As in any pursuit of an archetypal pattern, Apocalypse has roots deeper in history than the written record can reach. It may be that the earliest written record of apocalyptic metaphors may be traced to Ishtar's threats in The Epic of Gilgamesh.
Ishtar said to her father, Anu: "Give me the Bull of [sic] Heaven, Father. Let me destroy Gilgamesh. Let me destroy him where he lives. If you do not let me take the Bull of Heaven, I will go down to the underworld, I will bring back the dead; I will bring them into the day light and they will eat all the living. The dead will outnumber the living."(1)
Certainly, the theme is not a new one, but themes from Ishtar's lips persist and rise to the surface in the current Zombie zeitgeist in progress at least since Night of the Living Dead in 1968. In the mind of George Romero, the movie's creator, "zombies don't represent anything [...] except a global change of some kind. And the stories are about how people respond or fail to respond to this. That's really all they've represented to me."(2) To what changes does he refer, impacting not only the entire planet but also the world as an individual knows it?
(1) Harris, John. The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Prose Rendition Based Upon the Original Akkadian, Babylonian, Hittite and Sumerian Tablets. iUniverse, 2001. Page 55