Ordered universe and cuneiform (Public Domain) and Akkadian cylinder featuring Anunnaki.

Anunnaki Revealed: Who Were These Beings of Ancient Astronaut Theory? What Do the Ancient Texts Say? – Part I

(Read the article on one page)

The modern era has witnessed an incredible surge in the popularity of all forms of media concerning the mythology of the ancient Mesopotamians. Fueling this ever-growing trend are the writings of a number of researchers who propose connections between several Sumerian myth cycles and the theory that the human race was engineered or created by a group of extraterrestrial beings. Known as Ancient Astronaut Theory , this field is largely reliant upon the translations of cuneiform tablets supposedly made by Zecharia Sitchin, whose series of Earth Chronicles books form the foundation upon which the modern church of the alien gods has been built.

Central to Sitchin’s narrative is a group of mythic beings known as the Anunnaki, whom he claimed crossed their own DNA with that of Homo erectus in order to create mankind—for the purpose of using humans as slaves to mine gold and other minerals. Today these Anunnaki are often portrayed as the equivalent of the Old Testament creator God.

Anunnaki created mankind?

Anunnaki created mankind? ( Public Domain )

But what does the cuneiform corpus actually say about the Anunnaki and other mythic beings? How does the version of these beings and their activities presented in Ancient Astronaut media compare with how they were truly represented in the ancient world?

Princely Blood

To begin with, Anunnaki translates to “princely blood” or “seed of Anu”, not “those who came down” or “those who came from heaven to earth”, as many modern sources have claimed. The Anunnaki are “the Sumerian deities of the old primordial time;” a pantheon of gods who were the children of the sky god Anu and his sister, Ki. Significantly, some scholars have come to realize that the Anunnaki should more appropriately be considered demi-gods or semi-divine beings. Apparently, Anu’s sister Ki was not originally considered a deity and was only ascribed the status of a goddess much later in the history of the myth cycle.

Akkadian cylinder seal dating to circa 2300 BC depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, and Enki, three members of the Anunnaki.

Akkadian cylinder seal dating to circa 2300 BC depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, and Enki, three members of the Anunnaki. ( Public Domain )

As explained by William Klauser:

“Some authorities question whether Ki was regarded as a deity since there is no evidence of a cult and the name appears only in a limited number of Sumerian creation texts. Samuel Noah Kramer identifies Ki with the Sumerian mother goddess Ninhursag and claims that they were originally the same figure. She later developed into the Babylonian and Akkadian goddess Antu, consort of the god Anu (from Sumerian An).”

Essentially, this would mean that the Anunnaki were born of a union between a sky god and a mortal female, who was later deified in mythic traditions.

Four copper-alloy statuettes dating to c. 2130 BC, depicting four ancient Mesopotamian gods, wearing characteristic horned crowns.

Four copper-alloy statuettes dating to c. 2130 BC, depicting four ancient Mesopotamian gods, wearing characteristic horned crowns. (Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin/ CC BY-SA 3.0 )

From Dust to Dust

Furthermore, “Ki” is the Sumerian sign for “earth”, and Anu’s consort is sometimes considered the personification of the earth itself. This is similar to Biblical tradition, where mortals were created out of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). The concept of a group of half-divine beings born of mortal women is very similar to the Biblical and extra-Biblical tradition of the Nephilim. One of the most heavily referenced ancient texts which describes the Nephilim is the Extra-Biblical Book of 1 Enoch attributed to the patriarch Enoch, son of Jared and father of Methuselah. 1 Enoch is considered an apocryphal text today, and is rejected by most mainstream theological establishments, but this was not always the case. Many of the early Church Fathers, such as Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, and Tertullian accepted the book as scripture, and fragments of 10 copies of 1 Enoch in Aramaic have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. 1 Enoch is also quoted in the Biblical Book of Jude , and it has been estimated that there are as many as several hundred more references throughout the New Testament itself.

Joshua 1:1 as recorded in the Aleppo Codex, 10th century AD

Joshua 1:1 as recorded in the Aleppo Codex, 10th century AD ( Public Domain )

Sons of God, Daughters of Man

The most famous portions of 1 Enoch feature an elaboration on certain events before the deluge recorded in the Bible (specifically Genesis chapter 6, verses 1-4). According to 1 Enoch, a group of 200 fallen angels known as the Watchers, led by an individual named Semyaza (or Semjaza) descended upon Mount Hermon, where they swore an oath to father lineages with human women. Each of these “took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them”, a union which resulted in the birth of “great giants”. These giants eventually “consumed all the acquisitions of men”, and, “when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind.” (1 Enoch, Ch. 6-7) These activities provoke the action of God, who curses the giants to war against one another “that they may destroy each other in battle”, and sends the archangels to bind the Watcher leadership “in the valleys of the earth”. (1 Enoch 10) As is well known today, the Hebrew texts refer to the powerful beings born to the Watchers as The Nephilim.

Comments

My first encounter with the Anunnaki was in the descent of Inanna to the underworld, and her return to find Dumuzi living it up with a new girl! She sets the Anunnaki on to search for him and they are nothing more than Bailiffs of the underworld. Nowadays they work for the Inland Revenue/ Customs and Excise.

If they want to breed more of themselves, how do they do it without female Anunnaki? Perhaps there are females, and a Patriarchal culture could not conceive of a being greater than they, until they are corrected forcibly and definitively?

I have read all nine of Dr Sitchin's Earth Chronicles books, beginning with The 12th Planet, and have no reason to doubt the results of his scholarship. The cuneiform tablets in existence are located in museums around the world, for anyone to see. Dr Sitchin did not see any conflict between the Bible and the Sumerian tablets; indeed, the first line of the Bible at the beginning of Genesis begins Chapter Five of the Sumerian account of Creation! The Earth Chronicles clear up anomalies and inconsistencies in the Bible, which has been censored and re-written over the centuries, beginning with the Council Of Nicea in 325 AD. Also, for those who believe the stories that Nibiru, the home planet of the Anunnaki, is approaching our doorstep, it last appeared in our solar system circa 535 BC. If its retrograde orbit is approximately 3,600 years, as Sitchin avers, then Nibiru is still a long ways away. I think we humans have replaced "fact" with "belief." The evidence is all around us. Read Sitchin's books, and make up your own mind. I would recommend Erich von Daniken as well.

It's interesting what the church says is real and fake. I certainly would like to read the Book of Mary Magdalene and the Book of Judas. But the church might crumble and fall apart if we did know the truth. Very interesting article. I always like learning more about what the church and "mainstream science" considers "myth".

It's just like believing in angel, heaven, hell, God, and the Devil in the first place, right. Way to troll, keep it up ;)

the fallen angels according to the bible are locked in chains which are in hell and the fallen angels never habituated with humans according to the bible. only jewish fables says this and in end times. the Anunnaki were not the fallen angels, anyone who believes this is ignorant, deceived or plain stupid. there is zero proof for any of these claims. as the bible says you are fools!!

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

Sealings from the archive of Doliche.
Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" of the University of Münster discovered a large number of sealings in south-east Turkey. "This unique group of artifacts comprising more than 1,000 pieces from the municipal archive of the ancient city of Doliche gives many insights into the local Graeco-Roman pantheon -- from Zeus to Hera to Iuppiter Dolichenus

Myths & Legends

Deriv; Revelers dressed as Krampusin Austria
In ancient times, a dark, hairy, horned beast was said to show up at the door to beat children, and carry them off in his sharp claws. The Krampus could be heard in the night by the sound of his...

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 Places

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