Mythos 16 – Eridug and Bad-tibira

Prior to the flood caused by the Lord of Phantoms, the Sumerians believed the world had been ruled by a series of eight kings, seven of which had been guided by an Abgal,(1)Richard S. Hess, editor (1994) “I studied inscriptions from before the flood” Ancient Near Eastern, literary, and linguistic approaches to Genesis 1-11, Page 64 which were described as an amphibious merman sent to live with the early human beings,(2)Edizione universitarie (1999) Annali, Volume 59, Page 103 and teach them the arts of civilization such as writing, law, architecture, construction, and agriculture.(3)“Iconography of Deities and Demons in the Ancient Near East” University of Zurich The Abgal remained with human beings after teaching them the ways of civilization, and served as advisers to the kings.(4)Lindsay Jones, editor in chief (2005) Encyclopedia of Religion Volume 9, Second Edition, Page 5964 The first of the human kings was Alulim as recorded in the Sumerian King List:

After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28,800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36,000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64,800 years. Then Eridug fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira.

In Bad-tibira, Enmenluana ruled for 43,200 years. Enmengalana ruled for 28,800 years. Dumuzid, the shepherd, ruled for 36,000 years. 3 kings; they ruled for 108,000 years. Then Bad-tibira fell, and the kingship was taken to Larag.

In Larag, Ensipadzidana ruled for 28,800 years. 1 king; he ruled for 28,800 years. Then Larag fell, and the kingship was taken to Zimbir.

In Zimbir, Enmendurana became king; he ruled for 21,000 years. 1 king; he ruled for 21,000 years. Then Zimbir fell, and the kingship was taken to Curuppag.

In Curuppag, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 18,600 years. 1 king; he ruled for 18,600 years. In 5 cities 8 kings; they ruled for 241,200 years. Then the flood swept over.- Jona Lendering(5)Jona Lendering (2006) Sumerian King List
Artist's Impression of Eridu

Artist’s Impression of Eridu

Alulim’s name translates as Stag, and he ruled in the city of Eridug for 28,800 years. This isn’t something that seems possible, a human living for almost 30,000 years, and his heir Alaljar ruled for 36,000 years! This has led many to dismiss the story as fiction, however there are some that believe the King List represents dynasties or even civilizations, not actual kings. Either-way, the King List took place over the 241,200 years before the last glacial maximum, so comparing the King List to the geological record for the period should indicate if there is anything worthy of consideration.

When Eridug would have been founded around 261,500 years ago, the Earth was in an inter-glacial period known as the Hoxnian Inter-Glacial period,(6)A. A. McMillan (2005) “A provisional Quaternary and Neogene lithostratigraphic framework Great Britain” Netherland Journal of Geosciences, Volume 84, Number 2, Pages 87–107, also known as Mindel-Riss, Pre-Illinoian, or Holstein Inter-Glacial in different parts of the world. Eridug translates approximately as ‘guidance place‘ and was the name-sake of the Sumerian city of Eridu in southern Iraq.

A Map Showing the Maximum Glaciation During the Saalian (Wolstonian) Glacial Period in Europe

A Map Showing the Maximum Glaciation During the Saalian (Wolstonian) Glacial Period in Europe.

The Hoxnian Inter-Glacial period is believed to have ended around 200,000 years ago, at around the same time Eridug fell, and the Kingship was moved to Bad-tibira, circa 196,700 years ago according to the Sumerian King List. Bad-tibira translates as ‘Fortress of the Smiths,'(7)William W. Hallo and William Kelly Simpson (1971) The Ancient Near East: A History Page 32 and was where civilization moved to at the onset of the Wolstonian Glacial Period,(8)G. M. Richmond and D. S. Fullerton (1986) “Summation of Quaternary glaciations in the United States of America” Quaternary Science Reviews Volume 5 Pages 183–196 also known as Riss, Illinoian, Saalian, and Santa María Glacial Period in different pars of the world. It is odd that the Sumerians would have stated that the Place of Guidance would have fallen at approximately the same time as the onset of a glacial period they should not have known about. If this is a description of a real event, the Place of Guidance could have been built in the Arctic, and destroyed by glaciers.

References   [ + ]

1. Richard S. Hess, editor (1994) “I studied inscriptions from before the flood” Ancient Near Eastern, literary, and linguistic approaches to Genesis 1-11, Page 64
2. Edizione universitarie (1999) Annali, Volume 59, Page 103
3. “Iconography of Deities and Demons in the Ancient Near East” University of Zurich
4. Lindsay Jones, editor in chief (2005) Encyclopedia of Religion Volume 9, Second Edition, Page 5964
5. Jona Lendering (2006) Sumerian King List
6. A. A. McMillan (2005) “A provisional Quaternary and Neogene lithostratigraphic framework Great Britain” Netherland Journal of Geosciences, Volume 84, Number 2, Pages 87–107,
7. William W. Hallo and William Kelly Simpson (1971) The Ancient Near East: A History Page 32
8. G. M. Richmond and D. S. Fullerton (1986) “Summation of Quaternary glaciations in the United States of America” Quaternary Science Reviews Volume 5 Pages 183–196