Gilgamesh flood myth


Photo By BabelStone (Own work), CC0

The Gilgamesh flood tablet XI carries another story besides the flood, it was included because in it the flood hero Utnapishtim; who’s granted immortality by the gods.

The hero challenges Gilgamesh to stay awake for six days and seven nights, but unfortunately for Gilgamesh he falls asleep immediately after being given the challenge. Utnapishtim then asks his wife to bake bread for each day Gilgamesh slept so he couldn’t deny his failure. Gilgamesh! for a man who wants to overcome death,  you can’t even stay awake…

Gilgamesh sounds a lot like Sir Peter Weyland who went into hypersleep to go along with the Prometheus Mission to LV-223, he wanted to ask the Engineers for life eternal… And you know how that turned out.

As Gilgamesh is leaving, Utnapishtim’s wife asks her husband to offer a parting gift. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh of a plant at the bottom of the ocean that will make him young again. Gilgamesh acquires the plant using stones bound to his feet, weighing him down so he can walk on the ocean floor. He plans to test it on an old man when he returns to Uruk. But unfortunately, when he stops to bathe it is stolen by a serpent that sheds its skin as it departs, apparently reborn.

The plant represented by the Chemical A0-3959X.91-15 (“black goo” or “black liquid“) and the serpent represents the Chestburster, which sheds it’s skin to become the Xenomorph.

Gilgamesh, having failed both chances and returns to Uruk, where the sight of its massive walls causes him to praise them. His reaction is believed to be admiration for mortals can achieve immortality through lasting works of civilisation and culture.

Which reminds me of what Peter Weyland said:

 All this, all these wonders of Art and Design, of Human ingenuity, all are utterly meaningless in the face of the only question that matters. Where do we come from?
I refuse to believe that Mankind is a random by-product of molecular circumstances.
No more than the result of mere biological chance. No....there must be more. And you and I, Son, we will find it. 


Since David has eternal life he values all these things Weyland considered meaningless, even the poem David recites over the engineer city talks of the remains of a once great civilisation.

 I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away. - Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley

Because even David knows cities will rise and fall. But his creation, his Perfect Organism may outlast them all. Even himself.



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