Like many ancient people, the ancient Sumerians had a very lively oral tradition. They loved to tell exciting stories about the great deeds and heroics of their ancestors. One of the stories they told was the tale of Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh was one of the kings of Uruk (a Sumerian city). His name is on the list of kings of Sumer recovered from the library at Nineveh. Did he actually exist as a real person or was he just made up by the Sumerians? We may never know. But, according to the story, Gilgamesh was part god and part human with some of the powers of the gods.
According to the epics, Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu fought monsters, moved mountains and rivers, rescued people in need, and generally protected the people of Sumer. The epic of Gilgamesh was written down in cuneiform on clay tablets and preserved at the Library of Nineveh.