Talk:Sumerian creation myth

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Discussion relating to page creation Archive

Meaning of the name Zi-ud-sura[edit]

I removed the "translation" of the name Zi-ud-sura, because I coudn't find a reference for it anywhere. Feel free to put it back if a reliable source for it is found.

Sumerophile (talk) 23:02, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

--Aseriousassyriologist (talk) 09:25, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Creation of Sumerian people[edit]

Where does the text say that An, Enlil, Enki and Ninḫursaĝa create the Sumerians? It is said in segment A of ETCLS translation they "had fashioned the black-headed people", i.e. the black race of Africa for the purpose of using them as work force. The gods didn't even create anyone of anything. 62.33.188.17 (talk) 19:22, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the Sumerians referred to themselves as the black-headed people. It has nothing to do with black Africans. And no, they did CREATE out of CLAY, other Sumerian records confirm the ability for gods to create humans out of clay. NJMauthor (talk) 19:02, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I wish the article actually told the story of creation, especially if there is a part where it mentions being made out of CLAY. After all, that's what the title indicates the article will be about, the story of creation. Misty MH (talk) 10:03, 23 August 2012 (UTC)


Misty - here is an excerpt from the myth, "Enki & Ninmah" which mentions the information you wish to see. It is sourced from the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (University of Oxford). Please note that some of the original Cuneiform text is missing and this reflects here in the translation. The two ensuing paragraphs, below, are the second and third paragraphs of the (Enki & Ninmah) myth, respectively -


"At that time, the one of great wisdom, the creator of all the senior gods, Enki lay on his bed, not waking up from his sleep, in the deep engur, in the subterranean water, the place the inside of which no other god knows. The gods said, weeping: "He is the cause of the lamenting!" Namma, the primeval mother who gave birth to the senior gods, took the tears of the gods to the one who lay sleeping, to the one who did not wake up from his bed, to her son: "Are you really lying there asleep, and …… not awake? The gods, your creatures, are smashing their ……. My son, wake up from your bed! Please apply the skill deriving from your wisdom and create a substitute (?) for the gods so that they can be freed from their toil!"

"At the word of his mother Namma, Enki rose up from his bed. In Ḫal-an-kug, his room for pondering, he slapped his thigh in annoyance. The wise and intelligent one, the prudent, …… of skills, the fashioner of the design of everything brought to life birth-goddesses (?). Enki reached out his arm over them and turned his attention to them. And after Enki, the fashioner of designs by himself, had pondered the matter, he said to his mother Namma: "My mother, the creature you planned will really come into existence. Impose on him the work of carrying baskets. You should knead clay from the top of the abzu; the birth-goddesses (?) will nip off the clay and you shall bring the form into existence. Let Ninmaḫ act as your assistant; and let Ninimma, Šu-zi-ana, Ninmada, Ninbarag, Ninmug, …… and Ninguna stand by as you give birth. My mother, after you have decreed his fate, let Ninmaḫ impose on him the work of carrying baskets."

Thanks! Which editor provided this information? Misty MH (talk) 02:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Misty - Does my username not appear in the header for the contribution? Anyhow, I go by the username "Aseriousassyriologist.--Aseriousassyriologist (talk) 09:27, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Reverting questionable changes[edit]

I removed (reverted) a series of changes made a few days ago by an anonymous editor, as the summary offered bore no resemblance to the text (as linked at the bottom of the article). However, I do invite anyone who is more familiar with the topic to review the changes I have made. 69.59.120.202 (talk) 02:14, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Labeling of myth[edit]

So if this is labeled as a myth, we should change any page relating to the Bible to the Christian creation myth, as it is just as it is of the same nature.

I'm not aware of any controversy in literature over this being labelled a myth. A great deal of debate and controversy has been published over the years on whether the Bible meets the floating definition of "myth", but this actually isn't the page to propose anything for those affected wikiprojects. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:14, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Actual creation story?[edit]

Could someone with access to translations please include excerpts and/or rewordings of the actual creation story?

There isn't even any mention of the Annunaki in this article!

Thanks! Misty MH (talk) 06:52, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

The Sumerian creation myth is incomplete and we do not have the full account unfortunately - it is naturally hoped that it will be found someday! The Babylonian account is the most complete that we have from Mesopotamia.
The term "Anunnaki" itself cannot be found in the ETCSL in its English translation - it is noted in transliteral form.
The ETCSL transliteral terminology is "a-nun-na-ke-ne". This was translated into English as, "Annuna", Anunna, or "Anuna" in the ETCSL". The term, "Anunnaki" was first coined (I believe) by the late, Samuel Noah Kramer, although other Assyriologists and Sumerologists also use the terminology.
Thanks. Which editor provided this information? Misty MH (talk) 02:52, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Misty - as above, "Aseriousassyriologist".

I should point out whilst I am here that the term Anunna, Anuna or Annuna is descriptive to both Pantheons of Sumerian and Babylonian literature. The term translates to sky gods, heavenly gods etc and the term "ki" means "earth", not as in the planet itself from a celestial perspective, but the surface/soil etc. So, in effect we have the term Anunnaki which describes gods on the surface of the earth, or gods bound to earth. The latter translation is the one that is most commonly accepted in Assyriology, but both can be deemed appropriate as long as the general context of the meaning is not changed.--Aseriousassyriologist (talk) 09:26, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Comparisons of flood narratives and "myths"[edit]

I noticed that someone had deleted a reference to the "Biblical flood" without giving a reason, and was about to either undo or change it when I noticed that someone else had beat me to it. I then noticed that the "Biblical flood" link was going to a Noah's Ark article instead of to the Genesis flood narrative. So I just now changed the Undone version to that. (Maybe also including a link to the Noah's Ark article wouldn't hurt.) However, since I have not read the various myths and narratives in their entirety or compared the similarities and differences (or compared the articles, for that matter), I don't know whether the flood stories have "many similarities" or not. My change from Noah's Ark reference to the "Genesis flood narrative" is as follows:

Two flood myths with many similarities to the Sumerian story are the Utnapishtim episode in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Genesis flood narrative found in the Bible. The ancient Greeks also had a very similar flood legend.

If it is challenged that there are NOT many similarities with the Genesis flood narrative – again, I don't know – then the following would seem like an acceptable change:

A flood myth with many similarities to the Sumerian story is the Utnapishtim episode in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The ancient Greeks also had a very similar flood legend. And the Genesis flood narrative, found in the Bible, tells of a massive flood.

I thought I read a comparison of similarities and differences somewhere, maybe even on Wikipedia, but I didn't go looking for such, or check any of the article's internal or external links.

Cheers! Misty MH (talk) 02:51, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The parallels between the Utnapishtim story and the Noah story are even more than many - it's almost line for line. Have alook at the Genesis flood narrative article, the bibliography, and get some of the books there. The Genesis creation narrative article also has a good bibliography. If you're feeling energetic you could look into upgrading this article. PiCo (talk) 04:14, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Missing info[edit]

Who excavated this tablet? When? 71.163.114.49 (talk) 10:42, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

What tablet? Aseriousassyriologist (talk) 15:57, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Informal move discussion[edit]

I would like to propose that we move this article to Eridu Genesis or something else which identifies it more precisely. When scholars talk about "The Sumerian Creation myth" it seems to me that they are just as likely to be talking about a collation of the various Sumerian creation myths, or even about the presumed Sumerian precursor of the Enûma Eliš (see e.g. here) as they are about this specific text. The indefinite article is often used in the literature before the phrase "Sumerian creation myth," indicating that scholars assume the existence of more than one. As this is but one example of a Sumerian creation myth I think it prioritizes it over the other known myths, already listed in this article, to title it in a way that suggests that it's THE Sumerian creation myth. I'm absolutely not wedded to calling it Eridu Genesis, although that is a super common name in the literature. I would just like it to be called something more specific than it currently is. As this may be uncontroversial, I am proposing it informally first. Thanks for your consideration.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 13:53, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

A very good idea. This has bothered me at times but I never got around to suggesting a move. Dougweller (talk) 14:40, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I would support a move to Eridu Genesis. —Srnec (talk) 17:24, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
It seems reasonable to me ~Adjwilley (talk) 20:17, 25 April 2014 (UTC)