Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mesopotamia: The Legend of Gilgamesh


Background on the Story of Gilgamesh  "The story of the god-man Gilgamesh is one of the oldest stories in the world; it was inscribed onto clay tablets over 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. There are many versions of the story but the first people who told it were called Sumerians and Gilgamesh was once their king. The people who lived in Mesopotamia discovered many things: irrigation, the wheel, the first codes of law, the 60-minute hour, and most important, writing. Without writing the epic of Gilgamesh would certainly have been lost. The Sumerians, and later other Mesopotamians such as the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, wrote the story in cuneiform, the first script in the world." - Ludmila Zeman, Gilgamesh the King 

Read-Aloud: Gilgamesh the King  Today we will be reading together the story Gilgamesh the King, retold and illustrated by Ludmila Zeman. Some consider Gilgamesh to be the world's first literary superhero. As we read, see if you can find any connections or parallels between Gilgamesh and other superheroes you are familiar with.  

The British Museum Website: "Gilgamesh and the Cedar Forest"  Want to explore another tale of Gilgamesh and his adventures? Check out the interactive story of "Gilgamesh and the Cedar Forest" at the British Museum's website here.