According to the king lists, kingship remained in the city of Kish for 24,000 years after the flood (maybe 250 years in real life?), until it was taken to the city of Uruk during the reigns of Dumuzi the Fisherman and Gilgamesh. The kings of the first dynasty of Uruk were especially important to the Sumerian record keepers, who list epithets for the first five kings of the dynasty. The leading Sumerologist, Samuel Noah Kramer, refers to this early Uruk era as the Sumerian Heroic Age, paralleling the Heroic Age described by the early Greek poet Hesiod. The fifth king of Uruk, Gilgamesh, was especially important, not just in Sumerian mythology, but all the succeeding nations and empires for the next thousand years. But even though the kings of Kish were relatively unimportant compared to the forthcoming dynasty, the title King of Kish remained an important title for hundreds of years and was used even by kings who had no control of the city.
It was perhaps during the Kish dynasty that the Akkadians first infiltrated into northern Iraq, having been encouraged by the weakness of Sumerian authority after the Shurrupuk flood. There are 23 kings in the Kish dynasty who ruled after the flood, most of them with Semitic names. Although the preceding dynasty of Kish was no where near as popular as Uruks warrior-kings, the pious 13th king of Kish, Etana, who is said to have flown up to heaven on the wings of an eagle, was of particular interest. Although only partially-missing Babylonian versions of the myth have been found, depictions of Etana riding the eagle are among the most popular Sumerian seals cut, some dating to the 2500s B.C., proving that the story is much older. The fragmented myth is also corroborated by the Sumerian king lists which say that he ascended to heaven and consolidated all the foreign lands. The king lists have him as ruling either 635 or 1,560 years, and he is mentioned as residing in the netherworld in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The Myth of Etana begins by talking of a city planned by the gods, probably Kish, and that they decided to make Etana the architect. Once again, the story begins with creation of the world and speaks of the revolt of the servant-gods, the Igigi, but this time it is the making of the first king, Etana, not of humankind, that restores order between heaven and earth:
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