Weld-Blundell Prism: The Sumerian King-List
(Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; number: AN1923.444)
What does the prism say about “the Flood”?
The “Flood Passage” on Face a
Interpretation of the above cuneiform symbols
The section on the Flood does not appear in all versions of the Sumerian King-List and probably had a different origin from the rest of the standard list.
The best known passage from the prism is shown here along with the translation by S N Kramer.
The idea of a universal flood in remote antiquity is widespread around the world in oral and written sources.
This might be accounted for by several independent origins or ultimately from a single source in the prehistory of Iraq.
This list gives the names of eight or more kings of the cities before “the Flood”.
“The Flood swept over [the land]. After the Flood had swept over [the land] and kingship had descended from heaven [for a second time], Kish became the seat of Kingship…”
The last of these was the father of Ziusura, the man chosen by the Sumerian god Enki to survive the Flood with his family.
This is the subject of other major works in Sumerian and Akkadian literature.
Why is it so famous beyond the world of scholars?
Why should “the Flood” theme be so central to Babylonian literature?