Sumerian creation myth

The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts

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Sumer, or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and writing, architecture and arts, astronomy and mathematics. Their religious system was a complex one comprised of hundreds of gods. According to the ancient texts, each Sumerian city was guarded by its own god; and while humans and gods used to live together, the humans were servants to the gods.

The Sumerian creation myth can be found on a tablet in Nippur, an ancient Mesopotamian city founded in approximately 5000 BC.

The creation of Earth ( Enuma Elish ) according to the Sumerian tablets begins like this:

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...

Sumerian mythology claims that, in the beginning, human-like gods ruled over Earth. When they came to the Earth, there was much work to be done and these gods toiled the soil, digging to make it habitable and mining its minerals.

The texts mention that at some point the gods mutinied against their labour.

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 much.

Anu, the god of gods, agreed that their labour was too great. His son Enki, or Ea, proposed to create man to bear the labour, and so, with the help of his half-sister Ninki, he did. A god was put to death, and his body and blood was mixed with clay. From that material the first human being was created, in likeness to the gods.

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 man was created in Eden, a Sumerian word which means ‘flat terrain’. In the Epic of Gilgamesh , Eden is mentioned as the garden of the gods and is located somewhere in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Sumerian tablet depicting Enki in the creation myth. ( world-myth.com)

Initially human beings were unable to reproduce on their own, but were later modified with the help of Enki and Ninki. Thus, Adapa was created as a fully functional and independent human being. This ‘modification’ was done without the approval of Enki’s brother, Enlil, and a conflict between the gods began. Enlil became the adversary of man, and the Sumerian tablet mentions that men served gods and went through much hardship and suffering.

Adapa, with the help of Enki, ascended to Anu where he failed to answer a question about ‘the bread and water of life’. Opinions vary on the similarities between this creation story and the biblical story of Adam and Eve in Eden.

Featured image: Sumerian chaos monster and sun god. ( Wikipedia)

Note: Ancient Sumerian translations were taken from William Bramley’s book, The Gods of Eden .

Related Links

Adam and Adapa: Two Anthropological characters

Sumerian creation myth

Enuma Elish - The Epic of Creation

Sumerian Myths of Origins

Sumerian Deities

Related Books

     

By John Black

Comments

my little piece of this is this: one of the perennial questions about the flood is "where did the water come from?"
the answer has two parts, as far as my reading informs me (and I read a LOT).

1) the atmosphere has not always been the way it is now. long ago, pre-flood, it did not rain, for example. rather, the atmosphere, which now is often clear with the familiar bright blue sky, was misty. all of the water was in the air. it did not condense into clouds, which not only form the white, puffy things we see but also the clear air around them. think about it: condensation forms clouds by gathering-together water vapor. this forms clouds as well as clear air. also, it seems the mist would rise and fall with the day/night cycle. the morning dew is what watered the plants. atmospheric water, heavy vapor that kept the sky misty and hazy, also shielded the surface from solar radiation which may help explain ancient stories of long lives. water is an excellent radiation shield. if you look at "normal" human aging alongside the effects of radiation exposure, they look identical.

2) star-water. atmospheric oxygen gets bombarded by solar hydrogen, the solar wind, and under certain circumstances water simply forms in the atmosphere. we have seen this in dramatic action over the last few years in the great floods that are occurring in the US and elsewhere. satellites with time-lapse video allow us to see the points at which water simply forms in the air and falls onto the ground. atmospheric science is being re-written constantly now. during the flooding of the last couple of years the question keeps coming up: "where is all the water coming from?" because the current models do not allow for the amount of water that is falling to have been generated by the processes that science has in place.

The Enuma Elish and other stories are valuable to us in that they show us that our biblically focused history is not what we are told. But we have to be careful in our interpretation. they did not think like we think. their assumptions were different. their truth was different. they were different animals than we are.

Did Oannes and Dagon and others of the Nommo from Sirius actually land in celestial eggs and then walk out of the sea each evening to teach humanity about agriculture, math, astronomy, and law? maybe. Were the Nommo the Anunna? Maybe. It certainly appears that way in a fair reading of comparative cultural/historical literature. The Dogon of Africa say so, and they knew of Sirius B eons ago. The Popes hat says so.

But what does that mean for us? It is a historical arc for the human animal but are we that?

To my mind the human animal is a vehicle, a vessel of evolution that the "real" entity inside of each of us inhabits. It is one among many. And so the history of this place, of the species in which we participate is interesting, but it is not defining.

Enki and Enlil (who is NinMa) raised a ruckus when they helped to shape the thinking man from the pre-Adamite ape-man who was that hairy black dude in "2001 A Space Odyssey". They gave to that creature the spark of divinity, the intellectual potential that made us such a good critter to live in and through for our own purposes. But we are not that. We are that which is More than that. As they say "Taht vam Asi", Atman is Brahman.

I find this interesting and I wonder whether you would clarify a point. When I read that your name the sould, among other names "Apolon" I see another term "Apollyon". This is also named Abodon or "The Destroyer" in the Greek. This would seem to be to be a mix-up.

Certainly it is clear to those who look into these things that the original Being broke apart and created all -that-is from "his" own Self, and that our own Souls are small pieces of that prime Self. This is what Jesus meant when he said "Is it not written in your law that I have said 'Ye are Gods'?" (John 10:34)

I think the Enuma Elish is a way of saying that same thing using characters and in the language of what we would now call genetics.\

Old Babylonian language is nothing but Ancient Bulgarian language and the naming of Gods has its meaning only into Bulgarian language. The name Enuma Elish means Our Mother of Light (NaMaLaz). Ancient Bulgarians believed Godess of Light to be their Creator and named themselves after her. BaLa means Godess of Light and her people are Balgarians (bul). The story of creation is all the same in all the ancient sacred texts and its basis is Ancient Bulgarian spirituality. In the beginning was the Tamiyat and Tamiyat means Drakness into Bulgarian language. Anu means Sky. Anki means Sky Will / Energy. The God who was shloterred in order to give birth to man is God RaAz / BaRaAz in Ancient Bulgarian beliefs, God of Supreme Consciousness and AllFather of Ancient Bulgarians. Later on he became Purusha in Hinduism, the sccessor of Ancient Bulgarian spirituality. God RaZ devoured himself into thousand pieces in order to create human soul in every human being. This Human Soul Ancient Bulgarians venerated as God SebAzi and also God BalAz / BalOn / Apolon. Godess Mother was of Matter, Nature and Energy. She nad many names: KeRa, BaRama, MaRa, TaRa, BaLa, Parvata, BaRaKaRata / Prakriti, Karamama, etc. The name of Gilgamesh is an Ancient Bulgarian name meaning Man (Mazh) of Earthly Light. Ancient Bulgarians knew they were made of earth / Ge and called themselves GaRi, Gali, Gati, GaBati, etc.

However... just like our ancestors, we are still having a problem keeping the CREATOR GOD. separate from his Angelic Beings, Human Beings and the Beings we call Aliens. WHEN mankind can get these separated in their minds, and realize they are ALL REAL... but each exist for different reasons.... THEN we can more easily determine what LIFE is all about. I totally agree with A LOT of what you said about us being ENERGY... SOULS.... that have a little voice to remind us what is right and wrong. WE ALL came from CREATOR GOD.... we just happen to live in different places.I have an ebook on Amazon explaining my thoughts on this if anyone is interested... Thousands of people are asking the same questions, see if your answer is here http://amzn.to/1XBHgBV

yes absolutely I have always believed just from looking at chinese characters and sumerian that the connection is there as well as other reasonings that I will not divulge as I would rather save face than show my lack of depth due to my not being able to speak chinese

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