Epic of Ziusudra is a Creation, Flood myth originating from the Sumerian belief system. The oldest attested artifact in our index that contains this myth was likely created around 1699 BCE. The main deity depicted in this myth is likely Ziusudra. Others include An, Enki, Enlil, Inanna, and Utu.
In a nutshell
The Sumerian deities An, Enlil, and Enki created the "black headed people," the animals, and assigned the cities among the deities. Eridug was given to Nudimmud, the leader. Ziusudra, a Sumerian king, is told that a flood will sweep over the land: "A decision that the seed of mankind is to be destroyed has been made." This was announced by An and Enlil. A huge boat is constructed and it withstands the rain and wind for seven days and seven nights. When the chaos ended, Utu, the sun deity, showed himself and entered the boat, whereby Ziusudra sacrified oxen and offered sheep to him. As the animals disembarked off of Ziusudra's boat, An and Enlil treated Ziusudra kindly and granted him eternal life in "the land Dilmun" because he preserved the seed of mankind.
"The flood story" (ETCSL 1.7.4) provides a partial English translation of a Sumerian creation and flood myth. The main actor is Zi-ud-sura. It is contained in five segments (A-E) of heavily broken text that has many missing lines.
The attested date for the myth named 'Epic of Ziusudra' is derived from the oldest artifact we have: B10673. The creation date for this artifact is a range because the exact date is unknown. We derived this from the source(s) listed below:
Black, Jeremy, et al., eds. "ETCSLtranslation : t.1.7.4 : The Flood Story." ETCSL: The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature. The University of Oxford. http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t.1.7.4#. Accessed June 11, 2020.
Black, Jeremy, Graham Cunningham, Jarle Ebeling, Esther Flückiger-Hawker, et al., eds. ETCSL: The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature. Oxford, UK: The University of Oxford. http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk. Accessed June 11, 2020.
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