popularising the literature of ancient Iraq through the art of oral storytelling

 
 

From this page you can download MP3 audio versions of ZRP stories.

Simply click on the name of the story in the right-hand column below.

Story 1

This 3000-year-old love story from Sumer is about the coming together of “civilised” people and “wild” people. The name Martu is Sumerian for “nomad”. The story, told by June Peters, resonates with modern-day themes of urbanisation, migration and diversification of the gene pool. [13:34]

Story 2 in English

This story from Sumer is told by June Peters. It is a story of challenges and rivalry explaining the origins of trade and writing. It features the world's first diplomatic letter and ceremonial maces carried in procession as symbols of royal authority. [23:29]

Story 2 in Arabic

This story from Sumer is told by Badia Obaid. It is a story of challenges and rivalry explaining the origins of trade and writing. It features the world's first diplomatic letter and ceremonial maces carried in procession as symbols of royal authority. [18:49]

Story 3

In this story the god Ninurta faces his destiny. Ninurta was worshipped by the ancient Mesopotamians as a god of the thunderstorm, a god of agriculture, and above all as a god of war. June Peters tells how Ninurta fought against an army of stone warriors led by the monstrous Asag. He then created mountains from the defeated stones and, as a beneficient deity of agricuture, made it possible for cultivation to begin. This story was first published in 2001 on a CD produced by Purple Patch Records Ltd. [20:01]

Story 4

This story, told by Fran Hazelton, is about Gilgamesh, the legendary king of the city of Unug in ancient Sumer, his faithful servant Enkidu, and the awesome being Huwawa. When Gilgamesh and Enkidu set off on an expedition to fetch precious cedarwood they found the Cedar Mountains were guarded by the fearsome Huwawa who was protected by seven mysetrious auras. This story was first published in 2001 on a CD produced by Purple Patch Records Ltd. [19:30]

Story 5

Fiona Colliins tells the story of the descent of the goddess Inana into the Underworld. This subterranean realm was ruled over by its queen, Inana's sister Ereshkigal. After Inana has ventured into the Underworld, she realises that she will not be allowed to leave this 'land of no return'. This story was first published in 2001 on a CD produced by Purple Patch Records Ltd. [26:26]