Who were the Annunaki?

As promised we’re going to have a look at the Annunaki. Any search on the internet will throw up thousands of references to the Annunaki – from pure academic analysis of actual Sumerian artifacts and culture to modern day tales of shape-shifting reptilians and bloodline  conspiracies.

Here’s a clip that gives an overview of the whole range of beliefs surrounding the Annunaki.

The theories and interpretations of Sumerian culture entered the mainstream via the works of Zecharia Sitchin who believed that the Annunaki were a race of ancient astronauts from the planet Nibiru, a planet beyond Neptune that is on a long elliptical orbit within our solar system.

There is still ongoing debate as to whether or not Sitchin’s theories are accurate. One of the foremost academic Sumerian scholars was Samuel Noah Kramer. So rather than delve into all the theories out there, let’s look at a small sample of what Kramer found when he originally translated the tablets.

The Sumerian tablets tell the story of a group of Gods who come to Earth. The Sumerian deities were known as the Anunnaki. There are various spellings of the word Annunaki, but it is generally translated as those “who from Heaven to earth came.” Kramer translates it as “the children and followers of the heaven-god An,” who are on earth (Ki).The chief God, An (or Anu) stayed in Heaven while his offspring were sent down to rule over different territories on Earth.

They introduce agriculture and farming and also bring livestock and an abundance of plants, fruit, vegetable and animal life.  They also mined for precious stones and metals and had a particular fondness for gold and lapis lazuli.

After a time the Annunaki workers became rebellious. They were sick of doing all the hard labouring and demanded assistance. After much debate two of the ruling Gods on Earth, Enki, assisted by his sister Ninmah, developed a slave species to take over the work. This species was man:

In those days, in the creation chamber of the gods,

In their house Dulkug, Lahar and Ashnan were fashioned;

The produce of Lahar and Ashnan,

The Anunnaki of the Dulkug eat, but remain unsated;

In their pure sheepfolds milk, . . ., and good things,

The Anunnaki of the Dulkug drink, but remain unsated;

For the sake of the good things in their pure sheepfolds,

Man was given breath.

When man was created there was a celebration and Enki and Ninmah got drunk and there follows a very curious story. Kramer writes:

At this feast Enki and Ninmah drink much wine and become somewhat exuberant. Thereupon Ninmah takes some of the clay which is over the abyss and fashions six different types of individuals, while Enki decrees their fate and gives them bread to eat. The character of only the last two types is intelligible; these are the barren woman and the sexless or eunuch type. The lines read:

The . . . she (Ninmah) made into a woman who cannot give birth.

Enki upon seeing the woman who cannot give birth,

Decreed her fate, destined her to be stationed in the “woman house.”

The . . . she (Ninmah) made into one who has no male organ, who has no female organ.

Enki, upon seeing him who has no male organ, who has no female organ,

To stand before the king, decreed as his fate.

After Ninmah had created these six types of man, Enki decides to do some creating of his own. The manner in which he goes about it is not clear, but whatever it is that he does, the resulting creature is a failure; it is weak and feeble in body and spirit. Enki is now anxious that Ninmah help this forlorn creature; he therefore addresses her as follows:

“Of him whom thy hand has fashioned, I have decreed the fate,

Have given him bread to eat;

Do thou decree the fate of him whom my hand has fashioned,

Do thou give him bread to eat.”

Ninmah tries to be good to the creature but to no avail. She talks to him but he fails to answer. She gives him bread to eat but he does not reach out for it. He can neither sit nor stand, nor bend the knees. A long conversation between Enki and Ninmah then follows, but the tablets are so badly broken at this point that it is impossible to make out the sense of the contents. Finally Ninmah seems to utter a curse against Enki because of the sick, lifeless creature which he produced, a curse which Enki seems to accept as his due.

From: http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/sum/sum07.htm

Enki grows fond of his human creation and, in time, helps it to breed. What seems to happen then is that man breeds very rapidly and begins to cause some sort of problem. Added to that some of the Annunaki marry human females. An (still in Heaven) is not happy, nor is Enlil, Enki’s brother, and so it is decided to wipe out man in a flood. Enki tips off his favourite human, Ziusudra, tells him to build a large boat and gives him very precise technical details of how and where he is to construct this boat.

And so we come the story of Ziusudra, who sounds exactly like Noah.  However, Summerian history/mythology predates all known literatures by more than a millennium.  According to Kramer:

“The ancient literatures which have exercised the most profound influence on the more spiritual aspects of our civilization…the Bible, which contains the literary creations of the Hebrews; the Iliad and Odyssey, which are filled with the epic and mythic lore of the Greeks; the Rig-veda, which contains the literary products of ancient India; and the Avesta, which contains those of ancient Iran. None of these literary collections were written down in their present form before the first half of the first millennium B.C. Our Sumerian literature, inscribed on tablets dating from approximately 2000 B. C., therefore antedates these literatures by more than a millennium. Moreover, there is another vital difference. The texts of the Bible, of the Iliad and Odyssey, and of the Rig-veda and Avesta, as we have them, have been modified, edited, and redacted by compilers and redactors with varied motives and diverse points of view. Not so our Sumerian literature; it has come down to us as actually inscribed by the ancient scribes of four thousand years ago, unmodified and uncodified by later compilers and commentators.

From Sumerian Mythology  By Samuel Noah Kramer http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/sum/sum05.htm

The Annunaki showed themselves to be accomplished scientists, engineers, architects, mathematicians and astronomers.  But in many ways they also sound quite like us! They squabbled a lot and seemed to have constant power struggles and battles with each other.

Interestingly in other ways they seem less than us. We share many of their negative traits, but there is little evidence in the tablets that they share our positive qualities. There isn’t much evidence in the translations of deep emotion, spirituality or high consciousness.

Of course we only have a small record to go on. Rumours abound that many more tablets were found during the recent war in Iraq, but as yet nothing has been confirmed.

Whether you want to see the Sumerian tablets as mythological creation stories or as historical accounts, there is still something profound for us to learn from them.

If the stories are true, then we all have a little Annunaki in our genes. If we are hybrid creations, then perhaps that explains our dual nature. Our tendency to make war, to destroy, to lust for power, to use the planet to our own ends, without thought for the consequences is then a part of who we are.  If we understand that and see that it never actually got our ‘relations’ anywhere then maybe we can learn to embrace and tone down that aspect of our psyche.

After all, we somehow not only out developed the Annunaki, we impressed them enough to lead them to fight with each other to save us. Perhaps our human side, with its capacity for high consciousness, deep empathy and deep connection to spirituality was the part they admired but couldn’t control? It is the best of us and the part of our nature we must nurture and develop if we are to protect our planet and survive as a truly intelligent species.

Stay tuned and we will update whenever more information becomes available.

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7 thoughts on “Who were the Annunaki?”

  1. I have studied the sumerian’s and the anunnaki for 40 years
    where do you find writings that show the anunnaki were reptilian people?
    Where do you find IMAGES that show that they were reptilian?
    please contact me with that information

    1. Thanks for commenting.

      This seems to be a common perception in much of what is seen written about them nowadays. It may stem from the Sumerian tablets which depict them with wings and bird heads or the famous statuette pictured in this article which has not very humanoid facial features. Many of the images of archaeological finds can be found in the link on the right – Sumerian images.

      The mythological stories (or histories depending on your viewpoint) do hint that whatever they were they were not genetically similar to humans as they undertook an extensive and long “fashioning” before producing a viable “human”. But could a species from a completely different genetic background then be able to interbreed with the human creations? Or were they from the same genetic tree – such as an evolved sentient branch of the dinosaur/bird line who rather than arriving for the first time were actually revisiting? Or is this just an old cycle of creation mythologies? Who knows?

      What are your views? We always like submissions so feel free to send an article.

  2. I am reading Kramer’s book now and a few things about the passages you quoted struck me right away; the words “Lahar” and “Ashnan” sound very much like place names marking out the territory or area where the fable takes place like one would with markers, two cities as the “markers” and they correspond to two ancient cities that could have been founded as far-out boundaries of Sumer, Lahore and Ashur.

    This thereby renders “Dulkug” as Sumer itself and the translation of this word according to Penn State’s site is; “A cultic and cosmic gathering place” so what they mean is the story is taking place in a MIRROR of Sumer in Heaven! They built Sumer’s cities as a mirror image of the fables not the other way around.

    Secondly, the “woman who cannot give birth” and man “with no male parts and no female parts” are both part of a known Decan; they are Virgo and Ophiuchus. Virgo in the Hebrew as a constellation was also known as the “House of Bread” and in this very tale the characters are given bread to eat. Also Ophiuchus was conversely both rendered male and female by various cultures so in Minoan he is female, Greek, male, making him androgynous or an eunuch.

    I say to you that this is not a historical mythology but a clear mythology based on stars and constellations. That the “ewe” or “lamb” is Aries. That the “goat” or “Kid” is Canes Venatici and Coma Berenices as the “swaddled child” of the virgin. The “three kids” are three stars. “Uttu” is clearly synonymous with “Eve” and all of this is a cosmogony.

    Not history.

    1. There is certainly merit in your viewpoint. However we can never know what shapes a mythology. It could be storytelling based on an attempt to make sense of the world and the bits of it that seem incomprehensible or it could be a mnemonic used to pass on oral histories and anchored in things that seem permanent such as the night sky, rock formations etc. The beauty is that we probably will never know.

      I think there is no better example of how this can work than Erich Von Daniken’s story of The Sacred Berlitz Stone (from The Return of the Gods) where he shows how a future world could mythologize and in time greatly misinterpret our current culture.

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