Mesh-ki-ang-gasher

Mesh-ki-ang-gasher

Mesh-ki-ang-gasher (Mèš-ki-áĝ-ga-še-er, Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer; also transliterated Mes-Kiag-Gasher, Mesh-Ki-Ang-Gasher, Meskiagkasher, Meckiagkacer and variants) was a Sumerian ruler and the founder of the First Dynasty of Uruk and the father of Enmerkar, according to the Sumerian king list. If a historical ruler, he would have flourished in ca. the 28th century BC (Early Bronze Age II).
"In E-ana, Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer, the son of Utu, became en and lugal; he ruled for 324 [variants: 325] years. Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer entered the sea and disappeared. Enmerkar, the son of Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer, the king of Unug, who built Unug [variants: under whom Unug was built], became king; he ruled for 420 years.

E-ana ("house of heaven") was the name of the temple to Inanna at Uruk. The entry thus has Mesh-ki-ang-gasher ruling the fortress or castle around which his son would build the city of Uruk, and which was to become the main temple to its patron goddess.

Unlike his successors Enmerkar, Lugalbanda, Dumuzid, the Fisherman and Gilgamesh, Mesh-ki-ang-gasher is not known from Sumerian epics or legends besides the King List. His nature as the son of the sun god, the founder of a major dynasty and his mysterious "disappearance" in the sea give him a mostly mythological flavour. His son Enmerkar is also called "son of Utu" in Sumerian legend, and besides with founding Uruk is credited with building a temple at Eridu and with the invention of writing.

In David Rohl's system of identifications of Bronze Age individuals with characters in the Hebrew Bible, Mesh-ki-ang-gasher corresponds to Cush.

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