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. ( 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

Nibiru is teh 90-day absence of Mars as the sun crosses over it. It is not absent for 3600 years but rather the 13-year cycle of Mars (6x 780 day = 13x 360 day) is 277x 13 year total of 3601 years. This is confused with 3600 years to year 3601 because Venus has a 1200-year cycle of Egyptian years (1199 Julian) of which year 6000 was claimed to be 3600 years in the future from year 2400. Mars has always been the fire red Marduk. The Jupiter Marduk is not fire red. has this educated the idiots, i think not because they dont know what the id of an idiot is.

I’m sure you’ve heard all the warnings about NIBIRU, that large fiery monster of a planet that is headed towards us with its powerful magnetic pull and giant tail full of massive amounts of debris leaving unthinkable destruction in its path and you can get the latest info:
http://www.blue-planet-project.com/Nibiru-2015-Planet-X.html

Gil Carlson,
Of course you have to praise and recommend your own book - but the planetary Nibiru ideas is mythically confused.
Read more here: http://www.saturn-myth-delusion.net/nibiru.htm

First thing I would like to say is this is supposed to be the section where people post comments not books.
It would also help when the people making the comments did not repeat the same information and exact pharsing over and over again. The duality of rereading can give one a headache.
Before Victor goes on to start his own religion because he can turn a pretty phrase, more than once, over and over, people please realize he can prove absolutely nothing of what he is talking about. Yes, this article is explaining the translation of the cuniform tablets found at Ninivah, but the creation story is considered a myth. How do we know that our ancesters did not just make up a wonderful creation story and claim their fame to power as the head of the priests who knew the real truth? Other than the writings, nothing has ever been found to prove the existance of these Aliens and people are now referring to this as fact. One cannot emphatically state that the writings of one culture to be true, than go on to state the information in the Bilble, which contains more than just religious dogma but actually historical information, is not. Smh...
And archerons, please, this is a take on the Gnostic religion which Jesus preached in the books that were banned from the Bible at the council of Nicea. I guess it is ok to pick and choose. Jesus is fake, but I really believe in the Archerons, which Jesus preached about!
And to remove the Divine from creation? I guess guards that man the halls when you die and bully you into being reincarnated are to be believed, but millions of people who claim to have at one time in their lives been touched by miracles, visions, healings, or anything that just cannot be explained by the 5 senses, are all out of touch with his reality.
Talk about crushing hope........

Wicked angels are not the only demons. Humans are demons, they have demons inside. It is a serious thing for a Peter to tell his Lord not to prepare himself in a planned sacrifice of intended plan. SO TOO everyone here plays the role of a demon, thinking nothing of a role-play of devil's advocate by their games with semantics. (look it up). With semantics you claim trinity. BUT Jesus said you must become one as the two of us the father and son are one. He does not say 3rd. Further, he did not say that the 12 apostles must all become one by going into a transporter and come out as one living blob. God is not a trinity blob, yet Jesus said we become one has THEY are. A husband and wife become one but not by becoming one living blob. They are still two. Playing with words is a game of demons. Like Peter, you too Cindy Stebbins are Satan as Jesus called him. You believe soul and spirit and flesh are one trinity for humans, but that doesn't say God Jehovah and Jesus are one sole being. Jesus is likening one as husband and wife, not spirit God and flesh Jesus. To connect this way is like saying planet Mars crosses over and has intercourse homosexual sex with planet Jupiter. Its game play to claim anything as so. 3 fruit plus 2 apples doesn't equal 5 oranges and the liar then says that 3+2 is being denied as 5. That is what all these forums are, they are liars drawn together to be destroyed by God. They get destroyed by getting arrogant when insulted and so like Judas throw a fit to seek to kill, but it is they who have pushed themselves to the extent of creating destruction. This is why no one left Sodom. The expression save Sodom if 10 men are righteous means, the whole city evacuate because they listen to 10 men instead of to Lot who they hate as self-righteous. Like Nineveh who saved itself without credit to Jonah. YET odds are you all die, because none have seen what i say. YOU always listen to others as if they are rambling, and you see truth. Your own demons inside control you, like any drug, any sex, and addiction to knitting or collection obsession. For claiming we are trinities, you forget that a brain-dead patient has spirit and flesh but no soul. And the flesh can be kept in cryonics despite soul and spirit being gone because many believe the spirit is often still their when thawed out and revived. But it is a living vegetable once-again because the personality or soul has become lost and destroyed. In fact in losing the body, Paul says quit arguing what heaven is like because if there is a physical body for the soul to live on earth then their is also in heaven spiritual bodies for the person or soul to live in heaven. This doesn't mean all humans have a spiritual body inside. It means if God gave you flesh to live on earth, then if he puts you in heaven he will also give you a spiritual body for living their too. BUT AGAIN you all claim you are right in a world of billions who are wrong, by playing semantic word games of what is really meant. If you could see truth like i can, you would see all timelines of Egypt and China and Mayans and Hindu all come from ONE true timeline when corrected. NO it is not the Hindu are right keeping the truth when all others went bad. No it is not the Mayans are right keeping the truth when all others have gone wrong. No it is not truth found in Egypt because all others went wrong. ALL have gone wrong including the Christians who do not have ONE timeline (Ussher is NOT all christians, and never has been), and the Jewish Seder Olam calendar of 3761bc Adam is also wrong. ALL have sinned, but all timelines unveil the truth when correctly finding the errors in ALL of them. The world deserves destruction right now. The asteroid comes and none of you know how to survive what it will do. SAD and PATHETIC. God has proven me to be Elijah.

Pages

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.

Top New Stories

A Malakulan spider web mask.
Spider webs are sticky, somewhat creepy, and generally not something you like to see in your house. But they are also intricate and beautiful when the right light hits them. Even more intriguing than the process and formation of a spider web is when the silk from said web is used for alternative purposes.

Myths & Legends

King Haraldr hárfagri receives the kingdom out of his father's hands. From the 14th century Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbók.
Myths and legends – purely the creation of creative and imaginative minds, right? Not necessarily. Numerous stories, sagas, and texts from the ancient past have been proven to hold facts. For example, a 2013 study validates an intriguing idea presented in the Icelander Sagas - Vikings were probably less brutal than many people assume.

Human Origins

Sumerian creation myth
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...

Ancient Technology

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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