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Reconnaissance-Birds and Celestial Signs in the Gilgamesh Epic and Genesis Flood Accounts by Adam Miglio
The similarities between the Flood stories in the Gilgamesh Epic and thebook of Genesis have piqued scholarly curiosity over the past century. Aconspicuous similarity in the two stories is an account of three birdsreleased by the lone survivor of the Flood to determine if the floodwaterswere subsiding. This lecture examines Mesopotamian divinatory texts andastrological compendia to demonstrate that the birds from the GilgameshEpic are celestial symbols that explain the seasonal patterns of ancientMesopotamian life. Additionally, it explores how the Israelite Floodaccount adopts and adapts the significance of these reconnaissance birdsfrom the Gilgamesh Epic in its retelling of this event.