The Chaldean Account of Genesis
The story of Noah may be part of the Abrahamic canon, but the legend of the Great Flood almost certainly has prebiblical origins, rooted in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh dates back nearly 5,000 years and is thought to be perhaps the oldest written tale on the planet. In it, there is an account of the great sage Utnapishtim, who is warned of an imminent flood to be unleashed by wrathful gods. He builds a vast circular-shaped boat, reinforced with tar and pitch, that carries his relatives, grains, and animals. After enduring days of storms, Utnapishtim, like Noah in Genesis, releases a bird in search of dry land.
George Smith, a pioneering English Assyriologist, discovered a number of ancient tablets in the lands surrounding Nineveh, situated in what was previously the infamous civilization of Babylonia.
Written in the long-forgotten script of cuneiform, Smith was able to discover some remarkable finds upon their surfaces.
The Chaldean Account of Genesis explores these discoveries and explains how the tablets provide an alternative account to the accounts of the Jewish bible.
These tablets also throw remarkable light on the myths and legends of Babylon, from the epic of Gilgamesh to the adventures of Ishtar.
This work is a remarkable study that should be essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the stories of Old Testament as well as the ancient civilization of Babylon.
George Smith, was a pioneering English Assyriologist who first discovered and translated the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest-known written works of literature. His The Chaldean Account of Genesis was first published in 1876. Smith also passed away of dysentery that year during an expedition to excavate the rest of the Library of Ashurbanipal.