip to comments.Gilgamesh Tomb Believed Found
Posted on 01/30/2005 2:51:03 PM PST by blam
Gilgamesh Tomb Believed Found
Posted 01-25-2005 10:02:40 (GMT 1-25-2005
(BBC) -- Archaeologists in Iraq believe they may have found the lost tomb of King Gilgamesh - the subject of the oldest "book" in history.
The Epic Of Gilgamesh - written by a Middle Eastern scholar 2,500 years before the birth of Christ - commemorated the life of the ruler of the city of Uruk, from which Iraq gets its name.
Now, a German-led expedition has discovered what is thought to be the entire city of Uruk - including, where the Euphrates once flowed, the last resting place of its famous King.
"I don't want to say definitely it was the grave of King Gilgamesh, but it looks very similar to that described in the epic," Jorg Fassbinder, of the Bavarian department of Historical Monuments in Munich, told the BBC World Service's Science in Action programme.
In the book - actually a set of inscribed clay tablets - Gilgamesh was described as having been buried under the Euphrates, in a tomb apparently constructed when the waters of the ancient river parted following his death.
"We found just outside the city an area in the middle of the former Euphrates river? the remains of such a building which could be interpreted as a burial," Mr Fassbinder said.
He said the amazing discovery of the ancient city under the Iraqi desert had been made possible by modern technology.
"By differences in magnetisation in the soil, you can look into the ground," Mr Fassbinder added.
"The difference between mudbricks and sediments in the Euphrates river gives a very detailed structure."
This creates a magnetogram, which is then digitally mapped, effectively giving a town plan of Uruk.
'Venice in the desert'
"The most surprising thing was that we found structures already described by Gilgamesh," Mr Fassbinder stated.
"We covered more than 100 hectares. We have found garden structures and field structures as described in the epic, and we found Babylonian houses."
But he said the most astonishing find was an incredibly sophisticated system of canals.
"Very clearly, we can see in the canals some structures showing that flooding destroyed some houses, which means it was a highly developed system.
"[It was] like Venice in the desert."
This is not a new story. I used it in a report I gave in the fall. They have discovered this a while ago.
It is a very interesting discovery.
The ancient Sumerians (Gilgamesh was Sumerian) dug irrigation ditches all over their land and these were also used as roads--as in Venice.
The city was also called Warka and there is a very famous Warka Vase in the Bagdhad Museum. It was stolen during the American invasion, but the boys who stole it were forced to bring it back by their mother. She found it under their bed and said she would kill herself if they didn't take it right back. So they did.
The Warka Vase is like the Rosetta Stone for Iraq. It is an early example of storytelling in pictures. IT is a tall vase with comicbook like frames that show pictues about the culture, agriculture, religion.
Is that where the Uruk Hai come from?
That is one theory that has been posited in an attempt to explain the otherwise supernatural characteristics of "the flood." No one knows for sure, though.
I thought the Germans were too scared to be in Iraq.
Yes/no. The Gilgamesh flood story predates the Bibical story. There are at least five different flood stories in this region. One predates the Gilgamesh story by at least five hundred years.
Outside of religious texts, the Bible etc., the first recorded name in human history was that of Gilgamesh.
Uruk Hai is where the kids of Uruk graduated before going on to college.
Holy crap! If this pans out it would be one of the most signifigant finds in archaeological history!
Its just a model.