The History Blog has a nice article on the new Gilgamesh fragment which has been causing some interest lately ('New clay tablet adds 20 lines to Epic of Gilgamesh' September 28th, 2015):
A newly discovered clay tablet in the Sulaymaniah Museum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has corrected the order of chapters, filled in blanks and added 20 lines to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Since the invasion of Iraq and subsequent orgy of looting, the museum has a matter of policy paid smugglers to keep artifacts from leaving the country, no questions asked. The tablet was acquired by the museum in late 2011 as part of a collection of 80-90 tablets sold by an unnamed shady character. Professor Farouk Al-Rawi examined the collection while the seller haggled with museum official Abdullah Hashim. When Al-Rawi he saw this tablet, he told Hashim to pay whatever the seller wanted: $800. Even caked in mud the tablet’s importance was instantly recognizable to the expert. Once it was clean, Al-Rawi identified it as a fragment of Tablet V of the Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. The tablet is the left half of a six-column tablet written in Neo-Babylonian. It’s composed of three fragments that have been glued together, oddly enough, probably either by the original excavators or the seller. It is 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) high, 9.5 cm (3.7 inchs) wide and three cm (1.2 inches) thick.The text again arouses the debate about the ethics of handling looted material. What else was in the ground at the site of discovery (commercial digging) that was destroyed or not collected? Where did this fragment come from, and were there other tablets there with it? More to the point, where did the money go that was paid out n late 2011? Did some of it go to financing the activities of armed groups?
The comments are interesting:
Bort 2015-09-30 21:12:40 FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD IN THE WORLD DON’T READ THE NEW PASSAGES OUT LOUD. That’s how the Old Ones are summoned. :eek: Or so I’ve heard. :shifty: Well, at least don’t try to read them in the native tongue okay. I don’t know if That Which Shan’t Be Named understands English. :chicken:
[oh well, too late - among others online: 'Hear The Epic of Gilgamesh Read in the Original Akkadian'].