FLYING SERPENTS AND DRAGONS

By R. A. Boulay 1990

Editorial Comments By Roberto Solàrion 1997

Chapter 16

THE SPACE CITY AND FACILITIES DESTROYED

"He [Naram-Sin] defied the word of Enlil, crushed those who had submitted to Enlil, mobilized his troops ... Like a bandit who plunders a city, he erected large ladders against the house, to destroy the Ekur like a huge ship ... Against the house that was not a mountain, where cedar was felled, he forged great axes, sharpened double-edged íaxes of destruction.í Levelled it down to the foundation of the land."

- Sumerian Poem "The Curse of Agade"

The next two chapters concern the activities in the Western Lands during the Third Millennium BC when repeated invasions by the eastern kings resulted in the destruction of the space facilities and the devastation of the lands of Lebanon, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and the Sinai. The agents of this destruction were the kings of the Akkad Dynasty and the Third Dynasty of Ur.

 

THE SPACE COMPLEX MOVED TO THE WEST

Today, the climate of Palestine is harsh and dry. There are many indications that it may have been much different 5,000 years ago. Researches based on pollen spectra and profiles obtained from all of Palestine reveals that rainfall was much more abundant in the Third Millennium BC.

Research at Tel Aviv University has shown that rainfall at that time had a different pattern. Rain probably originated from warm fronts pushed into Palestine by the western winds all the way from the Atlantic Ocean, whereas present-day thunderstorms originate over the eastern Mediterranean. This phenomenon would result in summer rains and subsequently a greater annual rainfall. This would explain the abundant vegetation as shown by pollen distribution and particularly the wider distribution of the deciduous oak in the past. It supports the statements in the Old Testament that refer to Palestine as "a land of milk and honey."

The devastation of the lands by invading armies, subsequent overpopulation and overgrazing, and shifting weather patterns probably all played a part in changing the lands of the Levant to the semi-arid land that it is today.

The land of Lebanon, in particular, was lush and munificent. To this new garden of Eden the space facilities were moved and a city built to serve as the headquarters of the new launch platform and support facilities. It became the Biblical garden of Eden and the Sumerian "land of pleasant living."

The old space platform at Sippar was now under the waters of the Persian Gulf. So was Larak, the control and communications center. It was moved to Ur-Salem, later to become known as Jerusalem.

An alternate launch site and control center was established at Jebel or Mount Halal in the northern Sinai or what is known Biblically as Mount Horeb or Mount Sinai.

A fortified support complex was located at the group of oases near Kadesh-Barnea to protect the eastern approaches to the space complex. The Chief Astronaut Utu, who previously had ruled Sippar, the space city, now reappeared in the land of Lebanon under his Semitic home of Shamash.

References to the three main sites of the space complex are found in the Book of Jubilees although they are couched in religious terms. According to this source, there were three places on Earth sacred to the Lord. These all fell into the allotment of lands assigned to Shem after the Deluge. Perhaps this explains why Shem was favored above all the other sons of Noah.

Jubilee lists these sites as:

  • The garden of Eden, also call the Holy of Holies

  • Mount Sinai in the midst of the wilderness

  • Mount Zion in the midst of the navel of the Earth

It is clear from this passage the three sites were all fairly close to each other and were not spread out over the vast expanse of the Middle East. Jubilees says that they were "created as holy places one facing the other."

With theological verbiage aside, the reference to the garden of Eden is Lebanon, whose capital city of Baalbek was "the dwelling of the Lord." Mount Sinai is on the border of the wilderness of the Sinai and served as the alternate space complex. Mount Zion is one of the three peaks that make up the city of Jerusalem.

Its massive stone platform later became the location of Solomonís Temple and is now occupied by the Islamic shrine called the Dome of the Rock. As the "navel of the Earth," Jerusalem served as the headquarters and administrative center for the western space facilities.

 

UR-SALEM, THE SPACE CONTROL AND COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

Long before the days of the Hebrew kings, Jerusalem had been considered to be a sacred city by the native people of the land of Canaan. Called Salem or Ur-Salem (Capital City of Salem), it encompassed three peaks:

  • Mount Zophim in the north (now called Mount Scopus), or literally the "mount of the observers"
  • Mount Zion in the south which meant "mount of the signal"
  • in the center Mount Moriah or the "mount of directing"

Mount Zion is presently occupied by the Moslem shrine called the Dome of the Rock and is reputedly the place where Solomon built his temple. The Moslem shrine is built on a fashioned rock 57 feet long and 44 feet wide. At present, four to six feet are above the floor, with caves and passageways reportedly underneath. In a way, the monolith stone is similar to the stone platform at Baalbek, although quite smaller.

The three peaks of Salem were some sort of control center similar in function to that of Larak or Nippur in ancient Sumer. In the Scriptures Jerusalem has been called the "center of the Earth" and the "holy mountain." Mount Zion has been referred to as being "in the midst of the navel of the Earth."

Remarkably, Jerusalem was not a city sacred to the Israelites before the days of David. It is only mentioned once in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, and it is not until later in Joshua 10 that the name is encountered.

Actually, Shechem, a city north of Jerusalem, was regarded by the ancient Hebrews as sacred with the shrine located at nearby Mount Gezerin. Its holy status is reflected in its use as the storage place of the teraphims, the sacred idols or communications devices. In turn, this role may also be due to some as yet unknown reason for its importance, perhaps even as a regional radio with a permanent apparatus to contact the gods.

In Solomonís time, the temple was built upon the monolith rock at Zion which was at that time considered to be sacred. By then, however, its original use as a landing and launching platform was lost in the dim past, although it retained its holy status.

[Comment: As we know from Sitchinís The Lost Realms, after the destruction of the Sinai Spaceport during the Pyramid Wars, the Space City was moved to Machu Picchu and the Spaceport to the Plain of Nazca in South America. Thus, King Solomon was able to build his temple on the "Mount of God," so to speak.]

In the days of David, the stone was used only as a threshing floor, but David must have suspected its holy status when he purchased it to build the temple.

It was also near the rock at Zion that Jacob observed the angels going up and down a ladder or stairway to the heavens:

"He had a dream: a stairway was set on the ground, with its top reaching to the ski; and the angels of El were going up and down on it ... Jacob awoke from his sleep ... Shaken, he exclaimed, íHow awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of El, and that is the gateway to heaven.í"

Coincidentally, the phrase "gateway to heaven" is the same terminology used by Gilgamesh to describe the land of Shamash in the story about his trip to the land of cedars where the gods took the shuttle to the orbiting mother ship.

 

WHERE WAS MOUNT SINAI ALSO KNOWN AS MOUNT HOREB?

When Moses took refuge in the land of Midian to escape the displeasure of the Pharaoh, he met Jethro and settled near Mount Horeb. The land of Midian was in northeast Arabia on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba. From here the Midianites spread north into the Sinai and into Moab and the land west of Edom. The Midianites called themselves "the sons of the serpent," and apparently were descendants of the Anunnaki who were assigned the task of defending the installations at Mount Sinai and Kadesh.

Since Jethro is clearly associated with the holy mountain and appears to be its high priest, it seems that Moreb would be in the eastern part of the Sinai, perhaps in the general area of Midian.

Kadesh-Barnea is also in that general area. Mount Horeb would be reasonably close to Kadesh since this was the staging area used by the Israelites for the two years before their trek into the wilderness. Jebel Halal, a flat--topped mountain just west of Kadesh-Barnea, appears to have been the historical Mount Sinai or Horeb.

The location of Mount Sinai in an area which is the conjunction of Sinai, Seir, Paran, and Kadesh is strongly indicated in Deuteronomy 33 at the time that Moses is recapitulating the events of the Exodus just before he died:

"The Lord came from Sinai. He shone upon his people from Seir. He appeared from Mount Paran, and He came from Meribath-Kadesh, while lightning flashed from his right hand."

In this remarkable statement, Moses juxtaposes these four locations as if they are all the same place. In this respect, it is pertinent that the goal of the invading eastern kings some 600 years earlier was a place called El-Paran in the northern Sinai.

Thus, Mount Horeb, Mount Sinai, and Mount Paran appear to be names for the same mountain or perhaps complex of mountains in the northern Sinai which served as the alternate space center after the destruction of Baalbek. Kadesh and its complex of oases were part of this network.

The main evidence that Mount Sinai was fairly close to the Kadesh oasis is provided in the statement from Deuteronomy 1, where the distance between the two is stated in travel time:

"It is eleven days from Horeb to Kadesh-Barnea by the Mount Seir route."

It must be assumed that the Israelites were moving fairly slowly in their Exodus from Egypt since their rate of movement was determined by their flocks of sheep and cattle who had to forage as they travelled. In view of this restriction it would take about eleven days to travel from Mount or Jebel Halal to the complex of oases at Kadesh, which is about thirty miles away.

There is an interesting legend in the oral tradition of the Jews on how Mount Sinai was chosen as the place of the deity. Called "The Contest of the Mountains," it describes how Mount Tabor, Mount Hermon, and Mount Carmel fought among each other for the honor to be the resting place of the "Shekinah of the Lord," in other words, the landing place for his space vehicle. The dispute was settled by a voice from heaven which told them:

"The Shekinah shall not rest upon these high mountains that are so proud, for it is not Godís will that the Shekinah should rest upon high mountains that quarrel among themselves. He prefers the low mountains, and Sinai among them, because it is the smallest and most insignificant of all."

Mount Tabor is 1,938 feet high, Hermon is 9,055 feet, and Carmel is 1,791 feet. Mount Halal is 2,994 feet high. The mountains in the southern Sinai, Mount Musa and Mount Ekaterina which are traditionally identified as Mount Sinai are 7,497 feet and 8,668 feet respectively. This height alone would of course eliminate them from the legend. In addition, they have not been associated with the ancient religion of the Canaanites.

Mount Tabor, Carmel, and Hermon were all sacred to the ancient people of Canaan. In the Second Millennium BC, these three mountains formed a trilogy of places sacred to Baal, where ancient shrines to this god were located. The fact that these three mountains were considered by the Hebrews to be the location of their holy mountain shows the Canaanite elements in the Hebrew religion at the time.

The legend states that a low mountain was selected to be the resting place of the space craft. Mount Halal near Kadesh is a low mountain with a flat top that not only fits the legend well but is well suited by virtue of its shape as a launch and recovery pad.

 

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE KADESH COMPLEX

The area around Kadesh-Barnea seems to have been of major importance in ancient days. It appears to be one of the goals of the invading kings in the year 2085 BC. After defeating the fortresses of the Rephaim in the Trans-Jordan, they then crushed,

"the Horites in the hill country of Seir, near El-Paran, which is on the edge of the wilderness. They swang back to En-Mishpat (now Kadesh) and subdued all the territory of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazazon-Tamar (En-Gedi)."

They must have by-passed Kadesh to strike their main target - the space complex at Mount Sinai (El-Paran). Then they swang back to destroy the fortifications and space support facilities at Kadesh. Continuing north, they then destroyed the citadel of En-Gedi which protected the Valley of Siddim from the south.

The name Kadesh-Barnea (Kadesh means sacred) is usually applied to a whole complex of oases fed by natural springs in that area. It was heavily fortified in early times. Remains of numerous fortifications in the area date to about 2000 BC, at which time they appear to have been destroyed never to be rebuilt.

The area of Mount Sinai and Kadesh was of major significance to the Hebrews since it was a staging area for them during the days of the Exodus. It was from here that they were told to send scouts into Canaan to survey the land and report on the state of the native defenses.

The scouts did not run into the main body of Amalekites for by that time they had passed into Egypt. They mingled with the inhabitants of the area as far north as Hebron. What they found and reported to Moses was discouraging - the land was inhabited by Anakim, who like the Amalekites were fierce warriors. They presumably saw also the glacis-type fortresses of the Anakim.

At Kadesh the news was badly received by Moses who now realized that his small disorganized army could not conquer the remnants of the Rephaim. From here, a group of the tribal leaders decided to attempt a foray into the land of Canaan and they were soundly defeated at Hormah. This marked the end of their attempts to penetrate directly into Canaan.

After two years at the Kadesh oasis, the Israelites sent a delegation to the kings of Edom and Moab for permission to pass unopposed through their land to the Trans-Jordan. They were refused permission, and the Hebrews had to take the long roundabout way by that of the Red Sea.

In the eleventh month of the 40th year, Moses addressed his people from Mount Nebo just before crossing the River Jordan, as stated in Deuteronomy 2:

"Thus after you had remained at Kadesh all that long time, we marched back into the wilderness towards the Red Sea ... and skirted the hill country of Seir a long time ... The time that we spent in travel from Kadesh-Barnea until we crossed the Wadi Zered was 38 years, until that whole generation of warriors perished from the camp."

The Old Testament is strangely silent on those 38 years that the Israelites spent in the wilderness from Kadesh to the entrance to the Trans-Jordan. It is obvious that there are some missing books to the Old Testament, such as those mentioned elsewhere - the Book of the Wars of Yahweh, and the Book of Yasher.

Whether omitted on purpose by the priestly scribes or just lost in antiquity, these omissions relate to critical periods in the history of the Hebrews. Their recovery would solve many of the puzzles of the Old Testament.

 

WESTERN CITIES OF THE THIRD MILLENNIUM BC

The commercial city of Ebla dominated the Western Lands during this period and much is known about it due to the archives found at Tell Mardikh. These tablets provide a history of its activities from about 2550 to 2250 BC, at which time it was utterly destroyed. In the 26th Century BC, it dominated all commerce in the west if not in the entire Middle East.

At this time, weak dynasties ruled in Mesopotamia, making it possible for cities like Ebla to obtain and retain a strong sense of independence. Because of its strategic location astride the trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean, Ebla became a commercial power with influence over most of the cities of the Middle East. It was a big plum that was not be ignored by the rulers of Mesopotamia, who by tradition lay claim to this whole area.

The archives of Ebla reveal many commercial and trading relationships as, for example, a special affinity to the city of Mari on the Euphrates, the entrepôt for goods going from Mesopotamia to the west. Besides trade treaties, the two cities cooperated in various academic matters such as in the training of scribes, a very important profession at the time.

Another text recovered was found to be a geographical list of cities trading with Ebla - Byblos, Sidon, Ashdod, Megiddo, Jaffa, Carchemis, and many others not located. These lists provide a catalog of viable cities of the era.

Of particular significance in this commercial relationship is a list of cities mentioned in Genesis - Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboyim, and Bela. All are listed on a single tablet precisely in the same order but with Damascus added. The repetition of the cities as found, in the same order, would seem to imply a special relationship among the five cities, perhaps a trading consortium or a commercial alliance.

Eblaís importance in the panorama of the Middle East is attested to by the use of "en" to denote the king. It reveals a special status and close relations with Uruk insofar as only the kings of Uruk, the sacred city of An, were allowed to use this prestigious title. Other sovereigns of Mesopotamia were called "lugal."

The oldest reference to Ebla in cuneiform literature of Mesopotamia dates to the period of the Akkad Dynasty, 2334 - 2154 BC. Sargon the Great, the founder of the dynasty, boasts of having conquered Ebla. He did not despoil the city since it survived his reign.

A hundred years later, his grandson Naram-Sin was not satisfied with subjecting the cities of the West but destroyed them as well. According to the archaeologist Pettinato, the Italian Expedition of 1974, which unearthed the royal palace of Ebla, he found that there was "undoubtedly trace of a huge conflagration and that Naram-Sin of Akkad was considered responsible for its fiery destruction."

Generally called the Early Bronze Age, from 3000 to 2000 BC, this period came to an end by widespread destruction. The city of Ai was completely destroyed in 2200 BC and remained a pile of stones for a thousand years. Likewise, Jericho was burned by a great conflagration at about this time.

Just as Jericho protected the lower end of the Jordan Valley, Beth-Shan controlled the approaches in the north, dominating the valley at its widest, and guarding the highway which connected it with the seacoast. At the western end of this route, the citadel of Megiddo stood guard.

The fortress of Beth-Shan is of more than passing interest for it is important for another reason. The name Beth-Shan means the "Temple of the Serpent God," and numerous representations of serpents were found here. It may have been the center of the serpent cult which was widespread at that time in Palestine.

In the Third Millennium, a large population occupied lower Trans-Jordan near the Dead Sea. A huge cemetery found at Bab Edh-Dhra reveals hundreds of shaft-type tombs used for group burial. An estimate of the size of the cemetery indicates it could contain at least 20,000 of those shaft tombs. The area suffered devastation about 2200 BC and remained a wasteland for over a thousand years.

 

SARGON THE GREAT AND THE RISE OF THE AKKAD DYNASTY

Except for the exploits of Gilgamesh, one of the kings of the city of Uruk, little is known historically of the first half of the Third Millennium BC. The city-states of Mesopotamia were ruled by a succession of weak kings and details of the reign of these ruler is not known until the advent of Sargon who founded what is called the Akkad Dynasty about 2334 BC.

Sargon was not born of a legitimate king; his antecedents are a mystery, and his name has become legendary to later generations who referred to him as Sargon the Great. It is possible that he was the son of a priestess and a Sumerian god on an escapade to Earth. His origin is described in the biographic poem "The Legend of Sargon."

"Sargon, the mighty king, king of Agade am I. My mother was a changeling, my father I knew not. My changeling mother conceived me, in secret she bore me."

Sargon then describes how he was set adrift in the River Euphrates in a basket of reeds sealed with bitumen, and later found by a water-carrier who raised him as his own son. Sargon then reveals how he worked as a gardener and came to the attention of the goddess Inanna (Ishtar) who granted him her favors and made him king of the city of Agade.

The word "changeling" is sometimes translated as priestess because its meaning is not certain. It was the term, however, applied to the issue of a god and an earthling. Because of their divine blood they were considered to be members of the aristocracy and as a race of semi-divine kings and priests ruled the Sumerian empire.

Sargon first became cup-bearer to the king of Kish; then for some unknown reasons Kish fell out of favor with the gods and Sargon became king of Agade. The transition is described in the historiographic poem "The curse of Agade" which strongly hints that Sargon was assisted by certain gods who conveniently cleared the road for him by destroying Kish and Uruk.

"After the frowning forehead of Enlil had killed [the people of] Kish like the Bull of Heaven, after he had ground the house of Uruk into dust, like a giant bull, after in due time, to Sargon the King of Agade from the lands above to the lands below, Enlil had given him lordship and kingship."

The "Bull of Heaven" was a euphemism often used in the Sumerian legends for one of the special weapons used by the deities. It appears graphically in the legend of Gilgamesh, for example, when he and his companion Enkidu managed to destroy the "Bull of Heaven," a weapon sent by the goddess Ishtar.

From the inscriptions preserved of Sargon we know that he conquered all of northern Syria as far as Anatolia and up to the borders of Lebanon. It also provides the first recorded reference to Ebla in cuneiform:

"Sargon the king prostrated himself in prayer before Dagon (Enlil) in Tuttul (now modern Hit). He gave him the upper regions: Mari, Iarmutu, and Ebla as far as the forest of cedar and the mountains of silver. Enlil did not let anyone oppose Sargon."

There are several points of interest in Sargonís claims. He conquered Mesopotamia and the upper valley and the lands to the west, up to the borders of Anatolia (the mountain of silver) and that of Lebanon (the forest of cedar). Elsewhere, he describes how he captured the cities of littoral Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley, as indicated in the self-laudatory poem "The Legend of Sargon" where he boasts:

"The Sea Lands three times I circled. Dilmun my hand captured."

The cities of the coast of the Mediterranean were apparently captured by Sargon, cities which were usually referred to as the Sea Lands in the literature of Mesopotamia. Although Sargon entered the sacrosanct valley between the mountains, he apparently caused no damage and was satisfied merely to place his brand on the land of Dilmun.

Sargon conquered the known world from Egypt to India and became known as a military genius, an imaginative administrator and builder, and one of the most remarkable political figures of the ancient East. Later legends and chronicles celebrating the exploits of Sargon suggest his conquests may have included the lands of Egypt, Ethiopia, and India as well.

Unlike the rulers that followed, Sargon preferred to conquer and rule his vast empire, one that encompassed the entire known world. This is manifest in the archives of Ebla which reveal that the city seemed to thrive under the administration of Sargon but was later destroyed by his grandson Naram-Sin.

Upon the death of Sargon, the kingship went to his son Rimush who took over an empire torn by revolt and rebellion. Rimush ruled for nine years during which time he tried to subdue the Mesopotamian cities which had become rebellious. His short reign suggests a violent death and reportedly he was killed by his servants.

Manishtushu became regent and ruled for 15 years and was mostly preoccupied with trying to recover the distant colonies which had become mutinous. He too appeared to have died in a palace revolt. It is not clear if Naram-Sin killed his father in order to assume the mantle of kingship but in view of his subsequent activities it seems highly likely.

Ruling from 2254 BC to 2218 BC, Naram-Sin subdued the rebellious cities of Mesopotamia and recovered the lost colonies. Unfortunately, his overriding ambition and ruthlessness did not bode well; and although he tried to recover the empire of his grandfather Sargon, he did so at a terrible price.

He not only destroyed the space facilities at Baalbek but devastated the lands of Lebanon as well, and poisoned the land so that it was uninhabitable for a thousand years. He boasted of how he destroyed the cities of the west like Ebla.

Naram-Sin proclaimed himself a god and assumed all the trappings of godship, having himself represented wearing a horned headdress (image left) the symbol of a god. He also placed the "dingir" or star symbol before his name, a usage that was restricted to the gods. His policies brought down the Akkad Dynasty and the lands of Mesopotamia were devastated and lay chaotic for a hundred years.

 

NARAM-SIN, THE KING WHO WOULD BE A GOD

As forceful a figure as his grandfather, Naram-Sin became the subject of many traditions, some complimentary, but most not very flattering. He is remembered as the king who caused the destruction of the city of Agade and the end of a dynasty.

He extended the borders of the empire ruthlessly, describing himself as "king of the four quarters," which evidently meant lord of the whole civilized world as it was then known.

He also called himself "Conqueror of Arman and Ebla" and boasted that he was the first to destroy these cities. The claim has a ring of truth to it for when archaeologists unearthed Ebla in 1974, then found evidence of a huge conflagration and the city was destroyed at about this time. The ruins of Arman have yet to be located.

There are three main sources which provide most of the information we know of Naram-Sin and his career:

1. A stele which he erected at Sippar, later found at Susa, which shows him climbing a mountain over the prostrate forms of his enemies (click image right). He faces a large conical object on top of a mountain with the star of Shamash overhead. Naram-Sin wears the horned headdress of a god. The conical object he faces is a symbolic representation of the command capsule, as previously discussed; it was the dwelling of the gods.

2. A Sumerian composition known as "The Legend of Naram-Sin" which related of his expedition to a mountain land where he destroyed a rebellious city, but also lost his whole army in the process.

3. A rather long (280 lines) Sumerian historiographic poem "The Curse of Agade, the Ekur Avenged," which was composed soon after his death, perhaps as an exculpation for his destructive policies and his sacrilegious behavior in the plunder of the sacred Ekur, which led to the gods placing a curse on Naram-Sin and his city of Agade.

All three of these sources appear to be related to the expedition of Naram-Sin to the land of Lebanon and his destruction of the space city at Baalbek.

 

DESTRUCTION OF THE "EKUR" OR THE ROCKET TOWER AND ASSEMBLY BUILDING AT Baalbek

The narrative of "The Curse of Agade" begins with the rise of Sargon to power with the support of Ishtar, who made Agade her tutelary city. With Enlilís help, according to the author, the empire of Sargon flourished until the advent of Naram-Sin to the kingship. Soon after he assumed power, the gods deserted the city and Ishtar removed her sponsorship, leaving the city weak and impoverished.

At first, Naram-Sin accepted his fate with humility, but after seven years of this contrite behavior, he consulted the oracle of the Ekur and apparently was repulsed. His humility turned to defiance and he mobilized his army and attacked the Ekur, desecrated its holy places, and devastated the land.

According to the legend, this brought down the wrath of Enlil who unleashed the barbaric tribes of the surrounding hills that spread devastation throughout the land of Mesopotamia.

The key to understanding this story is the identification of the "Ekur" of Enlil whose violation was so serious as to bring down the wrath of the gods who had been called in council. The Ekur has traditionally been equated to the temple of Enlil atop the ziggurat at Nippur, his sacred city, according to usual translations and interpretations.

This identification, however, raises many difficulties with the text, for nowhere in the text is the city of Nippur mentioned or even suggested.

The Sumerian term E-KUR is composed of the letter or symbol E, meaning "house or home" and KUR the word for "mountain or hill." Besides being used to denote a natural land formation, it is also applied to an artificial mountain such as a ziggurat or to any large man-made edifice. Todayís skyscraper would fit the description of the term Ekur very well.

There is no indication in the text that the Ekur referred to is the one in the city of Nippur and it has been assumed from the beginning that it was this temple of Enlil that was violated. The text clearly states that the Ekur was located in a forested land, one of boxwoods, cypress, and cedar. There are no forests in the Mesopotamian alluvial plain, particularly near Nippur, yet this critical fact has gone unnoticed by translators and commentators alike.

The cuneiform text makes certain statements that clearly rule out Mesopotamia and rather point to the land of Lebanon, and the city of Baalbek. The actions of Naram-Sin, according to the text were as follows:

"He defied the word of Enlil, crushed those who had submitted to him [Enlil], mobilized his troops."

It is obvious that Naram-Sin is completely alienated from the Sumerian pantheon, and in particular its chief Enlil, who had blessed Sargonís conquest of Ebla and Dilmun. The poem then describes the assault of Naram-Sin on the Ekur of Enlil:

"Like a bandit who plunders a city, he erected large ladders against the house, to destroy the Ekur like a huge ship ... against the house that was not a mountain, where cedar was felled. He forged great axes, sharpened double-edged axes of destruction."

The so-called great "axes of destruction" presumably refer to some sort of large-scale destructive weapon. The destruction of the Ekur was complete and so widespread were the effects that if affected the whole land, even that of Mesopotamia. The forests of the land of the Ekur were completely devastated as "Naram-Sin cast into the fire cedar, cypress, zabalum-tree, and boxtree. Its giguna-trees, he pulverized."

The destruction of the land was complete, the Ekur destroyed, and its content looted and sent to Agade. The structure on the stone platform at Baalbek, the artificial mountain or rocket assembly building and launch structure were destroyed. This is described further in the poem:

"The people now saw its cella, the house that knew no light, the Akkadian saw the holy vessels of the gods, its great lahama of the dubla, who stood at the house."

The terms "lahama" and "dubla" are unknown and left untranslated since they do not fit any known meaning. The context of their usage indicate they refer to something on the Ekur itself, such as a large rocket booster that stood in the "cella" or inner room of the edifice. "Cella" is the usual term used for the most sacred inner sanctum of a temple or palace, that is, the holy of holies.

Although the poem is in Akkadian Semitic, it is very probably that these unknown terms are borrowed terms from the original Sumerian. In the case of "Dubla," DU is the Sumerian term for "bond or connection," and BLA, a form of BAL means "crossbeam" as applied to buildings of structures. Thus, DU-BLA may be the framework or "bonded crossbeams" that refer to the structure for the standing rocket vehicle, which in this case would be the "lahama."

The term "lahama" also lends itself to Sumerian definition. LA means bright or light, HA or KA is the word for the mouth or to speak, and MA is the common term used for ship or craft. Thus, LAHAMA probably means "the ship whose mouth speaks loudly and brightly" or, in other words, a rocket vehicle.

Thus, the epic poem "The Curse of Agade" actually discloses that the Ekur was not just a temple atop a ziggurat at Nippur but was the actual rocket tower building sitting on the launch platform at Baalbek. The forested lands that were devastated by Naram-Sin were those of Lebanon.

[Comment: It should not fail to be mentioned here that this account of the destruction of the Baalbek Spaceport is vastly different than that proposed by Zecharia Sitchin in "The Wars of Gods and Men."]

In the poem, Naram-Sin had consulted an oracle, probably Ishtar herself, where he requested access to the sacred lands, much in the tradition of Gilgamesh, and was refused admission. It may be that at that time he decided to invade and seize the lands. In "The Legend of Naram-Sin" there is a similar situation where Naram-Sin is turned down by an oracle so he decides to mobilize his army and invade the "mountainous land" and destroy the "rebel city."

The use of special large-scale destructive weapons is suggested by the reference to the double-edged axes of destruction. In "The Legend of Naram-Sin" a similar weapon called "the floodwind" is used and it also causes massive damage and ends the war. According to "The Curse of Agade" the weapons of Naram-Sin,

"levelled it down to the foundation of the land ... he tore up its mes-trees, the raining dust rose sky high. He struck down its doorposts, cut off the vitality of the land."

[Comment: The expression "mes-trees" obviously is a reference to the MEs of the Saurian Gods, the theft of which from Anu by Marduk set off the Pyramid Wars, as described by Sitchin.]

Swift retribution came to Naram-Sin. Enlil convened the gods in a special meeting, according to the poem, and the seriousness of the affair is shown by the pantheon that decided his fate: Enki, Inanna (Ishtar), Sin, Ninurta, Ishkur (Adad), and Utu (Shamash), all major gods who made the key decisions of the pantheon.

[Comment: Translated into Greek mythological terminology, this array of gods consists of, in the order as stated above, Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hermes, Vulcan/Typhon, Ares and Apollo.]

It was first decided to lay waste all of Mesopotamia but they relented and punished only the city of Agade. The destruction of the city was so thorough that even to this day the site of the city has not been found.

The destruction spread to the rest of Mesopotamia, however, and it lay in a devastated and chaotic condition for a hundred years. It may have been caused by a cloud of radioactive fallout from Lebanon, seeing that Mesopotamia is in the direction of the prevailing winds.

The poem describes conditions of hunger and disease, and it relates how the ones "who slept on the roof died on the roof," apparently as a result of exposure to the fallout from the radioactive clouds.

The other Sumerian poem called "The Legend of Naram-Sin" concerns an expedition of his to a distant land where he destroyed the people of a "rebel city" located in a mountainous land. Naram-Sin did battle with the troops of this land who numbered several hundred thousand.

In three successive years, Naram-Sin sent out a huge army to capture the mountainland: 180,000 were sent the first year, 120,000 in the second, and 60,000 in the third year. But not one of them returned alive. The armies appear to have been destroyed by a "floodwind weapon" which resembled the "axes of destruction" mentioned in the other poem.

It is not clear who initiated the doomsday weapon, Naram-Sin or the defenders of the mountainland. In any case, the results were devastating to the land of Lebanon and apparently to the civilization of Mesopotamia as well. The lands of Lebanon were scrupulously avoided for the next thousand years.

The legends of the hero Gilgamesh were certainly known to Naram-Sin; and in his over-riding ambition, he probably tried to emulate him, as well as duplicate the achievements of his grandfather Sargon. In declaring himself a god, it showed that there was apparently no limit to the excessive ambition of the egomaniac Naram-Sin.

One hundred and fifty years later, another eastern king invaded the Western Lands for basically the same reasons as Naram-Sin, to seize or destroy the space facilities which were now located in the northern Sinai in the Kadesh area, having been moved from Baalbek. Disaster struck again for the Western Lands, but it also brought down the invading king as well.

After the death of Naram-Sin, there were a few minor kings of the dynasty, but they ruled over a ruined land and could not stem the onslaught of the Gutian tribes which descended from the surrounding mountains. The lands stayed in the hands of the Gutian hordes for about a hundred years, a time when there was no central authority in Mesopotamia.

One Utu-Hegal is credited with the expulsion of Gutians and the reorganization of the cities under the Third Dynasty of Ur. He was overthrown by a deputy, one Ur-Nammu, who also attempted to resurrect the glory of the old empire.