Part 6 of the Gilgamesh epic—The Flood Story


Gilgamesh finally finds Utnapishtim.

‘My friend Enkidu died,’ he tells Utnapishtim. ‘I have journeyed far and wide to find you because you are immortal. Can you tell me how to live forever?’

‘I can tell you my story,’ says Utnapishtim.

‘Yes!’ says Gilgamesh.

‘The gods made me immortal because I survived the great flood and saved humanity.’

‘Can I become immortal?’ asks Gilgamesh. ‘I want to stay alive forever!’

‘Can you stay awake for seven days and seven nights?’

‘Yes!’ says Gilgamesh.

But Gilgamesh can’t stay awake. He sleeps for seven days and seven nights. When he wakes up he sees how seven loaves of bread baked daily while he slept have become mouldy and uneatable. This convinces Gilgamesh that nothing lasts forever. He too will die.


View a storytelling performance telling how Utnapishtim tells the flood story to Gilgamesh.

View a storytelling performance about the seven loaves of bread.

View a reading of Part 6—The Flood Story, from the book which was a project learning resource (21m 23s).