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Abu Salabikh has not yet been identified with any ancient city, but its many literary tablets include a version of the "Instructions of Shuruppak" in which the father of the flood-hero appears under the name of his city.Thus the gap between the antediluvian period and its first reflexes in cuneiform literature has been narrowed down to three or four hundred years.This is no small achievement if we recall the three or four millennia that separated earlier estimates of the date of the Flood from the first limitations -- Hellenistic and Neo-Assyrian -- of native traditions about it (Hallo 19-62).In this section it will be important to realize that Egyptian history begins after 3000 BC.

Even some who believe the Bible to be historically true feel the date cannot be later than 10,000 - 12,000 BC, placing it well beyond the reach of any related archaeological or literary data for which dates are known.This is not unexpected, even in the light of the latest discoveries.These now make it seem possible that a specific historic flood provided the original inspiration for the Mesopotamian versions of the deluge, and that this particular flood occurred about 2900 BC.6, #1, Winter 1993, under the title "The Bible, Science and the Ages of the Patriarchs" by Bert Thompson.(Contact Associates for Biblical Research for back issues of the magazine.) Before we look at the evidence itself, the following by an eminent Assyriologist is significant: There is, it is true, considerable vagueness and contradiction in cuneiform literature about the antediluvian traditions.

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