Mashu, as described in the Epic of Gilgamesh of Mesopotamian mythology, is a great cedar mountain through which the hero-king Gilgamesh passes via a tunnel on his journey to Dilmun after leaving the Cedar Forest, a forest of ten thousand leagues span. The corresponding location in reality has been the topic of speculation, as no confirming evidence has been found. Aaron Shaffer confirmed the reading of the mountain in Sumerian as "Kur Lib-na-nu" through collation of different sources of the Gilgamesh myth. Jeffrey H. Tigay also suggests that in the earlier Akkadian version it is "explicitly located in the north west, in or near Lebanon".
One theory is that the only location suitable for being called a "cedar land" was the great forest covering Lebanon and western parts of Syria and, in consequence, "Mashu" is the whole of the parallel Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges, with the narrow gap between these mountains constituting the tunnel. The word "Mashu" itself may translate as "two mountains", from the Babylonian for twins.
- P. T. H. Unwin; Tim Unwin (18 June 1996). Wine and the Vine: An Historical Geography of Viticulture and the Wine Trade. Psychology Press. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-0-415-14416-2. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- Jeffrey H. Tigay (November 2002). The evolution of the Gilgamesh epic. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-0-86516-546-5. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
Jennifer Westwood: Gilgamesh & Other Babylonian Tales, 1968, Coward-McCann, New York
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