20 New Lines Found For The Epic Of Gilgamesh

Posted: March 7, 2016 in History
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The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest narrative works known to man, dating back to as early as 2100BC and the Third Dynasty of Ur, in Mesopotamia.  It tells the story of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, who became his friend.

The Epic was rediscovered in 1853, in he palace library of Ashurbanipal, a 7th century BC king of Assyria, though there are still missing fragments of the tale.

The recent invasion of Iraq, and the looting that followed, saw a cuneiform clay tablet turn up for sale at the Sulaymaniah Museum in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where it was purchased for $800.  The tablet was a fragment of Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh and contained 20 lines never seen before of the Epic.

It is cool to think that even after all this time we can discover new storied from the past and that there might be more out there, hidden under sands or lost in jungles, as long as they aren’t destroyed first.


  1. It is not just amazing that they found the verses, but that the verses change the accepted view of the attack on Humbaba completely and add an entirely new message to it. In a way it is a great example of how a second-hand overview, (what we had) is never the same as reading the actual work, which we now have. I wonder what else they could find?

  2. qorvus says:

    That just 20 lines could change the context so much is amazing. If they could one day find a complete copy. who knows what more it could reveal.

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