A hitherto unknown part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, unique texts from the first Sealand dynasty and the earliest record of the Atram-Hasis flood story

Volume III in the series Manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection - Cuneiform texts, has been published. Babylonian Tablets from the First Sealand Dynasty in The Schøyen Collection, by Stephanie Dalley, is now available, published by Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology (CUSAS) 9, Bethesda, Md.: CDL press, 2009.

A major gap in our knowledge of ancient Mesopotamia is filled by the archive of 474 tablets edited in this publication. The tablets are dated to about 1550-1450 BC and are from the Shamash Temple of the Sealand. Until now no texts attributed to the first Sealand dynasty were known. This new kingdom originated in the marshlands of the Tigris and Euphrates where these great rivers reached the sea, and expanded into the southern part of the crumbling Old Babylonian empire.

Volume IV in the same series has also been published. Babylonian Literary Texts in The Schøyen Collection by A. R. George, published by Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology (CUSAS) 10, Bethesda, Md.:CDL Press, 2009.

This volume includes several new hitherto unknown literary texts in the Old Babylonian language from about 18th century BC coming from Larsa and the Fort of Abieshuh. There is 'The Song of Bazi', about a hitherto unknown god (MS 2758), four new love poems, a library catalogue with the incipits of erotic poetry (MS 3391), and 'The Tribulations of Gimil-Marduk', a court case at Dur Abieshuh that took some 50 years to solve (MS 3209/1-3).

The studies in this volume also demonstrate that the great tablet of the Babylonian Flood story( MS 5108), is the earliest witness to any part of Atram-Hasis. A series of inscribed flakes (MS 3263) originally used as repair material for a mathematical tablet have also been revealed to be no less than a hitherto unknown part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and actually parts of a companion tablet to Gilgamesh Dreams 1 and 2 on his Journey to the Cedar forest (MS 3025), the world's first great epic literature.

"I am gratified that our collection has enabled scholars like Stephanie Dalley and A. R. George to make valuable contributions to our understanding of early world history," said Martin Schøyen founder of the Schøyen Collection.

"This is what motivates the collection," he added.

Note to Editors:

The Schøyen Collection crosses borders and unites cultures, religions and unique materials found nowhere else. The Collection, based in London and Oslo, contains over 20,000 significant manuscripts of major cultural importance and is an important part of the world’s heritage.

There is no public collection that has the Schøyen Collection’s unique array of manuscripts from all the greatest manuscript hoards, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Cairo Genizah of Hebrew MSS, The Oxyrhynchus hoard of classical papyri, The Dishna Biblical papyri, The Nag Hammadi Gnostic papyri, the Dunhuang hoard of Buddhist MSS, and many others. Nor is there one with such a variety, geographically, linguistically and textually, and of scripts and writing materials, covering so a great span of time — 5,000 years of history.

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