Sumer – Show #6

About ten thousand years ago, the people of Mesopotamia began the agricultural revolution.  Instead of hunting and gathering their food, they domesticated plants and animals – beginning with sheep.  They lived in mud-brick and reed houses, grouped in villages where they tended their crops.  They built granaries to store and protect their grain, and developed a token system to record commercial transactions and manage accounts.

The Sumerians – from ancient Mesopotamia – left behind extensive writings on more than one hundred thousand clay tablets that described their thoughts and opinions regarding politics, economics, law, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, and history, to name only a few areas of their wide-ranging expertise. On roughly 5,000 of those tablets they detail their inexplicable knowledge about how our solar system gained its final shape, how life came to be on Earth, and how humanity itself came to be here.

We also know from ancient texts that the earliest beers are Sumerian. Beer appears to have been an important part of Sumerian culture; the word “beer” appears in many contexts relating to religion, medicine and myth. The Code of Hammurabi (1800 BC) details stiff penalties for owners of ancient “brewpubs” who overcharge customers or fail to inform authorities of criminals in their bar.


Episode Treatment:

No discussion about our collective ancient history would be complete without a mention of Sumer, Mesopotamia and of course the Tigris and Euphrates rivers – and their importance related to the evolution of our modern civilization today … being our cradle.  Abraham, the bible’s own patriarch came from Ur – a fabled Sumerian city.  From this fertile crescent, although not preceding the Egyptians, there are also the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – as well as the Tower of Babel – and Hammurabi’s Code of Laws to consider and discuss… but most importantly the now-translated tablets found at Nippur and their vivid descriptions of Enki, Enlil and the Anunnaki.

This will be the sixth episode, and near the middle of our first season, and rests at the fulcrum of our programming – and at a crossroads too.  It would be hard not to involve the ancient Iraqis’ traditional contributions, given the previously mentioned “list of suddenlies” into the human record, in our series; and this episode will deliver quite an astounding punch, as we’ll introduce a compelling alien intervention theory, while also visiting various museums to understand the complexity of the issue.

  • Traditional history: Agriculture, Engineering and The Bronze Age
  • Legendary history: Religion, Literature and Gilgamesh
  • Mythological history: Enki, Enlil and The Tablets
  • Alternative history: Anunnaki, Nibiru and Zechariah Sitchin

According to archaeologists, the advent of civilization in Sumer is associated with the beginning of the Bronze Age, which quickly spread to Egypt, Europe, and Asia.  Over 5,000 years ago Sumer’s Neolithic farmers were apparently feeding an army of metal workers who had discovered bronze by adding tin to their copper (which had been extracted from oxide ores), resulting in sharper cutting edges.  Sumer’s actual history is one of continual strife and despite the advanced nature of their culture, their various city-states were first conquered by Sargon of Akkad, and then by Babylon’s Hammurabi.

Copper itself predates ancient Egypt by several millennia, and it is now known that the growing Sumerian civilization along the Euphrates utilized well-developed copper smelting techniques.  The earliest known artefacts made from smelted metal were copper, and excavations at Catal Huyuk near Konya in Southern Anatolia, have yielded slags derived from the smelting of copper that have been dated to as early as 7,000 BC.

This is all “normal” and only mildly debateable compared to Zechariah Sitchin and his theories about Nibiru, the alleged 12th planet – the subject of an extensive line of his own very popular books.  In a nutshell, there is another planet that circles the Sun every 3,600 years, and thus occasionally comes into contact with Earth.  The people from this particular planet need gold, and long ago decided to (create and) utilize humans to mine and refine it for them.

All of this is documented in the clay tablets found at Nippur.  There are a hundred thousand tablets and, after translating them, Sitchin says the Anunnaki also built spaceports and were aware of the impending deluge that occurred 13,000 years ago.  In fact, one of these aliens (Enki) informed a fellow named Ziusudra to build a submersible ship.  This is all history – as it is written down – and not myth.  After surviving the deluge, Enlil gives mankind seeds and tools, among other things, and Enki offers domesticated animals … beginning the “list of suddenlies” that appear in the human record.