The story of the great as told in the Bible originated from the ancient Sumerians, who settled in early Mesopotamia and whose legends and mythologies greatly influenced the subsequent civilizations of that area. The later versions of the stories were retold by early Mesopotamian cultures right down to the time of the writing of the Bible after 1000BC. These versions all tell a very similar story. The stories of the , paradise or Eden, and the creation of man. These stories also tell pieces of the puzzle about the origin of the Sumerians, who were a forgotten people until the late 19th century when their writing was discovered and decyphered. These various myths and legends also include information about the location and time that the last great occurred which gave rise to these stories. There is no evidence however of a single huge , which covered all the mountains of the world, only many stories from throughout the world of great floods, which decimated humanity in the distant past and changed the map of the world in the process. The ideas about the cause and consequences of the which forced the migration of the Sumerians, who passed these story onto the later cultures of early Mesopotamia can be grouped into the following sections of this essay.

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