Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Epic of Gilgamesh


Epic of Gilgamesh – Surprised Update

One of the oldest chronicles in the world, the Epic of Gilgamesh has recently got a surprised update when the Sulaymaniyah Museum in the Kurdistan region of Iraq reported that it had discovered 20 new line of the Babylonian Era poem of mortals, gods and monsters. Since the poem had prevailed in fragments from the 18th century BC, there has constantly been the likelihood of more turning up.

However the one which we seem to be familiar with was in 1853 in Ninevehand does not differ much over recent times. The text seems to be equally fixed which is till the fall of Baghdad in 2003 and the forceful pillaging that followed generated in something new.

 It is reported that an Assyriologist at the University of London – ULC had discovered a stolen clay tablet with inscription of ancient cuneiform text which was recently obtained by a museum in Iraq, comprising of 20 earlier unknown lines to the epic story of Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh is the oldest known epic poem which is widely observed as the first great work of literature that was ever created. Though the precise origin of the tablet is not known, the style of the script as well as the circumstance of acquiring it has lead experts in believing that it was unearthed at Babylonian site and could date back as far as the Old Babylonian period.

Fascinating New Details – V Tablet

When the text seemed to be translated by a professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East at UCL, Farouk Al-Rawi, together with the help of Andrew George, associate dean of languages and culture at UCL, they discovered that it comprised of fascinating new details to the fifth tablet in the Epic of Gilgamesh. This discovery provided new information with regards to Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk and Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods to freed Gilgamesh of his haughtiness, while they are travelling to the Cedar Forest, the home of the gods, in order to defeat Humbaba, the monstrous giant.

The Cedar Forest is the magnificent dominion of the gods of Mesopotamian mythology which is described in Tablets 4 – 6 of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The forest which is guarded by the demigod Humbaba was presumed to be a quiet as well as a reflective space, but the new segment of Tablet 5 which was translated by Al-Rawi, provides a totally diverse perspective

Humbaba Not a Barbarian Ogre – A Foreign Ruler Entertained with Music

Al-Rawi and George writes in their paper `Back to the Cedar Forest: The Beginning and End of Tablet V of the Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, that more surprising was the revelation of the Cedar Forest which was in the Babylonian literary imagination, a dense jungle inhabited by unusual and noisy fauna.

The chatter of the monkeys, chorus of cicada and squawking of several types of birds created a symphony or cacophony which entertains the forest’s guardian, Humbaba, daily.Humbaba has emerged not as a barbarian ogre but as a foreign ruler entertained with music at court, like Babylonian kings but the music is of a more unusual type which is played by a band of equally unusual musicians.

According to Live Science, the tablet tends to measure 11 cm x 9.5 cm and was purchased in 2011 by Sulaymaniyah Museum in Slemani, Iraq.

 It was purchased from a known smuggler of Mesopotamian antiquities. Though such a move seems controversial and feed the black market with antiquities dealing, the museum debates that it is the only option of regaining some of the treasured artifacts that had been seized from historical sites in Iraq.

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