In the eleventh tablet of the Semitic Babylonian epic of Gilagamesh
is a flood story that is the source for the Noah story. The Gods
resolved to cleanse the earth of an overpopulated humanity, but
Utnapishtim was warned by the God Ea in a dream. He and some craftsmen
built a huge (seven decks encompassing one acre in area) ark.
Utnapishtim then loaded it with his family, the craftsmen, and
"the seed of all living creatures." The waters rose
up, and a storm continued for six days and six nights. The Gods
repented and wept upon seeing the global destruction of living
beings and stilled the flood on the seventh day. The waters covered
everything but the top of the mountain Nisur, where the boat landed.
A dove was loosed, but it returned, having found no place to rest.
A swallow was sent, but it too returned. Seven days later, after
having loosed a raven that did not return to the ark, the people
began to emerge. Utnapishtim made a sacrifice to the Gods. He
and his wife were given immortality and lived at the end of the