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The great flood story

Is there a relationship between Utnapishtim, Ziusudra and Noah?

There is a relationship between Utnapishtim, Ziusudra, and Noah. These three figures are all associated with flood myths that have similarities in Mesopotamian and biblical traditions.

Utnapishtim is the hero of the Mesopotamian flood myth, which is recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh. According to the story, the gods decided to destroy humanity with a flood, but Utnapishtim was warned by the god Ea and built an ark to save himself, his family, and various animals. After the flood receded, Utnapishtim and his companions landed on a mountain and made sacrifices to the gods.

Ziusudra is another hero of a Mesopotamian flood myth, which is recorded in the Sumerian poem known as the Eridu Genesis. In this version of the flood story, Ziusudra is warned by the god Enki and also builds an ark to save himself, his family, and various animals. After the flood, Ziusudra makes sacrifices to the gods and is granted eternal life.

Noah is the hero of the biblical flood story, which is recorded in the Book of Genesis. According to the Bible, God decided to destroy humanity with a flood, but Noah was warned by God and built an ark to save himself, his family, and various animals. After the flood, Noah made sacrifices to God and was promised that humanity would never again be destroyed by a flood.


Ziusudra (also known as Ziusura or Zi-ud-sura) is a character from ancient Sumerian mythology and is considered by some to be the earliest known example of a flood hero. According to the Sumerian King List, Ziusudra was the last king of the city of Shuruppak before the Great Flood, which was sent by the gods as a punishment for the sins of humanity.

The story of Ziusudra and the Great Flood is similar to the story of Noah’s Ark in the Bible and other flood myths from around the world. In the Sumerian version, Ziusudra is warned by the god Enki of the impending flood and is instructed to build a large boat or ark to save himself, his family, and various animals.

After the flood subsides, Ziusudra and his companions offer sacrifices to the gods, and he is granted eternal life by the goddess Ninhursag as a reward for his obedience and piety. The story of Ziusudra is an important part of Sumerian mythology and has influenced later flood myths and legends in various cultures.

The story of Ziusudra is recounted in a Sumerian literary work known as the “Eridu Genesis,” which was written on clay tablets in cuneiform script around the 17th century BCE. The Eridu Genesis is considered one of the earliest known examples of a creation myth and flood narrative.

Here is an excerpt from the Eridu Genesis describing the flood and Ziusudra’s role in it:

“When the gods decided to send a flood, Enki, the god of water, warned Ziusudra in a dream to build a boat to save himself, his family, and the seed of all living creatures. Ziusudra followed the instructions of Enki and built the boat. (…) The flood began, and for seven days and seven nights, the storm raged, the flood waters rose, and all mankind was destroyed. (…) When the flood subsided, Ziusudra saw that he was alone and wept. He opened a window of the boat and saw the water receding. The boat came to rest on the top of a mountain, and Ziusudra released three birds to see if the water had receded enough. The third bird did not return, indicating that the waters had receded. Ziusudra then left the boat and offered a sacrifice to the gods. Enki granted him eternal life as a reward for his faith and obedience.”

Translation by Benjamin R. Foster

“When the gods decided to cause the Flood, Nintu [the goddess of childbirth] was weeping. Enki [the god of water and wisdom] said to her: ‘Nintu, stop weeping! For I myself will do something, and the people will be preserved in a wall.’ (…) Enki said to Zi-ud-sura: ‘O Zi-ud-sura, son of Ubara-Tutu, tear down the house and build a boat, abandon possessions and look for life, forsake worldly goods and preserve the soul alive! Aboard the boat take the seed of all living things.’ (…) In the evening, when the darkness set in, the storm and the flood broke loose. (…) The flood, which had struck terror into the hearts of men, had tossed the big boat about on the great waters like a reed. (…) The flood raged for seven days; it swept over the land for seven nights. When the Flood had swept over the land, and when the seventh day dawned, the storm and the flood ceased. (…) Zi-ud-sura looked out, he saw the expanse of the sea; he was silent, he sat down and wept. He surveyed the horizon, but there was no shoreline. (…) When the twelfth day dawned, the earth was visible. Zi-ud-sura then opened the hatch of the big boat, and the light fell upon his face. He knelt down, he sat down, he wept, tears flowed over his face. He looked in all directions; the sea was flat as a rooftop. He opened everything and saw land.”

The impact of a 10 km asteroid would blow a mass of vaporized rock and steam high above the atmosphere, forming an immense dust cloud that would slowly settle out through the atmosphere over a period of weeks, perhaps several months, perhaps several years. link

Last Glacial Maximum

For thousands of years the Ur-Shatt (a confluence of the TigrisEuphrates Rivers) provided fresh water to the Gulf, as it flowed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf of OmanBathymetric data suggests there were two palaeo-basins in the Persian Gulf. The central basin may have approached an area of 20,000 km2, comparable at its fullest extent to lakes such as Lake Malawi in Africa. Between 12,000 and 9,000 years ago much of the Gulf’s floor was not covered by water, only being flooded by the sea after 8,000 years ago.

The Last Glacial Maximum

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