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

Actually, these Sumerian did not used to worship Gods but Titans(of Greek Mythology, Daityas by Hindu mytholgy):

"And the primeval Apsu, who begat them,
And chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both"

Read this the name of father of Gods is Apsu. Apsu is actually the same name as used in other cultures to name the father of Gods, Kashyap rishi which is also used in the name of Caspian Sea.

So, basically Kashyap (mentioned in Vedas)-> Apsu -> Caspian is the one who is regarded father of 3 main tribes of Earth:

1) The real Gods-Devta(Hindi)-Divine, Aesir (Nord mythology) are the names used for them across Vedic and Norse culture and their mother is Aditi.

2) The Titans or Daityas(Hindi) are these Semantic deities and their mother is Diti which seems like these Sumers used to call Tiamut which is Tia+Mut and the word Mut is also used among ancient egyptians and other cultures across globe which has root in ancient Sanskrit language that means Mata(Sanskrit) or Mother.

So the name Diti (in Vedas) has been changed to Tia or Tiya which is also the root for the name of her sons Daityas or Titans.

3) The third race is of giants whose mother is Danu (also mentioned in Vedas as third wife of Kashyap or Apsu) and was worshipped as a ancient Celtic mother Goddess of Europe.

Single sourced perhaps, but the one thing the Sumerian, Egyptian, nor INDIAN accounts cannot take credit for is the racism against blacks which can be linked directly to the 'Noah and his 3 sons' story or the 'curse of Ham'. That bit of biblical nonsense was widely used in the 19th century to support slavery. Its repercussions can still be felt today.

It is possible creation myths are all single sourced.
Below is the Egyptian creation myth:
Ancient Egyptian creation myth posits a void of nothingness Nun. The creative principle Atum parts the void. Atum breaths out Maat. Atum breaths in Maat and breaths out Tefnut and Shu.

I am particularly fond of this creation myth as it has beautiful symmetry.

A void of nothing. No movement, no wave, no flow, stygian silence.
A creative principle, a prime mover, a first action - Atum.
A part in nothingness.
Before all, Maat.

Nothing can begin before the symmetry, the perfection, the exactness deified by Maat

Perhaps a catastrophe due to the 41,000 y ago Phlagaran Field volcanos followed by the 40,000 global magnetic reversal disrupted a civilization that was in contact with all groups but had to restart after the 'flood,' each going its own way.

It is possible creation myths are all single sourced.
Below is the Egyptian creation myth:
Ancient Egyptian creation myth posits a void of nothingness Nun. The creative principle Atum parts the void. Atum breaths out Maat. Atum breaths in Maat and breaths out Tefnut and Shu.

I am particularly fond of this creation myth as it has beautiful symmetry.

A void of nothing. No movement, no wave, no flow, stygian silence.
A creative principle, a prime mover, a first action - Atum.
A part in nothingness.
Before all, Maat.

Nothing can begin before the symmetry, the perfection, the exactness deified by Maat

Perhaps a catastrophe due to the 41,000 y ago Phlagaran Field volcanos followed by the 40,000 global magnetic reversal disrupted a civilization that was in contact with all groups but had to restart after the 'flood,' each going its own way.

Peti Miklos's picture

I’m adding to what I just wrote … All the never ending false information concerning astrological events in the heavens, the Milky Way, cosmic boat star formations, the endless semi-scientific gibberish, and all else that has been said in comment on this subject outside of biblical reference is there to serve one purpose only, to discredit any and all belief in God and the events as told in the Bible. That’s it pure and simple, period. 

Someone talking about “now we are in the “Age of Reason” .. no, we are in the Age of Awesome Deception (an Islamic term for the present age, the age of the Dajjal/Anti-Christ/False Messiah). During this time many both powerful and small will attempt to turn people away from God; leaders of governments and religions will conspire together and tell monstrous lies; and deceit will be the rule of day. When you hear the words “now we’re in the Age of Reason,” all the person means by saying them is “you must do away with your belief in God, there is no other option.” 

You know, the Flood has been accounted for by all the peoples of the earth. The stories of it cross borders and cultures everywhere. It is written according to the belief systems, and cultural milieu of each individual people. Yet the facts are the same, there was a worldwide deluge that destroyed the former world and killed the majority of mankind. Only small groups of people survived, along with whatever animals they managed to save. All the people of the world state that this occurred, and it happened to them. This was not some story a person heard from someone else and passed on to the next person who took it back to his own people, and then adopted it as their own. Sorry to burst some people’s bubbles, but this was a REAL worldwide flood. 

My own belief is that the Flood of Noah, and the Sinking of Atlantis, both speak of this same event. “And the waters of the flood covered the earth” “And Atlantis sank beneath the waves;” and in both cases the former world and civilization was destroyed. Also in both cases, and in the other tellings of the event, the flood came about because of the same reason, divine judgment due to the wickedness of mankind.  Same story, only told in a different manner according to the cultural mileau of the people telling of the event, just as it was by ALL the peoples of the earth. 

Yes people, a real flood, and consequences for our actions. And don’t give me any of this “how evil and vengeful this God of yours must be to do this to those he says he loves, no God would do that, therefor there must not be a God.” Please, when your parents punish you it’s not because they do not love you, and it sure doesn’t mean they don’t exist. 

Yes people, a real worldwide flood .. deal with it !!

Peti Miklos

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