several later paintings and drawings of the Tree of Life, but this
Sumerian Clay tablet (however crude it might appear) is one of the
earliest, if not the first. It is among the original Sumerian Cylinders
and clay tablets excavated circa 2, 500 BCE.
Bible'-The Reader's Digest Association Inc., Sydney 1971
tablet is prepared by rolling the carved metal seal on wet clay, which is
then baked. Once baked the tablet cannot be altered. The original
Sumerian (Indo-Iranian) concept was that wisdom is likened to a tree whose
fruit endows those who eat it with health and longevity. The symbol of an
elixir of life had already been well established in antiquity by the
Indo-Iranian cultures long before Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other
cultures had the opportunity to recognise it.
4,500 year old clay tablet shows a man and a woman seated below the Tree
of Life. Behind the woman is seen a serpent allegedly ‘tempting’ the
concept was expurgated in the Bible as the tree of life in the Garden of
Eden by the Jews and Christians. The Book of Genesis 3.22 mentions such a
tree as ‘the giver of eternal life.’
This article was posted on vohuman.org on July 11, 2005. It has been
printed courtesy Spring 2005 issue of the FEZANA Journal.