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. (

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


And have been since at least the Whore of Babylon convoluted / perverted the gospel / scriptures / books & added Pagan rituals, deities, deleted removed other books, scriptures & scrolls et al as apocrypha since Council of Nicea 308-325 AD or so.. Ask the typical Catholic what the Pine Cone in front of the Vatican symbolizes or the Holy See or Seat of the Soul / Sedes Sacrorum are & you won't get any or very few honest answers. Ask them why Operation Paperclip gave refuge to the Nazi SS & Scientist's or why the Catholic Church signed a concordant in 1933 w/ Nazi SS members ? Crickets chirping ?

Every flood story takes place well after the creation story has ended. This is true in every mythos. How many books separate the two in the bible?

Native's picture

There is no logics in thinking of the Flood as a revenge from the creative deities.

The numerous cultural Myths of Creation of course deals with the ancient known part of the Universe, our Milky Way, which is named in many cultures as “a heavenly river”. This river – or Flood – can be observed “running all AROUND the Earth up in the Sky”, but it is misinterpreted by scholars to “run ON the Earth” which of course distorts the whole mytho-cosmological telling. Read more here –


Absolutely fascinating! You know, your post has enlightened me. I didn't know about the Milky Way River when I dreamed of a boat, with no land but a distant island, and the water was what, in the dream I called the milky sea. SO...the Bible also says "seek and you will find", and this looks to me a very definite sign that the truth is that the water seemed a flood but I was able to stand up in it, so it was about four feet deep. The water was watery but white like watered down milk, or, located perhaps in the milky river with a boat in its midst. I also learned that there are two paintings by Masters of the Last Supper in which a small dog is on the plate of Jesus, and Sirius is the "dog star". So, what will we make of this? :)

As most of you are aware, since the emergence of Sumarians, all of the cities that thrived such as the Hittites,Babylon,Egypt ect had a basic set of laws aimed at all and understood and obeyed from leader to servant...Christian's today call them the 10 commandments showing that although we live in a spiraling corrupt world, humanity will gladly obey enlightened laws almost as if they are preloaded to our DNA mmmmmmmm! But for how long?
As for the common appearances of a flood or destruction myth and end of the world warnings throughout religion and history, it seems that globally humanity is experiencing an ancient instinct???
Now the Flood!
Our Galaxy like our Solar System is constantly traveling on its merry cycle through the Universe.
It is this trip that may be the cause of the global anxiety.
Just as pets can sense natural disasters, I theorize that the past global catastrophes of our ancient past of which more and more evidence is piling up, shows destructive natural cycles like global warming, are a natural part of our world's life in our celestial journey. A consequence of a rare but ultimately devastating celestial collisions or close calls between galaxies or destructive global change due to the affect of a planet sized celestial intrusion to our solar system, passing close to Earth...All instances would easily cause massive global extinction level events...just look at the effect of the last intrusion...polar shift of Neptune.
We are overdue unfortunately and just watch the news or listen to parents and their children communicate and tell me you don't sense it.


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