Tablet Inscribed in Akkadian with a Fragment of the Babylonian Flood Story of Epic of Athrasis
Mesopotamia, First Dynasty of Babylon, reign of King Ammi-saduqa(ca. 1646–1626 B.C.)ClayMLC 1889
The precious fragment is the earliest known Akkadian version of the familiar Noaj motif. The epic begins with the creation of man when "great indeed was the drudgery of God." So the gods created man but soon tired of him and decided to destroy all of mankind. The god Enki(Ea) tells Atrahasis of the impending flood and instructs him to build an ark. With over 1,200 lines, the story filled three tablets. The Morgan fragment, from the second tablet, or chapter, preserves a unique colophon, stating the work's title—"When Gods Were Men"—as well as the name of the scribe and the place and date upon which he copied it.
(The god) Enki made his voice heard... Dismantle the house, build a boat Reject possessions, and save living things. The boat that you build... Make upper and lower decks. The tackle must be very strong, The bitumen strong, to give it strength I will make rain fall on you here. The Flood roared like a bull, Like a wild ass screaming the winds The darkness was total, there was no sun... For seven days and seven nights The torrent, storm and flood came on...