Sumerian creation myth

The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts

(Read the article on one page)

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. (

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


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.

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.\

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

I know this will be difficult for you to accept.

In this article, there are FOUR "characters" on the left side of the second figure. I believe everyone can see them.

What if I tell you these FOUR characters are ancient Chinese, and I can read / interpret them?
They have NOTHING to do with mythology. On the contrary, they are about COMMERCE / BUSINESS.

Will you believe?

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


Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article