Chapter Eleven
EXILES ON A SHIFTING EARTH

 

"When the Spaniards, and then other Europeans, realized how numerous were the similarities in traditions, customs, and beliefs between those of the American natives and those who have been associated with the Bible and the Hebrews, they could think of no other explanation but the "Indians" were descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. That harkened back to the mystery of the whereabouts of the people belonging to the ten Israelite tribes that formed the Northern Kingdom who were forced into exile by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser.

"....While the exile of the ten tribes by the Assyrians in the eighth century B.C., and then of the remaining two tribes by the Babylonians two centuries later, are historical facts, the "Ten Tribes Connection" to the New World remains in the realm of intriguing legends. Yet, unknowingly, the Spaniards were right in attributing the beginning of a formal civilization, with its own calendar, in the Americas to an exile; but not of people - rather, the exile of a god.

"The peoples of Mesoamerica - the Maya and Aztecs, Toltecs and Olmecs and lesser known tribes - had three calendars. Two were cyclical, measuring the cycles of the Sun and the Moon and of Venus. The other was chronological, measuring the passage of time from a certain starting point, "Point Zero."


"....In The Lost Realms we have suggested that it marked the date of the arrival of Thoth, with a small band of aids and followers, in America.

"Quetzalcoatl, the Great God of the Mesoamericans, was none other than Thoth, we have suggested.... Quetzalcoatl, like Thoth, was the god who knew and taught the secrets of temple building, numbers, astronomy, and the calendar. Indeed, the two other calendars of Mesoamerica by themselves offer clues for the Egyptian Connection and for identifying Quetzalcoatl as Thoth.

"First of the two was the Haab, a solar-year calendar of 365 days that it was subdivided into 18 months of 20 days each, plus an additional five special days at yearís end. Although the 18 x 20 division is different from the Near Eastern one of 12 x 30, this calendar was basically an adaptation of 360 days plus 5.

"....That purely solar calendar did not allow for intercalation - a device that, in Mesopotamia, was expressed in the addition of a thirteenth month once in a given number of years. In Mesopotamia this number, 13, featured in the next calendar.

Mr. Sitchin has explained the variations of the calendar in previous chapters, but he makes a point later in this chapter about the meshing together of the two calendars....

"to create the grand Sacred Round of fifty-two solar years, for the combination of 13, 20 and 365 could not repeat itself except once in 18,980 days, which meant fifty-two years.

"....The centrality of the number fifty-two, if nothing else, as a hallmark of religious and messianic Mesoamerican beliefs and expectations, pointed to a key similarity between Quetzalcoatl and his Sacred Calendar and Thothís calendar of fifty-two. The game of Fifty-two was Thothís game, and the Tale of Satni earlier related clearly stated that "fifty-two was the magical number of Thoth." We have already explained the significance, in terms of Thothís feud with Ra/Marduk, of the Egyptian calendar of fifty-two weeks. The Mesoamerican "fifty-two" had "Thoth" stamped all over it.

"Another hallmark of Thoth was the application of a circular design to edifices related to the calendrical observation of the heavens. The Mesopotamian ziggurats were squarish.... Near Eastern temples - Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Canaanite, even Israelite - were rectangular.... Only in the unique edifice that Thoth helped build in Lagash was a circular shape adopted. Its only other Near Eastern emulation was at the temple dedicated to Hathor (i.e Ninharsag) at Denderah; and at Stonehenge, near where the Old World faces the New World on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

"....If as we believe, he was the Divine Architect of the circular observatories, he was certainly present in the Sacred Valley. His hallmarks among the structures of the Megalithic Age were the Round Observatory atop the Sacsahuaman promontory, the semicircular Holy of Holies in Cuzco, the Torreon in Machu Picchu.

Sacsahuaman

"The actual domain of Quetzalcoatl/Thoth was Mesoamerica and Central America, the lands of the Nahuatl-speaking and Mayan tribes; but his influence extended southward into the northern parts of the South American continent. Petroglyphs found near Cajamarca in the north of Peru that depict the Sun, the Moon, five pointed stars, and other celestial symbols of the serpent - the unmistakable emblem of Enki and his clan and specifically so of the deity known as the "Plumed Serpent." The petroglyphs also include depictions of astronomical viewing devices, one held by a person (priest?), as was customary in the Near East, and the other with the curved horns, as were the viewing devices erected in Egypt as the temples of Min.

"The site appears to have been where ancient routes in the gold lands of the Andes, from the Pacific coast and from the Atlantic coast, met as the latter followed the rivers. Cajamarca itself, somewhat inland and the natural port for it at Trujillo on the Pacific coast, in fact played a historic role in the European conquest of Peru. It was there, at Trujillo, that Francisco Pizarro and his small band of soldiers landed in 1530. They marched inland and established their base at Cajamarca, a city "whose plaza was larger than any in Spain" and "whose buildings were three times the height of a man," according to the reports of the Conquistadors. It was to Cajamarca that the last Inca emperor, Atahualpa, was lured, only to be imprisoned for a ransom of gold and silver.

Ruins of Chan Chan, the ancient capital of the Chimu Empire, Trujillo, Peru.

 

There are other finds of petroglyphs along the Magdalena River in Colombia, representing the Hittite and Egyptian encounters.... In the tomb area of Holmul, Guatemala, a drawing of a pyramid is found....

"Incredible as it may sound, reference to petroglyphs with astronomical symbols is made in ancient Near Eastern writings. The Book of Jubilees, enlarging and fleshing out the biblical record of the generations that followed the Deluge, describes how Noah instructed his descendants by relating to them the tale of Enoch and the knowledge that was granted him. The narrative continued thus:

"In the twenty-ninth jubilee, in the first week, in the beginning thereof, Arpachshad took to himself a wife and her name was Rasuíeja, the daughter of Shushan, the daughter of Elam, and she bare him a son in the third year in this week, and he called his name Kainam.


And the son grew, and his father taught him writing, and he went to seek for himself a place which he might occupy as a city for himself.


And he found a writing which former generations had carved on the rock, and he read what there was thereon, and he transcribed it and sinned as a result thereof; for it contained the teaching of the Guardians in accordance with which they used to observe the omens of the sun and moon and stars in all the signs of heaven."

"The petroglyphs, we learn from this millennia-old text, were not mere graffiti; they were expressions of knowledge of the "teachings of the Guardians" - the Anunnaki -" in accordance with which they used to observe the omens of the Sun and the Moon and the stars"; the petroglyphs were the "signs of heaven" of "former generations."

 

Giant Olmec Head, from La Venta

"Indeed, in the heartland of Quetzalcoatlís domain, where the petroglyphs evolved into hieroglyphs akin to the earliest ones in Egypt, the most obvious traces of his presence are astronomically aligned temples, including circular and semicircular ones, and round observatories. Such remains begin with two perfectly round mounds that marked out the astronomical sightline at La Venta, one of the earliest sites of the Olmecs - African followers of Thoth who had arrived in Mexico by crossing the Atlantic circa 2500 B.C.

"....Four millennia passed since then till the Spanish conquest, the latest instance of observatory in-the-round was the semicircular pyramid in the sacred precinct of the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan (later Mexico City).

"Chronologically, between the early Olmecs and the late Aztecs....

Aztec warriors, the one above is 15 feet high and used to support Quetzalcoatlís Pyramid roof, wearing his insignias.

 

 

"....were the countless pyramids and sacred observatories of the Mayas. Some of them, as the one at Cuicuilco were perfectly round. Others, like the one at Cempoala began, as archaeologists have established, as purely round structures but in time changed shape as the small original stairways leading to their top stages evolved into monumental stairways and plazas. The most renown of these structures is the Caracol in Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan peninsula - a circular observatory whose astronomical functions and orientations have been extensively and firmly established.

 

Mayan Heads of Warriors

Examples of original small stairway on a Mayan Pyramid, at above; and of the monumental stairway at El Caracol, Yucatan (right)

 

 

"The sightlines in the existing structure have been excessively researched, and undoubtedly include the principal points of the Sun - the equinoxes and solstices, as well as some of the Moonís major points. Alignments with various stars are also suggested, though not with Venus; that is odd, for in Maya codices the movements of Venus are the principal subject. It is one of the reasons for believing that the sightlines were not devised by Mayan astronomers, but were inherited by them from previous eras.

"The Caracolís ground plan - a round tower within a squarish enclosure as part of a larger rectangular structural frame, and the openings for sightlines in the tower itself - bring to mind the shape and layout (now seen only by their foundations) of the circular observatory within its square enclosure and larger rectangular complex at Sacsahuaman above Cuzco. Is there much doubt that both were designed by the same Divine Architect? In our opinion, he was Thoth.

El Caracol complex, Yucatan.

Sacsahuaman, Cuzco

"....Mayan astronomers used viewing devices that are often depicted in the codices and the similarities to Near Eastern instruments, viewing perches, and symbols are too numerous to be just coincidence.

"....The links with the ancient Near East in general, and with Egypt in particular, that are evidence by glyphs and archaeological remains are augmented by legends.
 

Illustration of the Way of the Nahuatl

"....Both Nahuatlan traditions, as well as Mayan ones in such forms as the legend of Votan, recount the arrival of "the Fathers and the Mothers," the tribal ancestors, from across the seas. The Annals of Cakchiquels, a Nahuatlan record, states that while they themselves came from the west, there were others who had come from the east, in both instances "from the other side of the sea."

"The Legend of Votan, who had built the first city, that was the cradle of Mesoamerican civilization, was written down by Spanish chroniclers from oral Mayan traditions. The emblem of Votan, they recorded, was the serpent; "he was a descendant of the Guardians, of the race of Can."

"....The possibility, which we have already mentioned, that the earlier migrants might have been descendants of Cain, relates Nahuatlan beginnings to one of the first recorded forced deportations....

"....It is clear from Nahuatlan and Mayan legends that Quetzalcoatl (Kukulkan in Mayan lore) had come to their lands with a small band of followers, and that his eventual departure was a forced one - an exile imposed by the War God. We believe that his arrival was also the result of a forced departure, an exile, from his native land, Egypt. The date of that first event is a vital component of the Mesoamerican counts of Time.

"....The concept of Ages in Earthís history and prehistory was a basic tenet of the pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica. According to the Aztecs their Age or "Sun" was the fifth one and "began 5,042 years ago." While the Nahuatlan sources were not specific about how much longer this age was to last, the Mayan sources provided a more precise answer through the Long Count. The present "Sun," they said, will last precisely thirteen baktuns - 1,872,000 days from Point Zero. This represents a Grand Cycle of 5,200 "perfect years" of 360 days each.

"In The Mayan Factor Jose Arguelles concluded that each baktun date had acted as a milestone in the history and prehistory of Mesoamerica, as will the year A.D. 2012, in which the thirteen baktuns that begun in 3113 B.C. will be completed. He deemed the number 5,200 a key to understanding Mayan cosmogony and ages past and future.

"....In arriving at A.D 2012 as the end of the Fifth Sun, Jose Arguelles followed the present custom of dividing the 1,872,000 days by the actual number of 365.25 days in a solar year, resulting in the passage of only 5,125 years since the starting point in 3113 B.C. Fritz Buck on the other hand saw no need for such an adjustment, believing that the division should follow the Mayan 360 "perfect Year." According to Buck, the historic age through which the Aztecs and Mayans had lived was to last a perfect 5,200 years.

This number, like fifty-two, is connected with Thoth according to ancient Egyptian sources. Among them were the writings of an Egyptian priest whom the Greeks called Manetho (his hieroglyphic name meant "Gift of Thoth"). He recorded the division of monarchies into dynasties, including the divine and semidivine ones that preceded the pharaonic dynasties; he also provided lengths of reign for all them.

"Corroborating legends and tales of the gods from other sources, the list by Manetho asserts that

  • the seven great gods - Ptah, Ra, Shu, Geb, Osiris, Seth, and Horus - reigned a total of 12,300 years

  • hen began a second divine dynasty, headed by Thoth; it lasted 1,570 years

  • it was followed by thirty demigods who reigned 3,650 years

  • a chaotic time followed, a period of 350 years during which Egypt was disunited and in disarray

  • after that a person called Men established the first pharaonic dynasty. Scholars hold that this happened circa 3100 B.C.

"We have held that the date was 3113 B.C., the starting point of the Mesoamerican Long Count. It was then we believe, that Marduk/Ra, reclaiming lordship over Egypt, expelled Thoth and his followers from that land, forcing them into exile into another, distant land. And if the preceding reign of Thoth himself (1,570 years) and of his appointed demigods (3,650 years) is tallied, the result is 5,220 years - a mere discrepancy of 20 years from the 5,200 perfect years that make up the Great Mayan Cycle of thirteen baktums.

"As with 52, so was 5,200 a "number of Thoth."

"In the olden days, when the Anunnaki were the Lords, the banishment and exile of gods marked milestones in what we have named The Earth Chronicles. Much of that part of the tale concerns Marduk, alias Ra in Egypt; and the calendar - the count of Divine, Celestial, and Earthly Time - played a major role in those events.

"....Ra, the Great God, pointed an accusing finger at Thoth; the accusation directly concerned changes in the calendar: Thoth, Ra accused, "their years cut short, their months had curbed." This Thoth had achieved by "the destruction of Hidden Things that were made for them."

"....The outcome could have only meant a switch from the longer solar year to the shorter lunar year - the "making of the great into small."

"....The exiling of Thoth was treated in Mesoamerica time keeping as Point Zero of the Long Count, according to accepted chronology. In the year 3113 B.C. It must have been an event whose repercussions were recalled far and wide, for it could not be a mere coincidence that according to Hindu traditions (that also divide Earthís history and prehistory into Ages) the present Age, the Kaliyuga, began on a day equivalent to midnight between February 17 and 18 in 3102 B.C.

"With Thoth gone and his brothers Nergal and Gibil remote from the center of Egyptian power, Ra/Marduk could have expected an undisturbed supremacy there. But a new rival had emerged on the scene. He was Dumuzi, the youngest son of Enki, and his domain was the grasslands south of Upper Egypt.... Dumuziís bride was none other than Inanna/Ishtar, a granddaughter of Enlil and one who had fought alongside her brother and uncles to defeat the Enkiíites in the Pyramid Wars.... Marduk was made a prisoner of the Pyramid.... buried alive there.... but rescued in time.... however, he was sentenced to exile, and in Egypt Ra became Amen - the Hidden One, a god no longer seen.

"Where was Thoth in the ensuing centuries, now that his exiler was himself in exile? Apparently roaming distant - guiding the erection of the first Stonehenge in the British Isles circa 2800 B.C., helping orient astronomically megalithic structures in the Andes. Where was Marduk during that period? We really do not know, but he must have been somewhere not too far away, for he was watching developments in the Near East and continuing his scheming to seize the supremacy of Earth - supremacy, he believed, wrongly denied to his father Enki.

"In Mesopotamia Inanna, ruthless and cunning, maneuvered the kingship of Sumer into the hands of a gardener of her liking .... Sharru-kin, "righteous ruler," known to us as Sargon I.

Sargon enraged Marduk, because he had stolen sacred soil from Babylon, so he destroyed Sargon and his people, and Marduk reinstated himself in Babylon. There he began to fortify the city and enhance its underground water system, making it impervious to attack.

"Alarmed by the prospect of yet another devastating War of the Gods, the Anunnaki met in council. The chief antagonist was Ninurta.... The chain of events, with dramatic and in the end fateful turns and consequences, is described in detail in a text known as the Erra Epos (Erra having been an epithet of Nergal). It includes many of the verbal exchanges between the participants as though a stenographer were present; and indeed, the text (as its proscript attests) was dictated to a scribe after the events by one of the participating Anunnaki.

"As the story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that what was happening on Earth had been related to the heavens - to the constellations of the zodiac. In retrospect, the statements and positions taken by the contestants for the supremacy of Earth - Marduk the son of Enki and Ninurta the son of Enlil - lead to no other conclusion than that the issue was the coming of a New Age: the impending change from the zodiac house of the bull (Taurus) to the zodiac house of the ram (Aries) as the one in which the spring equinox, and thus the calendrical moment for the New Year, would occur.

"Listing all the attributes and heirlooms, Ninurta thus asserted:

In Heaven I am a wild bull,
On Earth I am a lion.
In the land I am the lord,
among the gods I am the fiercest.
The hero of the Igigi I am,
among the Anunnaki I am powerful.

"Carefully, choosing his words, Nergal formulated his answer to the assertive Ninurta. Yes, he said, all that is true. But:

On the mountaintop,
in the bush-thicket,
see you not the Ram?

"Its emergence, Nergal continued, is unavoidable:

In that grove,
even the supermost time measurer,
the bearer of the standards,
the course cannot change.
Once can blow like a wind,
roar like a storm, [yet]
on the rim of the Sunís orbit,
no matter what the struggle,
see the Ram.

"But while the change was unavoidable, the time for it had not yet come. "The other gods are afraid of battle," Nergal said in conclusion. It could all be explained to Marduk, he felt. "Let me go and summon the prince Marduk away from his dwelling," make him leave peacefully, Nergal suggested.

"....On the way he stopped at Erech, seeking an oracle from Anu at his temple, the E.ANNA. The message he carried to Marduk from "the king of the gods" was this: the Time has not yet come.
 

"The Time in question, the conversation-debate between Nergal and Marduk makes clear, was the impending zodiacal change - the coming of a New Age.... Marduk received his brother in the E.SAG.IL, the ziggurat-temple of Babylon, the meeting took place in a sacred chamber called SHU.AN.NA, "The Celestially Supreme Place," which evidently Marduk deemed the most suitable place for the discussion, for he was certain that his time had come, and even showed Nergal the instruments he used to prove it.

"....Realizing what had happen, Nergal argued to the contrary. Your "precious instrument," he told Marduk, was imprecise, and that is what had caused him to interpret incorrectly "the glow of the heavenly stars as the light of the ordinary day." While in your sacred precinct you have concluded that "on the crown of your lordship the light did shine," it was not so at the Eanna, where Nergal had stopped on his way. There, Nergal said "the face of E.HAL.AN.KI in the Eanna remains covered over." The term E.HAL.AN.KI literally means "House of the circling of Heaven-Earth," and, in our view, suggests the location of instruments for determining the Earthís precessional shift.

"But Marduk saw the issue differently. Whose instruments were really incorrect? At the time of the Deluge, he said, the "regulations of Heaven-Earth shifted out of their groove and the stations of the celestial gods, the stars of heaven, have changed and did not return to their former places." A major cause of the change, Marduk claimed, was the fact that "the Erkallum quaked and its covering was diminished, and the measures could no longer be taken."

"This is a highly significant statement, whose scientific importance - as that of the full text of the Erra Epos - has been ignored by scholars. Erkallum used to be translated "Lower World" and more recently the term is left intact, untranslated, as a word whose precise meaning is undetermined. We suggest that it is a term that denotes the land at the bottom of the world - Antarctica; and that the "covering" or more literally "hair-growth-over" is a reference to the ice cap that, Marduk claimed, was still diminished millennia after the Deluge.

"When it was all over, Marduk continued, he sent emissaries to check the Lower World. He himself went to take a look. But the "covering," he said, "had become hundreds of miles of water upon the wide seas"; the ice cap was still melted.

"....The implication of Mardukís statement that the "regulations of Heaven-Earth had shifted out of their groove" as a result of the melting of the immense ice cap and the redistribution of its weight as water all over the worldís seas, bears further study. Did it imply a change in Earthís declination? A somewhat different retardation and thus a different precessional schedule? Perhaps a slowing down of the Earthís spin, or of its orbit around the Sun? The results of experiments simulating the Earthís motions and wobbles with and without an Antarctic mass could be most illuminating.

"All that, Marduk said, was aggravated by the fate of instruments in the Abzu, the southern tip of Africa.

"....Marduk waited until the fountains dried up and the floodwaters receded.... What he had discovered was that certain instruments "that to Anuís heaven could reach" were missing, gone. The terms used to describe them are believed by scholars to refer to unidentified crystals.

They were:
*to give orders,
*to give lordship,
*the holy radiating stone.

"....In such circumstances, Marduk indicated, was he not right to rely on his own instruments to determine when his Time - the Age of the Ram - had arrived?

Nergal advised Marduk to leave the palace and search for some instruments in the Abzu and verify it all for himself.

"He (Nergal) was certain that thereupon Marduk would realize that his birthright was not at risk; what was being challenged was the timing of his ascendancy.

Nergal promised that as Marduk was gone he would make the celestial symbols of the Enlilite Age, "the bulls of Anu and Enlil, crouch at the gate of thy temple:

Marduk heard this.
The promise, given by Erra (Nergal) found his favor,
So did he step down from his seat,
and to the land of Mines, and abode of the Anunnaki,
he set his direction.

"Thus did the dispute regarding the correct timing of the zodiacal change lead to Mardukís second exile - temporary only, he believed.

"But as fate would have it, the anticipated coming of a New Age was not to be a peaceful one.

Return

 

 

Chapter Twelve
THE AGE OF THE RAM

 

"When the Age of the Ram finally arrived, it did not come as the dawn of a New Age. Rather, it was accompanied by darkness at noon - the darkness of a cloud of deadly radiation from the first-ever explosion of nuclear weapons on Earth. It came as the culmination of more than two centuries of upheavals and warfare that pitted god against god and nation against nation; and in its aftermath, the great Sumerian civilization that had lasted for nearly two millennia lay prostrate and desolate, its people decimated, its remains dispersed in the worldís first Diaspora. Marduk did indeed gain supremacy; but the New Order that ensued was one of new laws and customs, a new religion and beliefs, an era of regression in sciences, of astrology instead of astronomy - even of a new and lesser status for women.

"Did it have to happen that way? Was the change so devastating and bitter just because it involved ambitious protagonists - because the Anunnaki, not men, had directed the course of events? Or was it all destined, preordained, and the force and influence - real or imagined - of the passage into a new zodiacal house so overwhelming that empires must topple, religions must change, laws and custom and social organization must be overturned?

"Let us review the record of that first known changeover, perchance we may find full answers, for sure enlightening clues.

"....Marduk, left on the understanding that the instruments and other "works of wonder" that he had put up in Babylon would remain undisturbed; but no sooner did Marduk leave, that Nergal/Erra broke his promise.... he entered the forbidden Gigunu, the mysterious chamber that Marduk had declared off limits. Once inside he caused the chamberís "brilliance" to be removed.... "the day turned into darkness," and calamities started afflicting Babylon and its people.

"Was the "brilliance" a radiating, nuclear-driven device?.... The other gods were angered by Nergalís deed; even his father Enki reprimanded him and ordered him back to his African domain, Kutha. Nergal heeded the order; but before leaving he smashed all that Marduk had set up....

"The two departures, first of Marduk and then of Nergal, left the arena free for the descendants of Enlil. First to take advantage of the situation was Inanna (Ishtar); she conquered the great Landing Place in the Cedar Mountains, the immense platform of Baalbeck in Lebanon.... She seized Mission Control Center in Jerusalem and the crossing point on the land route from Mesopotamia and the Sinai, Jericho. She brought about the invasion of Egypt.

"The texts suggest that recognizing her as an avowed adversary of Marduk, Nergal gave her his actual or tacit assistance in that invasion. But the leaders of the Anunnaki did not view it all with equanimity.

"An Assembly of the Gods was convened in Nippur to deal with Inannaís excesses. As a result an order for her arrest and trial was issued by Enlil.... She escaped to hide with Nergal.... she sent orders and oracles to Naram-Sin (Sargonís grandson) encouraging him to continue the conquest and bloodshed. To counteract that, the other gods empowered Ninurta.... to obliterate Agade. True to that vow, the city - once the pride of Sargon and the dynasty of Akkad - was never to be found again.

"The relatively brief Era of Ishtar had come to an end.... Ninurta (under whom Kingship had started in Sumer) was again given command of the country. Before Agade was destroyed, Ninurta its "crown-band of lordship, the tiara of kingship, the throne given to rulership, to his temple brought over...." Setting personal examples by his unwavering fidelity to his spouse Bau (nicknamed Gula "the Great") with whom he had portraits made, and devoted to his mother Ninharsag, he proclaimed moral laws and codes of justice. To assist in these tasks he appointed human viceroys; circa 2160 B.C., Gudea was the chosen one.

"Over in Egypt, in the aftermath of the exile of Marduk/Ra, Naram-Sinís invasion and the reprimand to Nergal, the country was in disarray. Egyptologists call the chaotic century, between about 2180 and 2040 B.C., the "First Intermediate Period" in Egyptian history. It was a time when the Old Kingdom that was centered in Memphis and Heliopolis came under attack from Theban princes in the south. Political, religious, and calendrical issues were involved; underlying the human contest was the celestial confrontation between the Bull and the Ram.

 

The Serapeum, at Saqqarah, Egypt; is a tomb for the holy Apis Bulls

"From the very beginning of Egyptian dynastic rule and religion, the greatest celestial compliment to the great gods was to compare them to the Bull of Heaven.

"When the Theban priests of Ra-Amen began the drive to supersede the Memphite-Heliopolitan religion and calendar, celestial depictions still showed the Sun rising over the Bull of Heaven, but the Bull of Heaven was depicted tethered and held back. Later on, when the New Kingdom reunited Egypt with Thebes as its capital and Amon-Ra was elevated to supremacy, the Bull of Heaven was depicted pierced and deflated. The Ram began to dominate celestial and monumental art and Ra was given the epithet "Ram of the Four Winds," and was so depicted to indicate that he was master of the four corners and four regions of the Earth.

"Where was Thoth during that First Intermediate Period, when in the heavens, above and on Earth below, the Ram and its followers were battling and chasing the Bull and its adherents....? It was a time when, without giving up his new domains in the New World, he could go about that in which he had become proficient - the creation of circular observatories and the teaching of the local inhabitants at odd and new places the "secrets of numbers" and the knowledge of the calendar.

"....Circa 2200 B.C. was indeed a time "when in Heaven and on Earth the fates were decided," for it was the time when a New Age, the Age of the Ram, was due to replace the Old Age, the Age of the Bull.

"....Many sources indicate that Mardukís son Nabu was crisscrossing the lands that later became known as Lands of the Bible, seeking adherents to his fatherís side. His name Nabu, had the same meaning and came from the same verb by which the Bible called a true prophet: Nabi, one who receives the divine words and signs and in turn expresses them to the people. The divine signs of which Nabu spoke were the changing Heavens; the fact that the New Year and other worship days no longer seemed to occur when they should have. Nabuís weapon, in behalf of Marduk, was the calendar....

"....The truth of the matter is that even nowadays, no one can say for sure when one "Age" has ended and other began.... The problem is especially acute in the case of Aries, that occupies less than 30ļ of the celestial arc, while its neighbours Taurus and Pisces extend beyond their official 30ļ Houses. So, if the gods disagreed, some of them (e.g. Marduk, so well trained in sciences by his father Enki, and Nabu) could say: 2,160 years (the result of the division of the Grand Precessional Cycle of 25,920 years into twelve Houses), the Time has come. But others, (e.g. Ninurta, Thoth) could and did say: But look to the Heavens, do you really see the change occurring?

"....The Era of Ninurta lasted about a century and a half. Then, satisfied that the situation was under control, Ninurta departed to some distant mission. In his stead Enlil appointed his son Nannar/Sin to oversee Sumer and Akkad, and Ur, Nannar/Sinís "cult center," became the capital of revitalized empire.

"It was an appointment with more than political and hierarchical implications, for Nannar/Sin was the "Moon god" and his elevation of supremacy announced that the purely solar calendar of Ra/Marduk was done with and that the lunisolar calendar of Nippur was the only true one - religiously and politically. To assure adherence, a high priest knowledgeable in astronomy and celestial omens was sent from Nippurís temple to liaison at Ur. His name was Terah; with him was his ten-year-old son, Abram.


"The year, by our calculations, was 2113 B.C.
 

The Grand Ziggurat, over the ruins of ancient Ur; Iraq today.

"....Their (Terahís, establishing the Ur III Dynasty, and Abrahamís) saw on the one hand the glorious culmination of the Sumerian civilization; its epitome and hallmark was the grand ziggurat built there for Nannar/Sin - a monumental edifice that, though lying in ruins for almost four thousand years, still dominates the landscape and awes the viewer by its immensity, stability, and intricacy.

"Under the active guidance of Nannar and his spouse Ningal, Sumer attained new heights in art and sciences, literature and urban organization, agriculture and industry and commerce.


"....On the other hand, hanging over all this greatness and glory was the destiny ordained by Time - the relentless change, from one New Year to another, and the Sunís position less and less in the House of GUD.ANNA, the "Bull of Heaven," and ever closer to that of KU.MAL, the celestial Ram - with all dire consequences.

"Ever since it was given Priesthood and Kingship, Mankind had known its place and role. The "gods" were the Lords, to be worshipped and venerated. There was a defined hierarchy, prescribed rituals, and holy days. The gods were strict but benevolent, their decrees were sharp but righteous. For millennia the gods oversaw the welfare and fate of Mankind, all the while remaining clearly apart from the people, approachable only by the high priest on specific dates, communicating with the king in visions and by omens. But now all that was beginning to crumble, for the gods themselves were at odds, citing different celestial omens and a changing calendar, increasingly pitting nation against nation in the cause of "divine" wars, quarrels, and bloodshed. And Mankind, confused and bewildered, increasingly speaking of "my god" and "your god," now even began to doubt the divine credibility.

"In such circumstances Enlil and Nannar chose carefully the first ruler of the new dynasty. They selected Ur-Nammu ("The Joy of Ur"), a demigod whose mother was the goddess Ninsun.

"....Ur-Nammuís assignment was to steer the people "away from the evil ways" of following the wrong gods. The effort was marked by the repair and rebuilding of all the major temples in the land - with the conspicuous exception of Mardukís temple in Babylon. The next step was to subdue the "evil cities" where Nabu was making converts to Marduk. To that end Enlil provided Ur-Nammu with a "Divine Weapon" with which to "in the hostile lands heap up the rebels in piles." That the enforcement of the Enlilite Celestial Time was a major purpose is made clear in the text that quotes Enlilís instructions to Ur-Nammu about the weaponís use:

As the Bull
to crash the foreign lands;
As the Lion
to hunt [the sinners] down;
to destroy the evil cities,
clear them of opposition to the Lofty Ones.

"The Bull of the equinox and the Lion of the solstice were to be upheld; any opponent of the Lofty Ones had to be hunted down, crushed, destroyed.

Ur-Nammu died in a fatal accident caused by his own chariot while leading the military expedition. The people of Ur blamed the gods for the lack of assistance to Ur-Nammu.


As consequence of these events, Terah (Abramís father) moved to Harran. In Ur, Shulgi, Ur-Nammuís son provoked Enlil for not carrying out the divine regulations, by showing a distasteful behavior conducting banquets and orgies in the temple of Anu himself; and for failing to quell the "rebellion" stirred up by Nabu and Marduk. Shulgi was sentenced to death by Enlil.

"The retreat from the western lands and the death of Shulgi triggered two moves. Marduk.... decided to return to the proximity of Mesopotamia by arriving in the land of the Hittites. Abram, moved to the land of Canaan, to position himself in the Negev, on the Canaan-Sinai border. His mission, as we have fully detailed in The Wars of Gods and Men, was to protect the gateway to the spaceport.

"He (Abram) arrived there (Canaan-Sinai border) skirting the "sinful cities" of the Canaanites; soon thereafter he went to Egypt, obtaining more troops and camels, for a cavalry, from the last pharaoh of the Memphite dynasties. Back in the Negev, he was ready to fulfill his mission.

"The anticipated conflict came to a head in the seventh year of the reign of Shulgiís successor, Amar-Sin ("Seen by Sin").... Leading the attack, according to the biblical record in Chapter 14 of Genesis, was "Amraphel the king of Shiníar" and, for a long time, it was believed that he was the Babylonian king Hammurabi. In fact, as our own studies have shown, he was the Sumerian Amar-Sin.

"....Marching under the banner of Sin and according to oracles given by Inanna/Ishtar, the allied army.... smote one western land after another. Regaining for Sin all the lands between the Euphrates and the Jordan River, they circled the Dead Sea and set as their next target the spaceport in the Sinai peninsula. But there Abram, carrying out his mission, stood in their way; so they turned back north, ready to attack the "evil cities" of the Canaanites.

"Instead of waiting in their walled cities to be attacked, the Canaanite alliance marched forth and joined battle with the invaders in the Valley of Siddin.

"....The "evil cities" were not obliterated, though the flight (and resulting death) of two kings, those of Sodom and Gomorrah, resulted in booty and prisoners being carried away from there...., among the prisoners was Lot, Abramís nephew.... when Abram heard that, his cavalry pursued the invaders, catching up with them near Damascus (now the capital of Syria). Lot, other prisoners, and the booty were retaken and brought back to Canaan.

 

Pharaoh Mentuhotep II

"....The unsuccessful military campaign depressed and confused Amar-Sin. According to the Date Formula for the ensuing year, 2040 B.C., he left Ur and the worship of Nannar/Sin, and became a priest in Eridu, Enkiís "cult center...." The year 2040 B.C. was even more memorable in Egypt; there, Mentuhotep II, leader of the Theban princes.... extended the rule and rules of Ra-Amen throughout Egypt, up to the Sinai boundary. The victory ushered in what scholars call the Middle Kingdom of the XI and XII dynasties that lasted to about 1790 B.C. While the full force and significance of the Age of the Ram came into play in Egypt during the later New Kingdom, the Theban victory of 2040 B.C. marked the end of the Age of the Bull in the African domains.

"....In Canaan, Abram retreated to a mountain stronghold near Hebron. In Sumer, the new king, Shu-Sin, a brother of Aman-Sin strengthened the defensive walls in the west, sought an alliance with the Nippurites who had settled with Terah in Harran, and built two large ships - possibly as a precaution, with escape in mind . . . In a night equivalent to one in February 2031 B.C. a major lunar eclipse occurred in Sumer; it was taken to be an ominous omen of the nearing "eclipse" of the Moon god himself. The first victim, however, was Shu-Sin; for by the next following year he was no longer king.

"....Within a year of the reign of the next (and last) king of Ur, Ibbi-Sin, raiders from the west, organized by Nabu and encouraged by Marduk, were clashing with Elamite mercenaries at Mesopotamiaís gates.

"....Unlike any other time in Sumerís and Mesopotamiaís long history, omens were cited in unusual frequency. Judging by the record of human behavior one may see in that a known reaction to fear of the unknown and to a search for reassurance or guidance from some higher power or intelligence. But at that time there was a real cause for watching the heavens for omens, for the celestial arrival of the Ram was becoming increasingly evident.

"As the texts that have survived from that period attest, the course of events about to happen on Earth was closely linked to celestial phenomena; and each side of the growing confrontation constantly observed the skies for heavenly signs. Since the various Great Anunnaki were associated with celestial counterparts, both zodiacal constellations and the twelve members of the Solar System (as well as with months), the movements and positions of the celestial bodies associated with the chief protagonists were especially significant.

"....A text designated by scholars Prophecy Text B, known from later copies of the original Sumerian record that was made in Nippur, illustrates how such celestial omens were interpreted as prophecies of the coming doom.

"....Some of those omen-prophecies directly related the planetary positions to the constellation Ram:

If the Ram by Jupiter will be entered
when Venus enters the Moon,
the watch will come to an end.
Woes, troubles, confusion
and bad things will occur in the lands.
People will sell their children for money.

The king of Elam will be surrounded in his palace:

. . . the destruction of Elam and its people.
If the Ram has a conjunction with the planet . . .
. . . when Venus . . . and the . . .
. . . planets can be seen . . .
. . . will rebell against the king,
. . . will seize the throne,
the whole land . . . will diminish at his command.

"In the opposing camp, the heavens were also observed for signs and omens.... an amazing autobiographical record by Marduk of his exile, agonizing wait for the right celestial omens, and final move to take over the Lordship that he believed was his....

"....Various astronomical texts from the years that marked the transition from Taurus to Aries offer a clue regarding the omens that Marduk was especially interested in. In those texts, as well as in what is called by scholars "mythological texts," the association of Marduk with Jupiter is strongly suggested .... such texts as the Epic of Creation were rewritten (in Babylon) so as to associate Marduk with Nibiru, the home planet of the Anunnaki. But prior to that Jupiter, by all indications, was the celestial body of Marduk in his epithet "Son of the Sun"; and a suggestion - made more than a century and a half ago - that Jupiter might have served in Babylon as a device parallel íto that which Sirius had served in Egypt, as the synchronizer of the calendrical cycle, is quite pertinent here.

"....John Landseer .... asserted that the "Caldeans" had known of the phenomenon of precession millennia before the Greeks. Calling those early times an era "when Astronomy was Religion" and vice versa, he asserted that the calendar was related to the zodiacal "mansion" of the Bull, and that the transition to Aries was associated with "a mystifying conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter in the sign of Aries, at the commencement of the great cycle of intricate [celestial] revolutions." He believed that the Greek myths and legends connecting Zeus/Jupiter with the Ram and its golden fleece reflected the transition of Aries. And he calculated that such a determining conjunction of Jupiter and the Sun in the boundary between Taurus and Aries had occurred in the year 2142 B.C.

"....If the determining or triggering omen for Marduk/Ra was the conjunction of Jupiter and the sun in the "mansion" of Aries, and if it did occur in 2142 B.C. as John Landseer suggested, then this heralding more or less coincided with the arithmetically calculated (once in 2,160 years) zodiacal shift. That, however, would have meant that the claim that the shift of Aries had come about preceded by about a century and a half the observational shift of the vernal equinox into Aries in 2000 B.C. as attested by the two tablets. The discrepancy could explain, at least in part, the disagreement at that time regarding what the celestial omens or observations were truly portending.

"As the autobiographical Marduk text admits, even the omen that signified to him the time to end his wanderings and come to Hatti Land, the Land of the Hittites in Asia Minor, occurred twenty-four years before his next move....

On the Enlilite side, and although the Ram had not yet fully dominated the New Yearís day on the spring equinox in the time of Ibbi-Sin, the last king of Ur, the oracle priests interpreted the omens as portents of the disastrous end.

"....In the twenty-fourth year of his sojourn in the Land of the Hittites, Marduk received another omen: "My days [of exile] were completed, my years [of exile] were fulfilled," he wrote in his memoirs. "With longing to my city Babylon I set course, to my temple Esagila as a mount [to rebuild], my everlasting abode to reestablish." The partly damaged tablet then describes Mardukís route from Anatolia back to Babylon; the cities name indicate that he first went south to Hama (the biblical Hamat), then crossed the Euphrates at Mari; he indeed returned, as the omens had predicted, from the west.

"The year was 2024 B.C.

"When the Esagil (Mardukís) was eventually built, it was erected according to very detailed and precise plans; its orientation, height, and various stages were indeed such that its head pointed directly to the star Iku, the lead star of the constellation Aries.

"But Mardukís ambitious vision was not to be fulfilled right then and there. In the very same year that he began his march back to Babylon at the head of the horde of Western supporters organized by Nabu, a most awesome catastrophe befell the ancient Near East - a calamity the likes of which neither Mankind nor Earth itself had previously experienced.

"He expected that once the omens were clear, both gods and men would heed his call for accepting his supremacy without further resistance. "I called on the gods, all of them, to heed me," Marduk wrote in his memoirs. "I called on the people along my march, íbring your tribute to Babylon.í" Instead, he encountered a scorched-earth policy....

"....As Mardukís followers continued their advance, the temples and shrines of other gods began to be desecrated. The greatest sacrilege was the defilement of Enlilís temple in Nippur, until then the venerated religious center of all the lands and all the peoples. When Enlil heard that even the Holy of Holies was not spared.... He "set off a brilliance like lightning" as he came down from the skies.... Enlil ordered that Nabu be seized and be brought before the Council of the Gods, and Ninurta and Nergal were given the assignment. But Nabu had escaped from his temple....

"....Meeting in Council the Anunnaki debated what to do.... Only Enki spoke on behalf of his son Marduk.... Enki reprimanded Nergal for opposing his brother.... Nergal argued that the celestial omens were being misread....

"....As the exchanges between Enki and Nergal became harsher, Nergal, "leaving in a huff," announced that it was necessary to "activate that which with a mantle of radiance is covered," and thereby make the "evil people perish." There was no way to block the takeover by Marduk and Nabu except by the use of "the seven awesome weapons," whose hiding place in Africa he alone knew....

....It was Inanna who had pointed out that time was running out .... Inanna suggested to Enlil to continue the discussion in the privacy of the Emeslam temple; Ninurta spoke up.... "The time has elapsed, the hour has passed," he said. "Open up a path and let me take the road!"

"The die was cast.

"Of the various extant sources dealing with the fateful chain of events, the principal and most intact one is the Erra Epic.... Details are added by the Khedorlaomer Texts and inscriptions of various tablets, such as those in the Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts. They all describe the ominous and fateful march to its culmination, of which we can read in Genesis, chapters 18 and 19: the "upheavaling" of Sodom and Gomorrah and of the "evil cities" of their plain, "and all the inhabitants of the cities, and all that which grew on the ground."

"....The main target of obliteration was the spaceport in the Sinai peninsula....

*   the year was 2024 B.C.
*   the evidence - the immense cavity in the center of the Sinai and the resulting fracture lines, the vast surrounding flat area covered with
*   blackened stones
*   traces of radiation south of the Dead Sea
*   the new extent and shape of the Dead Sea - is still there, four thousand years later.

"....Typical of the calamities that befell the once proud and prosperous land are those listed in the Lamentations Over the Destruction of Ur, a long poem of some 400 verses. (Mr. Sitchin offers a few of those verses in his Book).

"....yet to be accepted is the evidence that we have presented that the calamity was linked to the "upheavaling" of the "evil cities" and the spaceport in the west. It was the unexpected development of an atmospheric vacuum, creating an immense whirlwind and a storm that carried the radioactive cloud eastward - toward Sumer.

"....The story, however, was not the same everywhere. In Ur, Nannar and Ningal refused to abandon their followers and appealed to the great Enlil to do whatever possible to avert the disaster, but Enlil responded that the fate of Ur could not be changed. The divine couple spent a nightmarish night at Ur. "Of that nightís foulness they did not flee," hiding underground "as termites." But in the morning Ningal realized that Nannar/Sin had been afflicted, and "hastily putting on a garment" departed the beloved Ur with the stricken mate. In Lagash, where with Ninurta away Bau had stayed in the Girsu by herself, the goddess could not force herself to leave. Lingering behind "she wept bitterly for her holy temple, for her city." The delay almost cost her life: "On that day, the storm caught up with her, with the Lady."

"....Enki, we learn took cover some distance away from the windís path, yet close enough to be able to return to the city after the cloud had passed. He found a city "smothered with silence, its residents stacked up in heaps." But here and there there were survivors, and Enki led them southward, to the desert. It was an "inimical land," uninhabitable; but using his scientific prowess, Enki - like Yahweh half a millennium later in the Sinai desert - managed miraculously to provide water and food for "those who have been displaced from Eridu."

"....Alerted and advised by his father, Marduk urged the cityís people to leave and hurry northward; and, in words reminiscent of the angelsí advice to Lot and his family as they were told to leave Sodom before the upheavaling, Marduk told the escapees "neither to turn nor to look back." If escape was not possible, they were told to "get thee into a chamber below the earth, into a darkness." Once the Evil Storm had passed, they were not to consume any of the food or beverage in the city, for they might have been "touched by the ghost."

"....Life began to stir anew only seven years later. Backed by Elamite and Gutian troops loyal to Ninurta, a semblance of organized society returned to Sumer under rulers seated in former provincial centers, Isin and Larsa. It was only after the passage of seventy years - the same interval that later applied to the restoration of the temple of Jerusalem - that the temple in Nippur was restored. But the "gods who determine the destinies," Anu and Enlil, saw no purpose in resurrecting the past. As Enlil had told Nannar/Sin who had appealed in behalf of Ur -

Ur was granted kingship -
It was not granted an eternal reign.

"Marduk had won out. Within a few decades, his vision of a king in Babylon who would grasp his hand, rebuild the city, raise high his ziggurat Esagil - had come true. After a halting start, the First Dynasty of Babylon attained the intended power and assurance that were expressed by Hammurabi....

"....In Egypt, unaffected by the nuclear cloud, the transition of the Age of the Ram began right after the Theban victory and the enthronement of the Middle Kingdom dynasties.

"....In Mesopotamia, slowly but surely, the ascendancy of the Age of the Ram was recognized by changes in the calendar and in the lists of celestial stars.... Iku was the "alpha" or lead star of the constellation of the Ram; it is still known by its Arabic name Hamal, meaning "male sheep."

"The New Age had arrived, in the heavens and on Earth. It was to dominate the next two millennia and the astronomy that the "Chaldeans" had transmitted to the Greeks. When, in closing years of the fourth century B.C., Alexander came to believe that he was entitled - like Gilgamesh 2,500 years earlier - to immortality because his true father was the Egyptian god Amon, he went to the godís oracle place in Egyptís western desert to seek confirmation. Having received it, he struck silver coins bearing his image adorned with the horns of the Ram.

"A few centuries later the Ram faded and was replaced by the sign of the Fishes, Pisces. But that, as the saying goes, is already history.

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