Mount Nisir

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Mount Nisir (also spelled Mount Niṣir, and also called Mount Nimush), mentioned in the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, is supposedly the mountain known today as Pir Omar Gudrun (elevation 9000 ft. (approx. 2743 m)), near the city Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan. The name may mean "Mount of Salvation".[1]

According to the Epic of Gilgamesh, Mt. Nisir is the resting place of the ship built by Utnapishtim. Despite the precise descriptions in the Epic of Gilgamesh, those curious have never attempted to search for the remains of the giant ship on Mt. Nisir.[2]

An alternative translation of "Mount Nisir" in the Epic of Gilgamesh XI,141a is based on the ambiguous words: "KUR-ú KUR ni-sir held tight the boat."[3] The Sumerian word KUR can mean land or country or hill, but not mountain. In Akkadian, KUR with the phonetic complement -ú is read as shadû which can mean hill or mountain. The second KUR is a determinative indicating that nisir is the name of a hill or land or country (or in Akkadian a mountain). But Thompson [4] read this determinative as matu, an Akkadian word for country. The country Nisir may have got its name from nisirtu which means a locality that is hidden, inaccessible, or secluded. Hence the boat may have grounded on an inaccessible hill.[5]


  1. ^ Scolnic, Benjamin Edidin (2005). If the Egyptians Drowned in the Red Sea where are Pharaoh's Chariots?: Exploring the Historical Dimension of the Bible. UP of America. p. 40. ISBN 9780761831471.
  2. ^ Werner Keller, The Bible As History: A Confirmation of the Book of Books, trans. William Neil (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1956) 39. From Chapter 4, entitled "A Flood Story From Old Babylonia."
  3. ^ Robert M. Best, Noah's Ark and the Ziusudra Epic, page 277, Eisenbrauns, 1999, ISBN 0-9667840-1-4.
  4. ^ R. Campbell Thompson, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Clarendon Press, 1930, page 63, lines 140–141
  5. ^ R. M. Best, page 277.

Coordinates: 35°30′00″N 45°25′00″E / 35.5000°N 45.4167°E / 35.5000; 45.4167