More than 2,000 years ago, the Babylonians understood the cycle of eclipses. They also regarded them as signs that could foretell the death of a king.
Love, it is said, is a battlefield, and it was no more so than for the first goddess of love and war, Ishtar. Her legend has influenced cultural archetypes from Aphrodite to Wonder Woman.
From environmentalism to the meaning of life, the themes of the world's most ancient epic are still remarkably relevant to modern readers.
It was in Mesopotamia that the world's first cities emerged, along with the invention of writing and the codification of laws.