This Young Roots project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the
British Institute for the Study of Iraq, ran from May 2015 to October 2016. It provided registered project participants with a variety of opportunities to
hear, interpret, explore, renew and pass on to others the 3000-year-old
Visits to the British
Museum introduced young people to the
material heritage of the Gilgamesh epic.
They saw the clay tablets on which it is
written in cuneiform script, handled
ancient miniature heads of one of its
main characters, and met curators.
Young people actively engaged with the cultural heritage of the Gilgamesh
epic in Heritage Activity Sessions — story-listening, story-telling, learning to write
cuneiform signs, and creating pictures, poems, animations and videos of the
people, places and episodes in the Gilgamesh epic.
The heritage output created by the young people
was displayed at a traditional art exhibition
and incorporated into a
narrative website in which a 21st-century version of the Gilgamesh epic has been
created. This website went live in November 2016 and will remain online for at least
ZIPANG vision inspires the
ZIPANG mission. ‘ZIPANG’ is
the Sumerian word for ‘breath’.
is undertaken by the Enheduanna Society, an education charity
founded in 2002. To fulfil this mission, the Enheduanna Society—
storytellers booked for public and private
events organised by others
publishes retold stories from ancient Iraq
• passes on Mesopotamian stories and storytelling skills to a new generation of
promotes and organises
ZIPANG storytelling activities for all ages and abilities
• brings together Iraqi and non-Iraqi scholars, storytellers,
musicians and enthusiasts to develop their shared appreciation
of Mesopotamian literature, and spread
this appreciation to as many people as possible.
storytellers depend for their
performance material on the work
of academic translators and