Sunday, October 11, 2015

NEW PART OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH RECENTLY FOUND

Researchers have discovered a new clay tablet that adds 20 previously unknown lines to the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'. The famous poem, which dates back to 2100 BC, tells the story of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, a man created by the gods to stop him from oppressing the people of Uruk

Researchers have discovered a new clay tablet that adds 20 previously unknown lines to the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'. It is 11cm (4.3 inches) high, 9.5cm (3.7 inchs) wide and 3cm (1.2 inches) thick. The new lines for the poem were discovered by accident when a history museum in Iraq made a deal with a smuggler. The new lines from the poem were discovered by accident when a history museum in Iraq made a deal with a smuggler to purchase a set of 80 to 90 clay tablets.
The Sulaymaniyah Museum in Slemani had been involved engaging in these dealings as a way to regain valuable artifacts following the Iraq War, according to Ancient History Et Cetera.

Farouk Al-Rawi, a professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London was the first to spot the tablet. After realizing its significant, he purchased the block of clay, which featured cuneiform writing, for $800 (£530). This relief shows Gilgamesh and Enkidu in their fight with Humbaba.After an initial fight, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become close friends. Together, they journey to the Cedar Mountain and defeat Humbaba, its guardian. Later they kill the Bull of Heaven, which the goddess Ishtar sends to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. As a punishment for these actions, the gods sentence Enkidu to death. It was discovered in Syria in 1944.

The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the 'Old Babylonian' version, dates to the 18th century BC.
It is titled after its incipit, Shūtur eli sharrī ('Surpassing All Other Kings') and only a few tablets of it have survived. The later 'Standard' version dates from the 13th to the 10th centuries BC and bears the incipit Sha naqba īmuru ('He who Sees the Unknown'). Around two thirds of this longer, twelve-tablet version have been recovered.

The new section provides a more detailed description of the 'forest for the gods' in the Cedar Mountains which is part of the fifth tablet. Humbaba views the noise of the jungle as a form of entertainment, in a very vivid and rare description of the surroundings, George added. 'The new tablet continues where other sources break off, and we learn that the Cedar Forest is no place of serene and quiet glades. It is full of noisy birds and cicadas, and monkeys scream and yell in the trees,' George told Live Science. The chatter of monkeys, chorus of cicada, and squawking of many kinds of birds formed a symphony (or cacophony) that daily entertained the forest's guardian, Ḫumbaba,' wrote Al-Rawi.'The passage gives a context for the simile 'like musicians' that occurs in very broken context in the Hittite version's description of Gilgamešh and Enkidu's arrival at the Cedar Forest.

'Ḫumbaba emerges not as a barbarian ogre and but as a foreign ruler entertained with music at court in the manner of Babylonian kings, but music of a more exotic kind, played by a band of equally exotic musicians.'
The Sulaymaniyah Museum says the clay artefact could date as far back to the old-Babylonian period (2003-1595 B.C.), according to the Sulaymaniyah Museum. But the researchers who recognized the significance of the tablet say it is likely to have been younger, inscribed somewhere between 626-539 B.C.


Read more and see illustrations: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3260940/The-Epic-Gilgamesh-revised-2-600-year-old-clay-tablet-adds-new-chapter-one-great-works-literature.html#ixzz3oH2KNFNn
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