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IRAQ: Gilgamesh tomb believed found
BBC News Online ^ | Tuesday, 29 April, 2003 | BBC staff

Posted on 04/29/2003 6:13:45 AM PDT by Constitution Day

Gilgamesh tomb believed found

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.

Magnetic

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, we detected the remains of a 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."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: ancienthistory; blacksea; blackseaflood; epicofgilgamesh; gilgamesh; godsgravesglyphs; grandcanyon; greatflood; iraq; noah; noahsflood; tombofgilgamesh; uruk
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Gilgamesh was believed to be two-thirds god, one-third human

note: I think the mask shown in this photo is of King Sargon, not Gilgamesh. - CD

1 posted on 04/29/2003 6:13:45 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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Now if we could only find the tomb of the area's most recent ruler!
2 posted on 04/29/2003 6:14:24 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: vannrox; blam; RadioAstronomer; Fifth Business; Physicist
The Epic of Gilgamesh

3 posted on 04/29/2003 6:18:40 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Constitution Day
So Gods have rotelli pasta for a beard?
4 posted on 04/29/2003 6:25:31 AM PDT by coloradan
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To: HairOfTheDog
LOTR ping. Of interest as a Tolkein source.
5 posted on 04/29/2003 6:27:26 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Constitution Day
Why are the Germans so interested in Iraq?

Prior to WWI German archaeologists digging around the old city of Babylon found the Gate of Ishtar and took it to Germany where it is in a Berlin museum to this day.

Iraq has asked for it back.

Wonder if some of that stolen museum pieces are on their way to Germany.

What is the connection? Why Germany?
6 posted on 04/29/2003 6:30:12 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: coloradan
>>...So Gods have rotelli pasta for a beard?...<<

I think it's bees:


7 posted on 04/29/2003 6:33:07 AM PDT by FReepaholic
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To: Constitution Day
Gilgamesh was immortal at the beginning of the epic, but during the course of it he learns from his friend Enkidu that humans are mortal.

Otherwise I guess we wouldn't have this tomb. :-)
8 posted on 04/29/2003 6:35:32 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Just mythoughts
I have no idea.
German archaeologists were not just interested in Iraq in the decades prior to WW2.
Heinrich Schliemann discovered Troy and other Germans discovered the Pergamon altar in what is now Turkey, in the late 1800's.

I do believe the gold from Troy is now in Moscow (taken by the Soviets), but the Pergamon is in its own museum in Berlin.

9 posted on 04/29/2003 6:40:32 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Cicero
Unfortunately, the tomb has since been "excavated" and "evacuated" of its contents by looters.
10 posted on 04/29/2003 6:42:10 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (I crack me up!)
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To: Constitution Day
When was this found? I find it very hard to believe that this team has been in Iraq recently.
11 posted on 04/29/2003 6:42:23 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Cicero
Otherwise I guess we wouldn't have this tomb.

Excellent point!

12 posted on 04/29/2003 6:42:27 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Dog Gone
I think it was before the war started.
Here is a link from another FR article, originally from Biblical Archaeology Review, posted 1/10/2003:

Can Technology Discover the Ancient City of Gilgamesh?

13 posted on 04/29/2003 6:45:53 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Constitution Day
Ah, that makes sense. Neat stuff.
14 posted on 04/29/2003 6:47:30 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Constitution Day
I agree they are not just interested in Iraq, the English went after the pyramids and Germany went after Babylon/Iraqi in general, as well as other places.

Trying to sort out all the hysteria about losing so much from that museum recently, when over the past centuries so much more has been looted from these countries and not a wimper about it.

I don't oppose looking gives credibility to written history, but am becoming more curious about what else has been found and is hidden somewhere.





15 posted on 04/29/2003 6:52:02 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Constitution Day
And here is the Gilgamesh epic:

Tablet 1

The one who saw all [Sha nagba imuru ]I will declare to the world,
The one who knew all I will tell about
[line missing]
He saw the great Mystery, he knew the Hidden:
He recovered the knowledge of all the times before the Flood.
He journeyed beyond the distant, he journeyed beyond exhaustion,
And then carved his story on stone. [naru : stone tablets ]
   This great hero who had all knowledge [nemequ ], Gilgamesh, built the great city of Uruk; the tablet invites us to look around and view the greatness of this city, its high walls, its masonwork, and here at the base of its gates, as the foundation of the city walls, a stone of lapis lazuli on which is carved Gilgamesh's account of his exploits, the story you are about to hear.

   The account begins: Gilgamesh, two-thirds god and one-third human, is the greatest king on earth and the strongest super-human that ever existed; however, he is young and oppresses his people harshly. The people call out to the sky-god Anu, the chief god of the city, to help them. In response, Anu creates a wild man, Enkidu, out in the harsh and wild forests surrounding Gilgamesh's lands. This brute, Enkidu, has the strength of dozens of wild animals; he is to serve as the subhuman rival to the superhuman Gilgamesh.

   A trapper's son, while checking on traps in the forest, discovers Enkidu running naked with the wild animals; he rushes to his father with the news. The father advises him to go into the city and take one of the temple harlots, Shamhat, with him to the forest; 1 when she sees Enkidu, she is to offer herself sexually to the wild man. If he submits to her, the trapper says, he will lose his strength and his wildness.

   Shamhat meets Enkidu at the watering-hole where all the wild animals gather; she offers herself to him and he submits, instantly losing his strength and wildness, but he gains understanding and knowledge. He laments for his lost state, but the harlot offers to take him into the city where all the joys of civilization shine in their resplendence; she offers to show him Gilgamesh, the only man worthy of Enkidu's friendship.

   Gilgamesh meanwhile has two dreams; in the first a meteorite falls to earth which is so great that Gilgamesh can neither lift it nor turn it. The people gather and celebrate around the meteorite, and Gilgamesh embraces it as he would a wife, but his mother, the goddess Rimat-Ninsun, forces him to compete with the meteorite. In the second, Gilgamesh dreams that an axe appears at his door, so great that he can neither lift it nor turn it. The people gather and celebrate around the axe, and Gilgamesh embraces it as he would a wife, but his mother, again, forces him to compete with the axe. Gilgamesh asks his mother what these dreams might mean; she tells him a man of great force and strength will come into Uruk. Gilgamesh will embrace this man as he would a wife, and this man will help Gilgamesh perform great deeds.

Tablet 2

   Enkidu is gradually introduced to civilization by living for a time with a group of shepherds, who teach him how to tend flocks, how to eat, how to speak properly, and how to wear clothes. Enkidu then enters the city of Uruk during a great celebration. Gilgamesh, as the king, claims the right to have sexual intercourse first with every new bride on the day of her wedding; as Enkidu enters the city, Gilgamesh is about to claim that right. Infuriated at this abuse, Enkidu stands in front of the door of the marital chamber and blocks Gilgamesh's way. They fight furiously until Gilgamesh wins the upper hand; Enkidu concedes Gilgamesh's superiority and the two embrace and become devoted friends.

   Both Enkidu and Gilgamesh gradually weaken and grow lazy living in the city, so Gilgamesh proposes a great adventure: they are to journey to the great Cedar Forest in southern Iran and cut down all the cedar trees. To do this, they will need to kill the Guardian of the Cedar Forest, the great demon, Humbaba the Terrible. Enkidu knows about Humbaba from his days running wild in the forest; he tries in vain to convince Gilgamesh not to undertake this folly.

Tablet 3

[Most of tablet three doesn't exist]

   The elders of the city protest Gilgamesh's endeavor, but agree reluctantly. They place the life of the king in the hands of Enkidu, whom they insist shall take the forward position in the battle with Humbaba. Gilgamesh's mother laments her son's fate in a prayer to the sun-god, Shamash, asking that god why he put a restless heart in the breast of her son. Shamash promises her that he will watch out for Gilgamesh's life. Ramat-Ninsun, too, commands Enkidu to guard the life of the king and to take the forward position in the battle with Humbaba. In panic, Enkidu again tries to convince Gilgamesh not to undertake this journey, but Gilgamesh is confident of success.

Tablet 4

   Tablet four tells the story of the journey to the cedar forest. On each day of the six day journey, Gilgamesh prays to Shamash; in response to these prayers, Shamash sends Gilgamesh oracular dreams during the night. These dreams are all ominous: The first is not preserved. In the second, Gilgamesh dreams that he wrestles a great bull that splits the ground with his breath. Enkidu interprets the dream for Gilgamesh; the dream means that Shamash, the bull, will protect Gilgamesh. In the third, Gilgamesh dreams:
The skies roared with thunder and the earth heaved,
Then came darkness and a stillness like death.
Lightening smashed the ground and fires blazed out;
Death flooded from the skies.
When the heat died and the fires went out,
The plains had turned to ash.
   Enkidu's interpretation is missing here, but like the other dreams, it is assumed he puts a positive spin on the dream. The fourth dream is missing, but Enkidu again tells Gilgamesh that the dream portends success in the upcoming battle. The fifth dream is also missing.

   At the entrance to the Cedar Forest, Gilgamesh begins to quake with fear; he prays to Shamash, reminding him that he had promised Ninsun that he would be safe. Shamash calls down from heaven, ordering him to enter the forest because Humbaba is not wearing all his armor. The demon Humbaba wears seven coats of armor, but now he is only wearing one so he is particularly vulnerable. Enkidu loses his courage and turns back; Gilgamesh falls on him and they have a great fight. Hearing the crash of their fighting, Humbaba comes stalking out of the Cedar Forest to challenge the intruders. A large part of the tablet is missing here. On the one part of the tablet still remaining, Gilgamesh convinces Enkidu that they should stand together against the demon.

Tablet 5

   Gilgamesh and Enkidu enter the gloriously beautiful Cedar Forest and begin to cut down the trees. Hearing the sound, Humbaba comes roaring up to them and warns them off. Enkidu shouts at Humbaba that the two of them are much stronger than the demon, but Humbaba, who knows Gilgamesh is a king, taunts the king for taking orders from a nobody like Enkidu. Turning his face into a hideous mask, Humbaba begins to threaten the pair, and Gilgamesh runs and hides. Enkidu shouts at Gilgamesh, inspiring him with courage, and Gilgamesh appears from hiding and the two begin their epic battle with Humbaba. Shamash intrudes on the battle, helping the pair, and Humbaba is defeated. On his knees, with Gilgamesh's sword at his throat, Humbaba begs for his life and offers Gilgamesh all the trees in the forest and his eternal servitude. While Gilgamesh is thinking this over, Enkidu intervenes, telling Gilgamesh to kill Humbaba before any of the gods arrive and stop him from doing so. Should he kill Humbaba, he will achieve widespread fame for all the times to come. Gilgamesh, with a great sweep of his sword, removes Humbaba's head. But before he dies, Humbaba screams out a curse on Enkidu: "Of you two, may Enkidu not live the longer, may Enkidu not find any peace in this world!"

   Gilgamesh and Enkidu cut down the cedar forest and in particular the tallest of the cedar trees to make a great cedar gate for the city of Uruk. They build a raft out of the cedar and float down the Euphrates river to their city.

Tablet 6

   After these events, Gilgamesh, his fame widespread and his frame resplendent in his wealthy clothes, attracts the sexual attention of the goddess Ishtar, who comes to Gilgamesh and offers to become his lover. Gilgamesh refuses with insults, listing all the mortal lovers that Ishtar has had and recounting the dire fates they all met with at her hands. Deeply insulted, Ishtar returns to heaven and begs her father, the sky-god Anu, to let her have the Bull of Heaven to wreak vengeance on Gilgamesh and his city:
Father, let me have the Bull of Heaven
To kill Gilgamesh and his city.
For if you do not grant me the Bull of Heaven,
I will pull down the Gates of Hell itself,
Crush the doorposts and flatten the door,
And I will let the dead leave
And let the dead roam the earth
And they shall eat the living.
The dead will overwhelm all the living!
   Anu reluctantly gives in, and the Bull of Heaven is sent down into Uruk. Each time the bull breathes, its breath is so powerful that enormous abysses are opened up in the earth and hundreds of people fall through to their deaths. Working together again, Gilgamesh and Enkidu slay the mighty bull. Ishtar is enraged, but Enkidu begins to insult her, saying that she is next, that he and Gilgamesh will kill her next, and he rips one of the thighs off the bull and hurls it into her face.

Tablet 7

   Enkidu falls ill after having a set of ominous dreams; he finds out from the priests that he has been singled out for vengeance by the gods. The Chief Gods have met and have decided that someone should be punished for the killing of Humbaba and the killing of the Bull of Heaven, so of the two heroes, they decide Enkidu should pay the penalty. Enraged at the injustice of the decision, Enkidu curses the great Cedar Gate built from the wood of the Cedar Forest, and he curses the temple harlot, Shamhat, and the trapper, for introducing him to civilization. Shamhash reminds him that, even though his life has been short, he has enjoyed the fruits of civilization and known great happiness. Enkidu then blesses the harlot and the trapper. In a dream, a great demon comes to take Enkidu and drags him to Hell, a House of Dust where all the dead end up; as he is dying, he describes Hell:
The house where the dead dwell in total darkness,
Where they drink dirt and eat stone,
Where they wear feathers like birds,
Where no light ever invades their everlasting darkness,
Where the door and the lock of Hell is coated with thick dust.
When I entered the House of Dust,
On every side the crowns of kings were heaped,
On every side the voices of the kings who wore those crowns,
Who now only served food to the gods Anu and Enlil,
Candy, meat, and water poured from skins.
I saw sitting in this House of Dust a priest and a servant,
I also saw a priest of purification and a priest of ecstasy,
I saw all the priests of the great gods.
There sat Etana and Sumukan,
There sat Ereshkigal, the queen of Hell,
Beletseri, the scribe of Hell, sitting before her.
Beletseri held a tablet and read it to Ereshkigal.
She slowly raised her head when she noticed me
She pointed at me:
"Who has sent this man?"
   Enkidu commends himself to Gilgamesh, and after suffering terribly for twelve days, he finally dies.

Tablet 8

   Gilgamesh is torn apart by the death of his friend, and utters a long lament, ordering all of creation to never fall silent in mourning his dead friend. Most of this tablet is missing, but the second half seems to be a description of the monument he builds for Enkidu.

Tablet 9

   Gilgamesh allows his life to fall apart; he does not bathe, does not shave, does not take care of himself, not so much out of grief for his friend, but because he now realizes that he too must die and the thought sends him into a panic. He decides that he can't live unless granted eternal life; he decides to undertake the most perilous journey of all: the journey to Utnapishtim and his wife, the only mortals on whom the gods had granted eternal life. Utnapishtim is the Far-Away, living at the mouth of all rivers, at the ends of the world. Utnapishtim was the great king of the world before the Flood and, with his wife, was the only mortal preserved by the gods during the Flood. After an ominous dream, Gilgamesh sets out. He arrives at Mount Mashu, which guards the rising and the setting of the sun, and encounters two large scorpions who guard the way past Mount Mashu. They try to convince him that his journey is futile and fraught with danger, but still they allow him to pass. Past Mount Mashu is the land of Night, where no light ever appears. Gilgamesh journeys eleven leagues before the light begins to glimmer, after twelve leagues he has emerged into day. He enters into a brilliant garden of gems, where every tree bears precious stones.

Tablet 10

   Gilgamesh comes to a tavern by the ocean shore; the tavern is kept by Siduri. Frightened by Gilgamesh's ragged appearance, Siduri locks the tavern door and refuses to let Gilgamesh in. Gilgamesh proves his identity and asks Siduri how to find Utnapishtim. Like the giant scorpions, she tells him that his journey is futile and fraught with dangers. However, she directs him to Urshanabi, the ferryman, who works for Utnapishtim. Gilgamesh approaches Urshanabi with great arrogance and violence and in the process destroys the "stone things" that are somehow critical for the journey to Utnapishtim. When Gilgamesh demands to be taken to Utnapishtim, the ferryman tells him that it is now impossible, since the "stone things" have been destroyed. Nevertheless, he advises Gilgamesh to cut several trees down to serve as punting poles; the waters they are to cross are the Waters of Death, should any mortal touch the waters, that man will instantly die. With the punting poles, Gilgamesh can push the boat and never touch the dangerous waters.

   After a long and dangerous journey, Gilgamesh arrives at a shore and encounters another man. He tells this man that he is looking for Utnapishtim and the secret of eternal life; the old man advises Gilgamesh that death is a necessary fact because of the will of the gods; all human effort is only temporary, not permanent.

Tablet 11

   At this point, Gilgamesh realizes that he is talking to Utnapishtim, the Far-Away; he hadn't expected an immortal human to be ordinary and aged. He asks Utnapishtim how he received immortality, and Utnapishtim tells him the great secret hidden from humans:    In the time before the Flood, there was a city, Shuruppak, on the banks of the Euphrates. There, the counsel of the gods held a secret meeting; they all resolved to destroy the world in a great flood. All the gods were under oath not to reveal this secret to any living thing, but Ea (one of the gods that created humanity) came to Utnapishtim's house and told the secret to the walls of Utnapishtim's house, thus not technically violating his oath to the rest of the gods. He advised the walls of Utnapishtim's house to build a great boat, its length as great as its breadth, to cover the boat, and to bring all living things into the boat. Utnapishtim gets straight to work and finishes the great boat by the new year. Utnapishtim then loads the boat with gold, silver, and all the living things of the earth, and launches the boat. Ea orders him into the boat and commands him to close the door behind him. The black clouds arrive, with the thunder god Adad rumbling within them; the earth splits like an earthenware pot, and all the light turns to darkness. The Flood is so great that even the gods are frightened:
The gods shook like beaten dogs, hiding in the far corners of heaven,
Ishtar screamed and wailed:
"The days of old have turned to stone:
We have decided evil things in our Assembly!
Why did we decide those evil things in our Assembly?
Why did we decide to destroy our people?
We have only just now created our beloved humans;
We now destroy them in the sea!"
All the gods wept and wailed along with her,
All the gods sat trembling, and wept.
   The Flood lasts for seven days and seven nights, and finally light returns to the earth. Utnapishtim opens a window and the entire earth has been turned into a flat ocean; all humans have been turned to stone. Utnapishtim then falls to his knees and weeps.

   Utnapishtim's boat comes to rest on the top of Mount Nimush; the boat lodges firmly on the mountain peak just below the surface of the ocean and remains there for seven days. On the seventh day:

I [Utnapishtim] released a dove from the boat,
It flew off, but circled around and returned,
For it could find no perch.
I then released a swallow from the boat,
It flew off, but circled around and returned,
For it could find no perch.
I then released a raven from the boat,
It flew off, and the waters had receded:
It eats, it scratches the ground, but it does not circle around and return.
I then sent out all the living things in every direction and sacrificed a sheep on that very spot.
   The gods smell the odor of the sacrifice and begin to gather around Utnapishtim. Enlil, who had originally proposed to destroy all humans, then arrives, furious that one of the humans had survived, since they had agreed to wipe out all humans. He accuses Ea of treachery, but Ea convinces Enlil to be merciful. Enlil then seizes Utnapishtim and his wife and blesses them:
At one time Utnapishtim was mortal.
At this time let him be a god and immortal;
Let him live in the far away at the source of all the rivers.
   At the end of his story, Utnapishtim offers Gilgamesh a chance at immortality. If Gilgamesh can stay awake for six days and seven nights, he, too, will become immortal. Gilgamesh accepts these conditions and sits down on the shore; the instant he sits down he falls asleep. Utnapishtim tells his wife that all men are liars, that Gilgamesh will deny having fallen asleep, so he asks his wife to bake a loaf of bread every day and lay the loaf at Gilgamesh's feet. Gilgamesh sleeps without ever waking up for six days and seven nights, at which point Utnapishtim wakes him up. Startled, Gilgamesh says, "I only just dozed off for half a second here." Utnapishtim points out the loaves of bread, showing their states of decay from the most recent, fresh bread, to the oldest, moldy, stale bread that had been laid at his feet on the very first day. Gilgamesh is distraught:
O woe! What do I do now, where do I go now?
Death has devoured my body,
Death dwells in my body,
Wherever I go, wherever I look, there stands Death!
   Utnapishtim's wife convinces the old man to have mercy on him; he offers Gilgamesh in place of immortality a secret plant that will make Gilgamesh young again. The plant is at the bottom of the ocean surrounding the Far-Away; Gilgamesh ties stones to his feet, sinks to the bottom, and plucks the magic plant. But he doesn't use it because he doesn't trust it; rather he decides to take it back to Uruk and test it out on an old man first, to make sure it works.

   Urshanabi takes him across the Waters of Death. Several leagues inland, Gilgamesh and Urshanabi stop to eat and sleep; while they're sleeping, a snake slithers up and eats the magic plant (which is why snakes shed their skin) and crawls away. Gilgamesh awakens to find the plant gone; he falls to his knees and weeps:

For whom have I labored? For whom have I journeyed?
For whom have I suffered?
I have gained absolutely nothing for myself,
I have only profited the snake, the ground lion!
   The tale ends with Gilgamesh, at the end of his journey standing before the gates of Uruk, inviting Urshanabi to look around and view the greatness of this city, its high walls, its masonwork, and here at the base of its gates, as the foundation of the city walls, a stone of lapis lazuli on which is carved Gilgamesh's account of his exploits.

Richard Hooker

Link to the above.

©1996, Richard Hooker


16 posted on 04/29/2003 7:02:48 AM PDT by dark_lord (The Statue of Liberty now holds a baseball bat and she's yelling 'You want a piece of me?')
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To: Constitution Day
Archaeologists in Iraq believe they may have found the lost tomb of King Gilgamesh..

This is only preliminary finding - furthur tests will prove that the place was an abandoned amusement park.

17 posted on 04/29/2003 7:03:49 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Soddom has left the bunker.)
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To: Constitution Day
Finding this tomb sounds like a job for Geraldo.
18 posted on 04/29/2003 7:05:23 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Constitution Day
Excellent post, thanks.
19 posted on 04/29/2003 7:09:50 AM PDT by blam
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To: Constitution Day
"Heinrich Schliemann discovered Troy."

The gold discovered at Troy is still the largest amount of gold ever excavated from an archaeological site. It was secretely taken to Germany by Schliemann and was known as Schliemann's gold. During WW2, the Russians took it to Moscow where it remains to this day.

20 posted on 04/29/2003 7:13:29 AM PDT by blam
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To: Constitution Day
Thanks for posting. I've always thought the epic of Gilgamesh was an excellent read, even today. Too bad more people aren't as familiar with it as we are Homer.

There was an episode of Star Trek (TNG) that had Pecard relating the story of Gilgamesh to an alien. I thought the juxtposition of the oldest known tale and the futuristic setting was pretty cool.

21 posted on 04/29/2003 7:19:35 AM PDT by zeugma (When you use microsoft products, you are feeding the beast.)
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To: blam
Thanks blam. I was pretty sure the Russians still had it.
Have you ever read the book that Schliemann wrote about the dig? (Troy and Its Remains)
22 posted on 04/29/2003 7:38:59 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: dark_lord
Gil was a hell of a guy.
23 posted on 04/29/2003 7:44:29 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Constitution Day
read later
24 posted on 04/29/2003 7:45:11 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Constitution Day
"Have you ever read the book that Schliemann wrote about the dig? (Troy and Its Remains)"

No, I haven't.

27 posted on 04/29/2003 8:00:56 AM PDT by blam
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To: Just mythoughts
The Rosetta stone is in a museum in London, though. They have many Babylonian exhibits. I was amazed at the antiquity relics in the London museums.
28 posted on 04/29/2003 8:08:50 AM PDT by Eva
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To: blam
It's been a while since I read it.
Very long, but engaging.

Schliemann's style is a bit breathless and over-dramatic... he was a very good self-promoter.

29 posted on 04/29/2003 8:11:36 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Nasty Little Clique™)
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To: Just mythoughts
Here's a question to consider...If Germany's been doing archaeological work in Iraq, did they take out of the country any of what they found? And if Saddamn did allow them to take anything out, will the German gov't now return any artifacts? After all, anything that has left Iraq in the last thirty or so years has not gone out with the permission of the Iraqi people. And why was Germany doing work that would allow Saddamn to plunder Iraq's history? Anything they may have unearthed was better off buried until Saddamn was gone.
30 posted on 04/29/2003 8:13:25 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: mewzilla
Good questions, have no clue.

Too much unknown yet to sort it all out.

31 posted on 04/29/2003 8:25:45 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Karl B
Thanks for the background information.
32 posted on 04/29/2003 8:46:39 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Nasty Little Clique™)
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To: dark_lord
Gilgamesh, as the king, claims the right to have sexual intercourse first with every new bride on the day of her wedding; as Enkidu enters the city, Gilgamesh is about to claim that right.

Randy ol' dude!

33 posted on 04/29/2003 9:37:20 AM PDT by Elsie (Don't believe every prophecy you read - ESPECIALLY *** ones)
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To: Elsie
Amrka: Bilgamesh tomb believed found
ZZC News Online ^ | Tuesday, 29 April, 7003 | ZZC staff


Bilgamesh tomb believed found

Archaeologists in Amrka believe they may have found the lost tomb of King Bilgamesh - the subject of one of the oldest books in history, the Epic of Bilgamesh, which dates back to the final days of the Amrkan Republic, which was largely destroyed in the days following his reign after his failure to maintain its defenses left it open to plague and invasion.

The Epic Of Bilgamesh - written by a Midwestern scholar 2,000 years after the birth of Christ - commemorated the life of a ruler of the city of Washngtn.

Now an expedition has discovered what is thought to be the entire city of Washngtn, including, where the Potomac once flowed, the last resting place of its famous King.

"I don't want to say definitely it was the grave of King Bilgamesh, but it looks very similar to that described in the epic," a scientist told ZZC World Service's Science in Action programme.

The ancient work The Epic of Bilgamesh goes as follows.

The account begins: Bilgamesh, two-thirds trailer trash and one-third human, is the greatest thing on earth and the strongest smelling human that ever existed; however, he is young and oppresses his people harshly. The people call out to the sky-god Ayu, the chief god of the city, to help them. In response, Ayu creates a wild man, Alkidu, out in the harsh and wild forests surrounding Bilgamesh's lands. This brute, Alkidu, has the strength of dozens of wild animals; he is to serve as the subhuman rival to the superhuman Bilgamesh.

A trapper's son, while checking on traps in the forest, discovers Alkidu running naked with the wild animals; he rushes to his father with the news. The father advises him to go into the city and take one of the temple harlots, Shamtip, with him to the forest; when she sees Alkidu, she is to offer herself sexually to the wild man. If he submits to her, the trapper says, he will lose his strength and his wildness.

Shamtip meets Alkidu at the watering-hole where all the wild party animals gather; she offers herself to him and he submits, instantly losing his strength and wildness, but he gains an illusion of understanding and knowledge. He laments for his lost state, but the harlot offers to take him into the city where all the joys of civilization shine in their resplendence; she offers to show him Bilgamesh, the only man worthy of Alkidu's friendship.

Bilgamesh meanwhile has two dreams; in the first a meteorite falls to earth which is so great that Bilgamesh can neither lift it nor turn it. The people gather and celebrate around the meteorite, and Bilgamesh embraces it as he would a wife, but his mother, the goddess Misus-Bilsmom, forces him to compete with the meteorite. In the second, Bilgamesh dreams that an axe appears at his door, so great that he can neither lift it nor turn it. The people gather and celebrate around the axe, and Bilgamesh embraces it as he would a wife, but his mother, again, forces him to compete with the axe. Bilgamesh asks his mother what these dreams might mean; she tells him a man of great windbaggedness will come into Washgtn. Bilgamesh will embrace this man as he would a wife, which will surprise nobody, and this man will help Bilgamesh perform great deeds.

Tablet 2

Alkidu is gradually introduced to civilization by living for a time with a group of namvets, who teach him how to tend flocks, how to eat, how to speak properly, and how to wear clothes. Alkidu then enters the city of Washgtn during a great celebration. Bilgamesh, as the king, claims the right to have sexual intercourse first with every new palace staffer on the day of her employment; as Alkidu enters the city, Bilgamesh is about to claim that right. Infuriated at this abuse, Alkidu stands in front of the door of the round-shaped chamber and blocks Bilgamesh's way. They fight furiously until Bilgamesh wins the upper hand; Alkidu concedes Bilgamesh's superiority and the two embrace and become devoted friends.
Both Alkidu and Bilgamesh gradually weaken and grow lazy living in the city, so Bilgamesh proposes a great adventure: they are to journey to the great Cedar Pointe in northern Ohio and cut down all the mightiest cedar tree in the forest with a herring. To do this, they will need to kill the Guardian of the Cedar Pointe, the great demon, Newtgring the Terrible. Alkidu knows about Newtgring from his days running wild in the forest; he tries in vain to convince Bilgamesh not to undertake this folly.

Tablet 3
[Most of tablet three doesn't exist]
The elders of the city protest Bilgamesh's endeavor, but agree reluctantly. They place the life of the king in the hands of Alkidu, whom they insist shall take the forward position in the battle with Newtgring. Bilgamesh's mother laments her son's fate in a prayer to the sun-god, Shamalamadingdong, asking that god why he put a restless heart in the breast of her son. Shamalamadingdong promises her that he will watch out for Bilgamesh's life. Nissan-datsun, too, commands Alkidu to guard the life of the king and to take the forward position in the battle with Newtgring. In panic, Alkidu again tries to convince Bilgamesh not to undertake this journey, but Bilgamesh is confident of success.

Tablet 4
Tablet four tells the story of the journey to the Cedar Pointe. On each day of the six day journey, Bilgamesh prays to Shamalamadingdong; in response to these prayers, Shamalamadingdong sends Bilgamesh oral dreams during the night. These dreams are all ominous: The first is not preserved. In the second, Bilgamesh dreams that he generates great bull that splits the kingdom with his words. Alkidu interprets the dream for Bilgamesh; the dream means that the bull will protect Bilgamesh. In the third, Bilgamesh dreams:

The skies roared with thunder and the earth heaved,
Then came darkness and a stillness like death.
Lightning smashed the ground and fires blazed out;
Death flooded from the skies.
When the heat died and the fires went out,
The planes had turned to ash.

Alkidu's interpretation is missing here, but like the other dreams, it is assumed he puts a positive spin on the dream, and that Bilgamesh’s failure to hunt the true enemy of the city, Slamabenplotin, will have no long term negative economic impact. The fourth dream is missing, but Alkidu again tells Bilgamesh that the dream portends success in the upcoming battle. The fifth dream is also missing.
At the entrance to the Cedar Pointe, Bilgamesh begins to quake with fear; he prays to Shamalamadingdong, reminding him that he had promised Misus-Bilsmom that he would be safe. Shamalamadingdong calls down from heaven, ordering him to enter the forest because Newtgring is not wearing all his armor. The demon Newtgring wears seven coats of armor, but now he is only wearing one so he is particularly vulnerable. Alkidu loses his courage and turns back; Bilgamesh falls on him and they have a great fight. Hearing the crash of their fighting, Newtgring comes stalking out of the Cedar Pointe to challenge the intruders. A large part of the tablet is missing here. On the one part of the tablet still remaining, Bilgamesh convinces Alkidu that they should stand to gether against the demon.

Tablet 5
Bilgamesh and Alkidu enter the gloriously beautiful Cedar Pointe and begin to cut down the tree using a salted fish for the purpose. Hearing a squishing sound, Newtgring comes roaring up to them and warns them off. Alkidu shouts at Newtgring that the two of them are much stronger than the demon, but Newtgring, who knows Bilgamesh is a king, taunts the king for taking orders from a nobody like Alkidu. Turning his face into a hideous mask, Newtgring begins to threaten the pair, and Bilgamesh runs and hides. Alkidu shouts at Bilgamesh, inspiring him with courage, and Bilgamesh appears from hiding and the two begin their epic battle with Newtgring. Shamalamadingdong intrudes on the battle, helping the pair, and Newtgring is defeated. On his knees, with Bilgamesh's sword at his throat, Newtgring begs for his life and offers Bilgamesh all the trees in the forest without benefit of herring and his eternal servitude in exchange for them not publicizing Newtgring’s ongoing affair with his demonic aide. While Bilgamesh is thinking this over, Alkidu intervenes, telling Bilgamesh to kill Newtgring before any of the gods arrive and stop him from doing so. Should he kill Newtgring, he will achieve widespread fame for all the times to come. Bilgamesh, with a great sweep of his sword, removes Newtgring's head. But before he dies, Newtgring screams out a curse on Alkidu: "Of you two, may Alkidu not live the longer, may Alkidu not get any piece in this world!"

Bilgamesh and Alkidu cut down the Cedar Pointe and in particular the tallest of the cedar trees to make a great cedar gate for the city of Washgtn. They build a raft out of the cedar and float down the Potomac river to their city.

Tablet 6
After these events, Bilgamesh, his fame widespread and his frame resplendent in his wealthy clothes, attracts the sexual attention of the goddess Monlew, who comes to Bilgamesh with pizza. Bilgames tries to become her lover. She refuses with insults, listing all the mortal lovers that Bilgamesh has had and recounting the dire fates they all met with at his hands. Deeply insulted, Monlew returns to heaven and begs her father, the sky-god Ayu, to let her have the Bear of Wallstreet to wreak vengeance on Bilgamesh and his city:

Father, let me have the Bear of Wallstreet
To kill Bilgamesh and his city.
For if you do not grant me the Bear of Wallstreet,
I will pull down the Gates of Bill itself,
Crush the doorposts and flatten the door,
And I will let the dead leave
And let the dead roam the earth
And they shall eat the living.
The dead will overwhelm all the living!

Ayu reluctantly gives in, and the Bear of Wallstreet is sent down into Washgtn. Each time the bear breathes, its breath is so powerful that enormous abysses are opened up in the earth and hundreds of wealthy people fall through to their deaths. Working together again, Bilgamesh and Alkidu slay the mighty bear. Monlew is enraged, but Alkidu begins to insult her, saying that she is next, that he and Bilgamesh will kill her next, and he rips one of the thighs off the bear and hurls it into her face.

Tablet 7

Alkidu falls ill after having a set of ominous dreams; he finds out from the priests that he has been singled out for vengeance by the gods. The Chief Gods have met and have decided that someone should be punished for the killing of Newtgring and the killing of the Bear of Wallstreet, so of the two heroes, they decide Alkidu should pay the penalty. Enraged at the injustice of the decision, Alkidu curses the great Cedar Gate built from the wood of the Cedar Pointe, and he curses the temple harlot, Shamtip, and the trapper, for introducing him to civilization. Shamhash reminds him that, even though his political career has been short, he has enjoyed the fruits of civilization and known great happiness. Alkidu then blesses the harlot and the trapper. In a dream, a great demon comes to take Alkidu and drags him to Hell, a House of Dust where all the dead end up; as he is dying, he describes Hell:

The house where Republicans live in total darkness,
Where they drink dirt and eat stone,
Where they wear feathers like birds,
Where no light ever invades their everlasting darkness,
Where the door and the lock of Hell is coated with thick dust.
When I entered the House of Dust,
On every side the crowns of kings were heaped,
On every side the voices of the kings who wore those crowns,
Who now only served food to the gods Ayu and Whomi,
Candy, meat, and water poured from skins.
I saw sitting in this House of Dust a priest and a servant,
I also saw a priest of purification and a priest of ecstasy,
I saw all the priests of the great gods.
There sat Piaps, the queen of Hell,
Blumthlsid, the scribe of Hell, sitting before her.
Blumthlsid held a tablet and read it to Piaps.
She slowly raised her head when she noticed me
She pointed at me:
"Who has sent this man?"
Alkidu commends himself to Bilgamesh, and after suffering terribly for twelve days, he finally dies.

Tablet 8

Bilgamesh is torn apart not at all by the political defeat of his friend, and utters a short lament, but nevertheless ordering all of creation that remains under his control to never fall silent in mourning his politically dead friend. Most of this tablet is missing, but the second half seems to be a description of the monumental fool of himself that he made in the days that followed.

Tablet 9
Bilgamesh allows his life to fall apart; he does not bathe, does not shave, does not take care of himself, not so much out of grief for his friend, but because he now realizes that he too must die and the thought sends him into a panic. He decides that he can't live unless granted eternal life; he decides to undertake the most perilous journey of all: the journey to Shutupanddeal and his wife, the only mortals on whom the gods had granted eternal life. Shutupanddeal is the Far-Away, living at the mouth of all rivers, at the ends of the world. Shutupanddeal was the great king of the world before the Flood and, with his wife, was the only mortal preserved by the gods during the Flood. After an ominous dream, Bilgamesh sets out. He arrives at Mount Mashu, which guards the rising and the setting of the sun, and encounters two large scorpions who guard the way past Mount Mashu. They try to convince him that his journey is futile and fraught with danger, but still they allow him to pass. Past Mount Mashu is the land of Night, where no light ever appears. Bilgamesh journeys eleven leagues before the light begins to glimmer, after twelve leagues he has emerged into day. He enters into a brilliant garden of gems, where every tree bears precious stones.


Tablet 10
Bilgamesh comes to a tavern by the ocean shore; the tavern is kept by Siduri. Frightened by Bilgamesh's ragged appearance, Siduri locks the tavern door and refuses to let Bilgamesh in. Bilgamesh proves his identity and asks Siduri how to find Shutupanddeal. Like the giant scorpions, she tells him that his journey is futile and fraught with dangers. However, she directs him to Urshanabi, the ferryman, who works for Shutupanddeal. Bilgamesh approaches Urshanabi with great arrogance and violence and in the process destroys the "stone things" that are somehow critical for the journey to Shutupanddeal. When Bilgamesh demands to be taken to Shutupanddeal, the ferryman tells him that it is now impossible, since the "stone things" have been destroyed. Nevertheless, he advises Bilgamesh to cut several trees down to serve as punting poles; the waters they are to cross are the Waters of Death, should any mortal touch the waters, that man will instantly die. With the punting poles, Bilgamesh can push the boat and never touch the dangerous waters.
After a long and dangerous journey, Bilgamesh arrives at a shore and encounters another man. He tells this man that he is looking for Shutupanddeal and the secret of eternal life; the old man advises Bilgamesh that death is a necessary fact because of the will of the gods; all human effort is only temporary, not permanent.

Of course, if my boss catches me doing this at work, my firing will be permanent, not temporary, so I'd better click 'post' before it's too late....
34 posted on 04/29/2003 12:19:58 PM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones (longtime lurker finally comes up for air)
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To: Constitution Day
Thanks much for the ping. There seems to be slender evidence that this found building is a tomb, much less the tomb of Gilgamesh. All the same, I hope they are right.

Besides the eponymous epic, Gilgamesh is also mentioned in the Sumerian King List. There he is said to have ruled Uruk for 126 years.

The picture of the bronze head of the Akkadian king Sargon, which accompanies your post, was one of the things believed pilfered from the Baghdad Museum.

35 posted on 04/29/2003 6:13:38 PM PDT by Fifth Business
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To: Fifth Business
Thank you very much for your comments.
I haven't heard much about this find except for this posted article.

A picture of the bronze head of King Sargon is on the front of my copy of Ancient Iraq.

At the very least, I hope it's in the home of a wealthy collector.
That would be a far better fate than some of the other destroyed artifacts, and would make recovery possible... one day.

36 posted on 04/30/2003 5:11:09 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: zeugma
You're welcome.
I first read the Gilgamesh epic in college, which sparked my interest in the history & archaeology of this period.

I'm not a Star Trek fan, but that juxtaposition does sound like it would make for a great story line.

37 posted on 04/30/2003 5:13:27 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
You're too cute for your own good.
38 posted on 02/29/2004 5:45:07 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: Just mythoughts
Why are the Germans so interested in Iraq?

Duh. Didn't you see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? They're looking for the Ark of the Covenant so they can rule the world...

</ sarcasm>

39 posted on 02/29/2004 5:55:40 PM PST by Terabitten (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of All Who Threaten It)
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To: Tragically Single
lol

all they could come up with was the Isthar Gate on the old Babylon temple.
40 posted on 02/29/2004 5:58:26 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: justshutupandtakeit
Thank you. I think.

(Hey, *I* thought it was funny.....)
41 posted on 03/01/2004 5:14:10 PM PST by Ronly Bonly Jones (The more things change...)
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To: Constitution Day

bump


42 posted on 04/17/2005 8:40:24 AM PDT by csvset
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach
A Blast from the Past (2003).

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)

43 posted on 02/08/2006 10:32:29 AM PST by SunkenCiv (If you could read my mind, you'd know I dislike Gordon Lightfoot.)
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To: Elsie; All

It's good to be the king...


44 posted on 02/08/2006 10:35:40 AM PST by KevinDavis (http://www.cafepress.com/spacefuture)
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To: Constitution Day

A tad bit off topic:

Yesterday I heard an interview with a guy that on his 9th trip to the ME they have found the Ark of Noah in Iran, not in the mountains of Turkey (Ararat).

I wonder why all the sudden we are finding so much old stuff in the middle east.


45 posted on 02/08/2006 10:41:21 AM PST by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: Just mythoughts
What is the connection? Why Germany?

What!? After seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark you STILL don't know?? ;^)

46 posted on 02/08/2006 12:42:14 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Constitution Day; Cicero
Otherwise I guess we wouldn't have this tomb.
Excellent point!

We'd only have 2/3's of it!

47 posted on 02/08/2006 12:43:37 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: dark_lord
The people gather and celebrate around the meteorite...

Not much has changed, has it!



48 posted on 02/08/2006 12:47:47 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: zeugma
Too bad more people aren't as familiar with it as we are Homer.

UMmmm... doughnuts!

49 posted on 02/08/2006 12:48:46 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Constitution Day

I was hoping they found the tomb of the missing '12th' Iman and be done with that whack job in Iran.


50 posted on 02/08/2006 12:50:06 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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