Is that you Gilgamesh?

Saturday, 20 June 2020


This is aeal from the Sumerian city of Adab, dated to „after 2350 BCE“. Official interpretation is: „Gilgamesh, fighting a lion and a buffalo. Dragon, unrelated to the other figures in the scene, is depicted under the inscription: „Urdumu, Ensi (Governor) of Udnunki (Adab)“

The seal and the interpretation can be found in a great book called „The seal cylinders of western Asia“ published by William Hayes Ward in 1910.

This book, together with pile of other amazing books can be found on Abzu, a guide to networked open access data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East and the Ancient Mediterranean world.

Now I would like to offer alternative interpretation for the scene depicted on the seal of Urdumu, that will show that the dragon is very much related to the other figures in the scene…And that the whole thing has nothing really to do with Gilgamesh…

As I explained in my article „Symbols of the seasons„, Bull was in the past seen as the symbol of summer (May,Jun,Jul) and Lion was seen as the symbol of autumn (Aug,Sep,Oct). The other two symbols of the seasons being Ram (spring) and Goat (winter)

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