Creation Myth Friday – Sumerian

The Eridu Genesis tablet

The Eridu Genesis tablet

The tablet containing the Sumerian creation story was found at Nippur and dates back to 1600 BC, which was during the Babylonian dynasty. The tablet is commonly known as the Eridu Genesis.

The tablet is missing many chapters, apart from the creation, the building of cities, and the flood.

In the beginning there was only the primordial sea, Nammu, who created Anki, the universe. Together they created Enlil, the air who pushed Namu and Anki apart. The earth was known as Ki, and later became Enki, god of water and vegetation.

The rivers and the animals were created. One evening the gods were having a banquet with too much wine involved and the created humans out of clay. Unfortunately the lack of interest in creating this race resulted in them being weak mentally and physically, so the gods decided to destroy the human race by a great flood.

Only two people were credited with survival, Ziusudra and his wife. They created a massive ark (this story is starting to sound familiar), and Enki destroyed the earth over-flowing the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

Finally the flood dried up, and Ziusudra and his wife created a strong and prosperous race of humans.

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6 thoughts on “Creation Myth Friday – Sumerian

  1. As you have summarized it here this creation story has several things in common with the Judeo-Christian creation story… But it has a lot different too. What is in common here is:
    The Earth and things on the earth were created by a god or gods.
    God or Gods created man from clay.
    God or Gods decided to wipe man out — by a flood
    Mankind is saved with an ark.

    People try to use the dates of the earliest known written accounts to decide which story came first or who copied from who… I don’t see how that can be done… We can’t account for some missing older written version… or for the mainline story being carried verbally longer than a branch…

    Some say the fact that so many cultures have a flood story — and they are similar– means that a flood actually happened… But humans have common imagination… for example dreams of flying, dreams of the moon falling are common — no one is taught them, imaginations come up with them.

    And along those lines — the commonality of the creations stories may be explained the same way — parallel invention, and re-invention.

    And of course the story may be true — but that is a faith thing.

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    • Like many cultures there is more than one creation myth, this is merely one of them. I researched Zecharia Sitchen as suggested, and although his views are interesting, I try to steer away from any terrestrial theories. But thank you for your input.

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  2. Pingback: The Sumerian King List - BaedonWebz

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