A character in the Epic of Gilgamesh
, son of Ubara-Tutu
. His name is normally translated as "He who saw life". His story is probably the basis for the story of Noah's Ark
in the Bible
Utnapishtim, a resident of the city of Shurrupak, had been warned by the god Ea, that the gods had decided, at the urging of Enlil, to wipe out mankind. (motivated by the fact that Enlil, god of the earth, couldn't get any sleep because of all the noise).
Ea instructed Utnapishtim to tear down his house and build a boat, and load on it the "seed of all living creatures".
Upon finding the boat, after the flood, Enlil is first enraged. Then after a reprimanding by Ea, grants Utnapishtim eternal life. After this he was taken to live in Dilmun.
Gilgamesh seeks out Utnapishtim because Enkidu, his best friend and companion, has recently died, and Gilgamesh fears his own death.
In a similar Sumerian legend, the name of this character was Ziusudra. In the Hebrew version, he is Noah