How did Mesopotamian culture view life and death?
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The culture in which Gilgamesh existed did not believe in an afterlife, and if they had any thoughts that there was "something" after death...... it certainly wasn't anything good.
Gilgamesh is searching for immortality, that's why he sets off on his journey. Then again, he also believed that there was no judgement after death either...... therefore, good or bad, everything would end up the same anyway.
Regardless, we have one more thing that may not make much sense in lieu of that belief. And that would be the Mesopotamian culture's fear of the "dead." Polytheistic society that mesopotamia was, people often make sacrifices to the dead (demons).
Beliefs about the gods