In 1849, Sir Austen Henry Layard, English Archaeologist and global explorer, found himself among the ruins of ancient Bablyon in southern Mesopotamia. It was there he discovered the first pieces of what would eventually become one of Archaeology’s most controversial puzzles: Cuneiform Tablets.
Within this incredible ancient text are stories that have an uncanny resemblance to the Biblical stories of creation, deities, and even a reference to a great flood and a giant ark to survive it.
Specialists have spent decades trying to decipher these intricate symbols. One of the more fascinating aspects of cuneiform script is the evolution of the characters from the original pictogram Sumerian language to the wedge shaped strokes of Akkadian and Assyrian writing.
But the idea that this ancient civilization knew of distant star systems and had interacted with extraterrestrial life started with a controversial researcher and author named Zecharia Sitchin. His “Ancient Alien Theory” attributes the beginnings of Mesopotamian society to a race of beings known as the Annunaki, who traveled from a distant 12th planet called Nibiru.
One element of the tablets that is hotly debated within archaeology circles is the nature of these Annunaki. Considered by the mainstream to be metaphors for a creation myth, the stories of the Annunaki can actually be found in other texts, specifically the book of Genesis in the Hebrew and Christian religions, but with many of the names altered or changed.
From the creation of “heaven and earth” out of “a watery abyss” to the notion of being created in a higher being’s image, and even in the familiar “Adam and Eve” and “Noah’s Ark” stories, there is no question that these stories maintain eerily similar depictions of the origins of our species. But the question is, if these tablets are older than the Bible, then what elements of these stories are myth and how much of it is true?
There is a school of thought that has concluded that not only is the planet Nibiru real, but that the Annunaki were a powerful race of extraterrestrials with the capacity for genetic experimentation and manipulation. One of the more compelling arguments for this is the fact that science has recently revealed that there probably was a global catastrophic flood that took place about 10,000 years ago. This could account for a major loss of human population and could have essentially hit the reset button on civilization as human beings were forced to start over from scratch. Was there an “Ark” or ship of some kind that was able to save a small percentage of the population, to later rebuild society? If so, was this simply a metaphor for an alien spaceship or an actual wooden boat? According to the followers of Sitchin’s school of thought, if these stories were metaphors, it was for the technology used by these powerful beings.
But the question remains, “If our species was the result of genetic experimentation by alien life, where are they now?”
Nearly 31,000 of these ancient clay tablets are now housed in the British Museum, most of which still have yet to be translated. Many of these texts are fragmented and incomplete, making context difficult to piece together at times.
What’s fascinating about the Cuneiform writings is that over the course of several thousand years, from the earliest form of pictograph writings to the re-interpretation of the old characters into the wedge shaped indentations of the various later Mesopotamian civilizations, the way in which the language was written changed dramatically. There isn’t one hard and fast rule for translation.
In the above image, we see an example of the wedge shaped writing, which allowed a scribe to effectively use one tool to quickly press into a soft clay tablet from right to left. As the languages evolved, so to did the writing system, and between 4,000 BC and 500 BC the meanings of words changed to reflect the influence of the Semitic people that conquered Mesopotamia. In the original pictograph form any character could have various meanings depending on context. Over time, the writing shifted increasingly and the number of characters was reduced from over 1,500 symbols to about 600 signs.
Sitchin held a pretty unique view regarding the reasons for the Annunaki presence here on Earth. According to his research, He concluded that these beings, “evolved after Nibiru entered the solar system and first arrived on Earth probably 450,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined in Africa. Sitchin states that these “gods” were the rank-and-file workers of the colonial expedition to Earth from planet Nibiru.” (wikipedia.com)
It’s a theory that has been ruled out as quite simply preposterous by academics and peer reviewed Archaeologists around the world since it was first proposed. There are many Ancient Alien theorists who refuse to consider Sitchin’s contributions due to his lack of empirical evidence and the fact that his is a translation of the tablets that many Cuneiform experts do not agree with.
However, many modern researchers believe that some of Zecharia Sitchin’s work is legitimate and could be used to help in the translation of other tablets creating a context for the names and stories of these ancient people. Among this new breed of researcher are explorers like Michael Tellinger, who claims to have found forensic evidence to support many of the unsubstantiated claims that Sitchin made in the last century. Tellinger holds that there is in fact evidence of gold mining in parts of South Africa and that some of the references in Sitchin’s translation of the Sumerian texts can be attributed to actual places there, with landmarks and megalithic structures that fit the narrative perfectly.
The bottom line is Cuneiform experts are few and far between and there are thousands of tablets yet to be dated and deciphered in order to draw a definitive conclusion about the nature of these creation stories and historical information. Regardless of whether or not it is true, it’s a fascinating theory that we would love to explore firsthand.
Tell us what you think. Would you travel to South Africa to see the evidence for yourself?
Would you be interested in learning Cuneiform to help in the deciphering of some of the most ancient texts in the world?
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