The 18th century BC epic of Gilgamesh has had its chapters reordered and been added to with the discovery of 20 new lines of text. The tablet which clarifies the order of the chapters and provides the new text was purchased for $800 by The Slemani Museum in 2011 from an antiquities smuggler along with 80-90 other tablets. Since the invasion of Iraq the museum has bought antiquities, no questions asked, rather than allowing their sale on the blackmarket.

The tablet adds new verses to the story of how Gilgamesh and Enkidu slew the forest demigod Humbaba. Listen to the new text below.

Read the academic article about the find here

Feature image: “Tablet V of the Epic of Gligamesh. Newly discovered. The Sulaymaniyah Museum, Iraq.” by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons