Relationship between Humans and the Environment in Ancient Mesopotamia

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The relationship between human beings and the environment connects very well with each other because mortals were a big significant of that specific place at a certain stance in life. Humans created various kinds of resources that impacted so many empires that lived there for a long period just like the Babylonian empire. Civilization was also brought in together from the people that collaborated in the vivacity of life. Mortals were the reasons why there were many diverse inventions and tools that we still use in today's modern world. The influential artifacts and language that they left behind showed us that humans weren't just an important part of the environment, but also an enormous role of society too. Temples and pyramids were also built by different and creative hands which shows us that culture is the top primary sources to humans. From the ancient story, Gilgamesh, the king who would show nothing but cruelty with his lack of proper care towards his people somehow came through the realization that his people and his home was his most prized possession, a gift that could have never happened in his lifetime knowing that life could end up poorly for him. Citizens who lived in ancient times in Mesopotamia grew crops there ,therefore, humans could move and adapt to the agriculture life in different areas. In the story, Epic of Gilgamesh, it didn't just indicate how people adjusted to the environment, but it also gave us comprehensive settings to make us understand that life today isn't any different from the past.

In my opinion, the relationship in the ancient period isn't any different from what I see here in this new generation. I say this because from what I've read and seen, these dictators had not changed one bit. From what I've gained from reading in the book on tablet 1, page 2 and lines 37 to 40, it said, Gilgamesh the tall, magnificent and terrible, who opened passes in the mountains, who dug wells on the slopes of the uplands, and crossed the ocean, the wide sea to the sunrise, indicates that Gilgamesh wasn't a good king. Another citation that indicated that he was a bad king was on tablet 1 page 4 and lines 75 to 79 it said, ""[Though powerful, pre-eminent] expert [and mighty, ] [Gilgamesh] lets [no] girl go free to [her bridegroom.]' The warrior's daughter, the young man's bride, to their complaint the goddess paid heed."" This is telling us that Gilgamesh didn't let any women go free without sleeping with them, which made his people in Uruk exhausted to the extent where they had to go tell the gods about his wrong doings, since no one could stop him from the toxic doings he had been bringing upon his people. He let his people down just like the president we have right now. Even though they're two different people, they have the power to control their people with their own set of laws. Our environment hasn't changed at all because all the things that were created were only meant to past down to different generations just to recreate history again. From what I have seen, people haven't changed their way of thinking on what they should achieve and what they should let go of. But to justify what I'm trying to say, the relationship between humans and the environment in Mesopotamia is how you would look at the world today. Just different stories of myths and legends, though there are many changes in the society that we live in. There are still political rules and laws that people still can't follow, especially in the place where the government controls everything. In the book, Epic of Gilgamesh, it told us how Enkidu and Gilgamesh destroyed the living creatures that they came across, or the ones that they just wanted to kill. On tablet 6 page 47, they killed the guardian of the Cedar forest who is also known as Humbaba when he hasn't done any damage to them. This also didn't end up too well because they had to pay for their sins not just because they killed Humbaba, but other bad things that they put themselves into. What this story is trying to tell us is that what we do to the environment, it will certainly come back to us since we live there and we're the ones that are making that kind of impact on the environment. Without nature and an environment, we wouldn't have life today. Our environment and the environment in Mesopotamia isn't any different because humans still treat this world as if it was a trashbag, humans didn't know how to keep this world as clean as we wished we could, this is what's causing diseases and deaths because humans can't learn how to take care of each other and our society. In our environment, we either caused deaths or spread our sickness to each other which hasn't change in either periods because no matter how many laws are out there, it can't really protect us from what we do. This is why I say no matter where you are, or the kind of person you act like, our environment will remain the same no matter how hard you try to persuade our society and humans.

The environment in Mesopotamia also had many great advantages from humans which is also why we're giving our best shot to protect our nature. Humans don't always destroy nature, but they also grew the nutrients that we have today. Without the help from the humans in Mesopotamia, we wouldn't know the significance in agriculture and how important it is to keep the environment in stable conditions. Agriculture was always a tradition especially to farmers and to the people back in the day because they didn't have the technologies that we have today, so all they could do was plant crops to harvest. Humans depend on nature and plants according to Epic of Gilgamesh on tablet 11 page 98 and lines 283-286 it said, ""There is a plant that [looks] like a box-thorn, it has prickles like a dogrose, and will [prick who plucks it.] But if you can possess this plant, [you'll be again as you were in your youth.]"" This informs us that plants were not only a part of agriculture, but also a healing process that could restore your youth. Gilgamesh wanted to be immortal and tried everything to accomplish his desires and at the end he got something even better which is a special plant that could make feel young again. After knowing this information, this tells us that humans don't appreciate agriculture enough, even though they created agriculture themselves. Nature was made by hands and the fine soil in Mesopotamia which was really fascinating knowing that agriculture can give you wealth and food, and it also heals you in many ways.

Humans relationship is also a cause for the environment too, I say this because the surrounding environment isn't just nature, but also the people that are surrounding it every day. In the beginning, Gilgamesh was always cruel and was a substandard king, after he met Enkidu his perspective changed a lot, and he started to take notice in his environment more. On tablet 11 page 70 and lines 1-4 it said, For his friend Enkidu Gilgamesh did bitterly weep as he wandered the wild: I shall die, and shall I not then be as Enkidu? Sorrow has entered my heart!"" This citation tells us that humans' relationship changes everything, if you lose someone important you start to show the dark side of you, just like in the book, Gilgamesh started to do things that he has never done before after he lost his brother. This apprise us that human's relationship could change the environment if they can accept their true nature. If there's no good relationship in this world, we wouldn't know how to live and our environment would be a devastated place. Just like in the book, the people that lived in Uruk didn't respect Gilgamesh at all. They had to talk to the gods about his behavior and the people there didn't feel like living there because of the bad society that Gilgamesh had created and with the lack of communication. In my perspective, making those who depend on you feel like they belong to a certain area is always the key of life, if your someone who has the power to do so. If you're a bad leader, that environment around you wouldn't be a place that people would want to live in, but rather a living hell for your society. I felt like Gilgamesh never really found true love at first, but he did at the end which is his brother Enkidu who helped changed everything about Gilgamesh. He taught Gilgamesh from right and wrong and protected him like a real blood brother and this was what made Gilgamesh into a better, and thoughtful person. After accomplishing their mission and after his loss of his brother, Gilgamesh invited his people and living creatures to come see the most important person in his life. This shows us that after the gratitude of their friendship and after everything that Enkidu had taught Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh kind of changed and realized how important his society was. This is why I say that if there are no interaction in our society and our environment, the place wouldn't feel like home, so people would have to move and adjust to another place just like herds of animals. Of course this isn't a good way to describe humans, but this was how people's life was like in the past, they had to move from place to another because they couldn't benefit anything from the area before.

In conclusion, the relationship between the people and the environment in Mesopotamia is that there won't always be agreements, there'll always be difficulties in life. Humans learn how to take care of each other and the environment, while the environment needs humans to produce nature and create history. Without the connection between humans and the environment in Mesopotamia, there wouldn't be history such as the ancient book we're talking about right now. In the book, there were so many connections and disagreements between all the characters, which told us a lot about the kind of environment they lived in. The people in Mesopotamia didn't just live there as a normal person every day, but they learned the hard way to make sure they could survive in that kind of environment, since diseases couldn't be helped during that period from the lack of education and knowledge. During that time, there were different pharaohs and dictators that had different laws and different ways of how they wanted to control their society. There were some kings who treated their people fairly, and some who had no respect for themselves or their people. The environment there was a natural resource for the people in Uruk. Even though the book doesn't mention a lot about the environment there, we could already tell that without the help from nature and people, there wouldn't be life there at all. Humans adapted to their environment and they are the ones who are responsible for the damages that happens to their environment. In the end, humans learn to accept the quality of life, and the habitat that their environment gives to them.

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Relationship Between Humans and the Environment in Ancient Mesopotamia. (2019, Jul 29). Retrieved December 9, 2023 , from

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