The most controversial ancient Sumerian text reveals the list of eight ancient kings that are also known as gods, who descended from the sky and ruled for over two hundred thousand years. According to the text, before the Great Flood, a group of 8 intelligent beings ruled over Mesopotamia for a period of 241,200 years.
The Sumerians were one of the ancient advanced civilizations that lived around 7000 years ago in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which later became Babylonia and is now in Iraq and Syria. Many artifacts have been recovered from the ancient site of Sumerians in Iraq, but the most intriguing was the manuscript that recorded the listing of Sumer kings and their reign lengths.
The clay tablet of this unique text is 4,000-year-old and was found by German-American scholar Hermann Hilprecht at the beginning of the 20th century. Hilprecht found at least 18 such cuneiform tablets (c. 2017-1794 BCE). They were not identical but they shared the information that is believed to have been taken from a single source of Sumerian history. There are more than a dozen of copies of Sumerian King List found in Babylon, Susa, and Assyria, and the Royal Library of Nineveh from the 7th century BC.
The list composed in the Sumerian language consists of the names of numerous generation kings who ruled ancient Mesopotamia and also shared the details of their supposed length and location of kingship. Along with the list, the text also included the events of the Great flood, traditions, tales of Gilgamesh, and stories of antediluvian rulers.
The Sumerian List before the flood: “After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridug fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira.
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In Bad-tibira, En-men-luana ruled for 43200 years. En-men-gal-ana ruled for 28800 years. Dumuzid, the shepherd, ruled for 36000 years. 3 kings; they ruled for 108000 years. Then Bad-tibira fell and the kingship was taken to Larag.
In Larag, En-sipad-zid-ana ruled for 28800 years. 1 king; he ruled for 28800 years. Then Larag fell and the kingship was taken to Zimbir. In Zimbir, En-men-dur-ana became king; he ruled for 21000 years. 1 king; he ruled for 21000 years. Then Zimbir fell and the kingship was taken to Shuruppag. In Shuruppag, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 18600 years. 1 king; he ruled for 18600 years. In total 5 cities 8 kings, they ruled for 241200 years. Then the flood swept over.”
How could the 8 kings rule the Earth for 241,200 years? There was a great discussion on the long tenure of the early kings. The list mentioned some mythical and legendary figures such as Etana, Lugal-banda, and Gilgamesh who reigned for an implausible period of time. Some believed that they were indeed gods who had a longer life span than earthly beings. There is also a list of the rules and their kingship after the flood.
For many years people believed that the history of 8 Sumerian kings and their implausible kingship, the Great Flood, and their replacement with another set of kings after the flood were just Sumerians’ interpretation of mythological stories. At the same time, some researchers and authors dismissed this theory and suggested that the list cannot be a myth. They started recognizing some of the kings mentioned in the list.
Interestingly, some scholars found striking similarities between the Sumerian King List and the Book of Genesis. For example, likewise, the list discussed the 8 kings that ruled for generations, before the flood there is also mentioned about eight generations that existed between Adam and Noah before the great destruction. And then after the flood, the longevity decreased.
The Sumerian List mystery still baffles historians as it shares some perplexing facts that relate to the actual events. What if the list tells us the correct information and the heavenly gods really lived and ruled for such a long period of time? What if they possessed the technology to increase life expectancy and became immortal?