The title Enuma Elish comes from the Sumerian word enu for 'beginning, origins', and uru for'sky', and is traditionally translated as 'What was on high', or 'Copper Reed Stems'. The Enuma Elish refers in its entirety to the creation of the world. The first tablet contains the myth of the creation of the earth which mentions 16 different creation stories; six of these are explicitly connected to the universe of the moon and stars, while the rest are connected to the solar-fertility related aspects of this primordial universe. The second tablet, or Enumekarum, recounts the creation myths of Marduk, the patron god of Babylon. In the third tablet, Babylon is described as the creation of the gods Ea, Enlil, and Enki. In the fourth tablet, Marduk's victory over the dragon Tiamat is described, with two specific creation events as well as a general description of the universe.
In 1773, excavations in western Babylonia (now known by its international vernacular name of Mesopotamia) revealed not just new tablets, but also the tablets of the Enuma Elish, which had survived for over a millennium and had been forgotten in Mesopotamia. These tablets were brought to Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century by an Iraqiman named George Smith (1844-1924). The first article that Smith wrote upon his return from Iraq was a description of what he had found. He was able to translate the tablet into Sumerian, but his work was rejected by scholars and generally regarded as scientifically unsound. It was not until more than eighty years later, in 1953, that efforts to translate the text into English came to fruition, thanks to the efforts of Jane Ellen Harrison and Andrew George. Since then, the text has been published and translated into multiple languages. 7211a4ac4a