The Epic of Gilgamesh is, perhaps, the oldest written story on Earth. It comes to us from Ancient Sumeria, and was originally written on 12 clay tablets in cunieform script. It is about the adventures of the historical King of Uruk (somewhere between 2750 and 2500 BCE).
The translator chose to eliminate Tablet XII for personal reasons, with support from many literary, archaeological, and linguistic experts because it appears to be more of a sequel to the first 11 tablets, containing a story about Enkidu volunteering to retrieve some objects that Gilgamesh dropped into the Netherworld.
This translation is based on the standard Akkadian edition, but is filled in with excerpts from the Old Babylonian where necessary.
I have proofread this set of documents extensively, but should you find any typographical errors in it, please let me know.Tablet I
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©Academy of Ancient Textsfounded June 7 2001The Epic of Gilgamesh