It’s important to keep in mind that Gilgamesh is a story translated from a dead language and written by people with a totally different mindset than ours, so whether the morals we read into it were actually intended will never be certain. However, it is significant that the story is set around 4700 years ago, near the time that civilizations began to heavily deforest areas to create timber, farmland and space for an empire.
In the story, King Gilgamesh goes into the woods with his men and begins cutting down trees. This angers the god Humbaba, who was given the task of protecting the forests by the Sumerian’s chief god Enlil. Gilgamesh battles the god and eventually kills him, then continues clearing forest for his own profit. The asssumed moral is that destroying forests goes against the harmonious balance of the natural world.
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