Cuneiform Vs. The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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Everyone is familiar with the art of oral storytelling, a form of communication that passes along cultural traditions, stories, and history, to another generation. Yet, this form of communication leaves the storyteller to determine what is valid, necessary, and relevant. However, the art of a written language allows linguistics to be shared, with greater accuracy. Cuneiform, is the earliest known expression of a written language, which originated in ancient Mesopotamia. Found among transcribed writings are epic tales and text, detailing historic significance. Yet, when looking at ancient writings, how does one determine the timing of the actual events, in relation to the recording of such happenings? In addition, who was this author, and…show more content…
The rediscovery of The Epic of Gilgamesh in the nineteenth century brought to light this long forgotten account. Originally written on 12 clay tablets in cuneiform script, these tablets are estimated between 2750 and 2500 BCE. In contrast, the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Qumran caves of the Judean Desert, located in Israel, which harbored one of the oldest known copies of Genesis, is dated between 100- 1 BCE. Literary scholars were astounded to discover that archeologists place the account of Gilgamesh as exceptionally older than the Book of Genesis from the Bible. Yet, a young curator for the British museum named George Smith showed the world the similarities between the flood in Gilgamesh and Moses’s incident in the Book of Genesis, were remarkable in their likeness’ of each other. The Epic of Gilgamesh details the adventures of the legendary king of Uruk, Gilgamesh, and his quest for immortality. Through Gilgamesh’s adventures to acquire eternal life, he learns of a great tale, which will involve the flooding of the earth. In an interpretation formulated by George Smith, the flood stories from The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Book of Genesis most certainly represent the same historical incident. It is through the excavations of an ancient Mesopotamian culture that society has revisited one of literature’s oldest discoveries, which depicts the greatest deluge of the

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