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Civilization is defined as a state that binds people together to transcend tides of family clan tribe and village Woolf HB 1974 p141 By using this definition one can compare and contrast the many different traits that the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations had Both The Epic of Gilgamesh and the three Egyptian funerary documents are very good examples of written documents that show these two differences in civilization The Epic of Gilgamesh is a long narrative poem which shows the many trials set before a young hero Andrea A Overfield JH 1998 p8 This epic was discovered on twelve clay tablets in the remains of a library dated back to the seventeenth century before Christ Andrea A Overfield JH 1998 p8 Within this epic the reader will get an idea of how the Sumerians lived and communicated within their community Similarly the Egyptian traits of civilization can be explained when the Coffin Texts are analyzed The three funerary documents which will be discussed later were found written inside wooden coffins of people could who afford expensive funerals Andrea A Overfield JH 1998 p18 Many of these writing concentrated on death and disaster and the miseries and fears that are associated with it These three writings are also very helpful by giving the reader a very descriptive overview of how the Egyptian civilization worked Although these four documents were written in different locations they show many similarities and differences in traits of civilization and thoughts on the afterlife The Epic of Gilgamesh is known as one of the greatest works of literature from the time of the Mesopotamian Era Andrea A Overfield JH 1998 p8 The hero Gilgamesh was the ruler of the city-state Uruk from 2700 to 2500 BC He was also very well known for his building of massive walls and temples Andrea A Overfield JH 1998 p8 His epic follows the basic theme of the humans struggle with immortality Although Gligamesh is known
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