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MesopotamiaZigguratWhen 2000B.C.----2100B.C.What: a terraced tower built of baked brick and culminating in a temple; the wall surrounding one was 36 feet thick.Where: at the center of a Sumerian cityWhy: probably for the patron god of the citySignification: Effect: the Old Testament contains many echos from Sumer, and it seems likely that the story in the Bible of the Tower of Babel was ultimately based on the memory of a ziggurat.Ut-NapishitimA character in the Epic of the GilgameshBuilt the boat…Gilgamesh search out Utnapishtim, the one man to whom the gods have granted immortality, in order to learn from him the secret of eternal life. The remainder of the epic incorporates the story of the Flood, which originally existed as an independent tale. Utnapishitim relates how he obtained eternal life as a reward for the deeds he performed at the time of the Flood. But this unique event cannot be duplicated. As a parting gift to the dejected Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim tells him of the Plant of Life that grows on the bottom of the sea and renews the life of him who eats it.Soul will live on forever but the body.GilgameshWho is he: a semi-legendary heroes in the Epic of the Gilgamesh, ruler of the city-state of Uruk (or Erech) about 2700 B.C..How is he: He is nearly perfect. He is strong and beautiful, except that he could die one day. Theme: death will cut short the glorious career of the great hero and the frantic but unsuccessful search for some means living forever.Story: Because Gilgamesh is acting tyrannically (He drafts sons of his people to serve his army and mistreats wives and daughters of his people.), the nobles appeal to the gods for aid, with the result that Enkidu is created by Aruru, the mother goddess, to “check” Gilgamesh’s “arrogance”. Gilgamesh sends a temple prostitute to tame Enkidu’s barbarous nature before he is brought to Uruk, where the two heroes fight to a draw and thereafter become fast friends. Together they set out on dangerous adventures, slaying the terrible monster Huwawa who guards the Cedar Forest for the storm-god Enlil, insulting the goddess Ishtar who falls in love with Gilgamesh and destroying the awesome Bull of Heaven sent by the angered Ishtar to kill Gilgamesh. When next Enkidu dies as the result of Enlil’s displeasure over slaying of Huwawa, Gilgamesh is panic-stricken by the sudden realization of the stark reality of death. Hislife is henceforth dominated by the one aim of finding everlasting life. This leads him to search out Utnapishtim, the one man to whom the gods have granted immortality, in order to learn from him the secret of eternal life. The remainder of the epic incorporates the story of the Flood, which originally existed as an independent tale.