6000 (or 7000) years ago, Ancient Sumer was the first urban culture to inhabit Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq (4500 BC). The Sumerians worshiped numerous gods. They prayed to Anu (the supreme or sky deity), Enki (the god of water, knowledge, mischief, crafts, and creation), Enlil (Lord Wind), Inanna (the Queen of Heaven), Utu (the sun god), and Sin (moon-god). The ancient Sumerian cuneiform tablets demonstrate that they were well-versed in our Solar System. They were familiar with the shapes of planets, including Earth. In 1894 BC, Sumerians established the first conceptions of astrology, the 12 zodiac signs. In many respects, the Maya civilisation and the ancient Sumerians shared a common ancestor.
Many ancient texts suggest that humans and gods once coexisted, with humans serving gods and each Sumerian city guarded by its own god. In 1893, a tablet excavated in Nippur, an ancient Sumerian city in Mesopotamia, revealed the first trace of a Sumerian creation myth.
A Deluge Account on a Tablet. Iraq, Nippur. Sumerian. The seventeenth century BC. Clay. The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA, provided this loan.
Gods arrived to Earth.
The Enuma Elish (also known as The Seven Tablets of Beginning) narrates the account of the great god Marduk’s victory over the forces of chaos and the establishing of order at the creation of the universe, according to Sumerian tablets.
The narrative begins as follows:
“When in the height heaven was not named,
And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
And the primeval Apsu, who begat them,
And chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both
Their waters were mingled together,
And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
When of the gods none had been called into being,
And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained;
Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven,
Lahmu and Lahamu were called into being…”
All of the tablets describing the creation myth can be found in Ashur, Kish, and Ashurbanipal’s library at Nineveh. Interestingly, imprints on the tables indicate that these are copies of much older versions of the narrative dating back to well before Sumer’s demise in around 1750 BCE.
Several sources identify a Neo-Assyrian cylinder seal impression from the eighth century BCE as a probable portrayal of Tiamat’s slaying by the Enma Eli. Wikimedia Commons has provided the image.
Earth was ruled by human-like gods in the beginning, according to the cuneiform tablets. When they first landed on Earth, they worked the earth and mined the minerals to make it habitable. Furthermore, the passage mentioned an uprising between the gods and their slaves.
“When the gods like men
Bore the work and suffered the toll
The toil of the gods was great,
The work was heavy, the distress was.”
It is said that before humans, the Anunnaki (a group of deities from the ancient Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians) used Igigi (also spelled “Igigu”), the young generation of Ancient Astronaut Gods, as their servants to mine gold on Earth, but they were later replaced by humans when they rebelled against Annunaki. Heaven, according to the ancient Mesopotamians, is divided into three domes. The stars lived in heaven’s lowest dome, while the Igigi, the younger gods, lived in the middle dome. An, the god of the sky, was represented as heaven’s tallest and outermost dome.
Creation of First Human
Furthermore, conventional scholars see the Igigi as mythological Sumerian deities. According to them, Igigi was a servant of the great Anunnaki who instigated a rebellion against their superiors and the tyranny of Enlil, a deity of the environment.
A bas-relief, thought to be of Marduk and Tiamat, from the temple of Ninib at Nimrud. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Ancient Origins writes:
“Anu, the deity of gods, agreed that their toil was excessive. His son Enki, or Ea, recommended creating man to bear the task, which he did with the assistance of his half-sister Ninki. A god was killed, and his body and blood were mingled with clay. The first human being, in the image of the gods, was made from that stuff.
You have slaughtered a god together
With his personality
I have removed your heavy work
I have imposed your toil on man.
In the clay, god and man
Shall be bound,
To a unity brought together;
So that to the end of days
The Flesh and the Soul
Which in a god have ripened –
That soul in a blood-kinship be bound.
This first humans are created in Eden, which is a Sumerian word which means ‘flat land.’ Eden is stated as the garden of the gods in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and it is situated somewhere in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.”
This clay tablet is one of the episodes of the epic of creation. It narrates how god Anshar summons the gods together for a banquet. They celebrate god Marduk’s appointment as champion; Marduk defeated Tiamat in the primeval chaos. From the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (modern-day Ninawa Governorate, Iraq), northern Mesopotamia. Neo-Assyrian period, 7th century BCE. (The British Museum, London).
The first successful human, according to ancient literature, was named Adapa. Adamu was the name given to the entire line of animals. The parallel to the Bible is remarkable in this case. A tablet discovered in the ruins of the ancient Babylonian city of Nippur in the nineteenth century by a team from the University of Pennsylvania also tells the story of the gods’ plan to destroy the world through a great flood, as well as the story of an immortal man named Utnapishti, who builds a massive boat to rescue his family and every type of animal.
The Sumerian tablets underline that humans were not created in the same way as other life forms on the planet. Dr. Ellis Silver, an ecologist and environmentalist hailing from Wisconsin, USA, contends that humans are not from Earth. In his book “Humans Are Not From Earth: A Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence,” he claims that our species is not native to Earth and may have originated elsewhere.
He said that humans were brought to Earth in the distant past. He presented his research, which was centered on numerous topics. For example, chronic ailments that affect the human race, such as back discomfort, may be a hint that our species evolved on another planet with far less gravity. He also said that humans have 223 additional genes that no other creature on Earth has.