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I've never read the story of Gilgamesh, but these websites should help:
At the conclusion of the epic Gilgamesh returns to Uruk by river, with Utnapishtim's disgraced boatman. Uruk was a huge ancient city located on the Euphrates river with impressive walls and temples (check Wikipedia for details). Plot wise, the king has behaved like a fool for most of the epic. His violent quest to kill the guardian of the cedar forrest has resulted in the death of his closest friend, and his search for immortality has proved futile. He returns to the city empty handed, but humbler and wiser, with new found appreciation for his responsibilities to his people and his place in the divine order of things.