Sponsored by: archaeologynow.org
Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Marvel Comics all owe a debt to Gilgamesh, a hero in Mesopotamian mythology and the protagonist of the world’s first epic story. Gilgamesh was a historic king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk and probably ruled sometime between 2800 and 2500 BCE. His story has been immortalized as one of the seminal stories in world literature, depicting the struggle to become fully human through a journey of self-discovery. Archaeological work in the Fertile Crescent has helped us understand the world in which the hero lived and provides a better understanding of the roots of Western civilization.