Following the Cleromancy casting of lots , sky is ruled by Anu, earth by Enlil, and the freshwater sea by Enki. Enlil assigned junior divines  to do farm labor and maintain the rivers and canals, but after forty years the lesser gods or dingirs rebelled and refused to do strenuous labor. Instead of punishing the rebels, Enki, who is also the kind, wise counselor of the gods, suggested that humans be created to do the work. After 10 months, a specially-made womb breaks open and humans are born. Tablet I continues with legends about overpopulation and plagues. Atrahasis is mentioned at the end of Tablet I.
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They counted years of drudgery, It was night, half-way through the watch, Ekur was surrounded, but Enlil did not know! Who is the instigator of these hostilities? Who declared war, that battle has run up to the gate of Enlil? We have set Now, everyone of us gods has resolved on a reckoning with Enlil. Their forced labor was heavy, their misery too much! There is Belet-ili, the midwife, is present. Let him bear the yoke! Let man assume the drudgery of the god.
He it is that cleanses all, let him provide me the clay so I can do the making. Let one god be slaughtered, then let the gods be cleansed by immersion. Let that same god and man be thoroughly mixed in the clay. Let us hear the drum for the rest of the time.
The Creation of Man On the first, seventh, and fifteenth days of the month,note[Auspicious days. They slaughtered Aw-ilu, who had the inspiration, in their assembly. That same god and man were thoroughly mixed in the clay. For the rest of the time they would hear the drum. From the flesh of the god the spirit remained. It would make the living know its sign. After she had mixed the clay, she summoned the Anunna, the great gods. The Igigi, the great gods, spat upon the clay.
You have slaughtered the god, along with his inspiration. You have bestowed clamor upon mankind. I have released the yoke, I have made restoration. The god Enki, however, sends a dream to Atrahasis. When the text resumes, Enki is still speaking. Reed wall, pay attention to all my words! Flee the house, build a boat, forsake possessions, and save life.