Chapter Thirteen

"To establish his supremacy on Earth, Marduk proceeded to establish his supremacy in the heavens.

"....The Epic of Creation was thus a useful and powerful vehicle of indoctrination and reindoctrination; and as one of his first acts Marduk instituted one of the greatest forgeries ever:

the creation of a Babylonian version of the epic in which the name "Marduk" was substituted for the name "Nibiru."

It was thus Marduk, as a celestial god, who had appeared from outer space, battled Tiamat, created the Hammered Out Bracelet (the Asteroid Belt) and Earth of Tiamatís halves, rearranging the Solar System, and became the Great God whose orbit encircles and embraces "as a loop" the orbits of all the other celestial gods (planets), making them subordinate to Mardukís majesty.

"....Marduk did not forget to settle some personal accounts. In the past Nibiru, as the home planet of the Anunnaki, was the abode of Anu and thus associated with him. Having appropriated Nibiru to himself, Marduk relegated Anu to a lesser planet - the one we call Uranus. Mardukís father, Enki, was originally associated with the Moon; now Marduk gave him the honor of being "number one" planet - the uttermost, the one we call Neptune. To hide the forgery and make it appear as though it was always so, the Babylonian version of the Epic of Creation (called Enuma Elish after its opening words) employed Sumerian terminology for the planetary names, calling the planet NUDIMMUD, "The Artful Creator" - which was exactly what Enkiís Egyptian epithet, Khnum, had meant.

"A celestial counterpart was needed for Mardukís son Nabu. To achieve that, the planet we call Mercury, which was associated with Enlilís young son Ishkur/Adad, was expropriated and allocated to Nabu. Sarpanit, Mardukí spouse to whom he owed his release from the Great Pyramid and the commutation of the sentence of being buried alive in it to that of exile (the first one of the two), was also not forgotten. Settling account with Inanna/Ishtar, he deprived her of the celestial association with the planet we call Venus and granted the planet to Sarpanit. (As it happened, while the switch from Adad to Nabu was partly retained in Babylonian astronomy, that of replacing Ishtar by Sarpanit did not take hold).

"Enlil was too omnipotent to be shoved aside. Instead of changing Enlilís celestial position (as the god of the Seventh Planet, Earth) Marduk appropriated to himself the Rank of Fifty that was Enlilís rank, just a rung below Anuís sixty (Enkiís numerical rank was forty). That take over was incorporated into the Enuma Elish by listing, in the
seventh and last tablet of the epic, the Fifty Names of Marduk. Starting with his own name, "Marduk" and ending with his new celestial name, "Nibiru," the list accompanied each name-epithet with a laudatory explanation of its meaning. When the reading of the fifty names during the New Year celebrations was completed, there was no achievement, creative deed, benevolence, lordship, or supremacy left out . . . "With the Fifty Names," the last two verses of the epic stated, "the Great Gods proclaimed him; with the title Fifty they made him supreme." An epilogue, added by the priestly scribe, made the Fifty Names required reading in Babylon....

"Mardukís seizure of the supremacy in the heavens, was accompanied by a parallel religious change on Earth. The other gods, the Anunnaki leaders - even his direct adversaries - were neither punished nor eliminated. Rather, they were declared subordinate to Marduk through the gimmick of asserting that their various attributes and powers were transferred to Marduk. If Ninurta was known as the god of husbandry, who had given Mankind agriculture by damming the mountain gushes and digging irrigation canals - the function now belonged to Marduk. If Adad was the god of rains and storms, Marduk was now the "Adad of rains...."

"In the words of Enuma elish, Marduk became "the Enlil of the gods," their "Lord."

"No longer residing in Egypt, Marduk/Ra became Amen, "the Unseen One."

"....Ingeniously, the policy was not to eliminate the other Great Anunnaki but to control and supervise them. When in time, the Esagila sacred precinct was built with appropriate grandeur, Marduk invited the other leading deities to come and reside in Babylon, in special shrines that were built for each one of them within the precinct.... By accepting to his invitation, the others would literally have made Babylon what the name - Babili - had meant: "Gateway of the gods."

At a banquet,

"According (to the sixth tablet of the epic in its Babylonian version), the other gods took their seats in front of the lofty dais on which Marduk had seated himself. Among them were "the seven gods of destiny." After the banqueting and the performance of all the rites, after verifying " that the norms had been fixed according to all portents,"

Enlil raised the bow, his weapon,
and laid it before the gods.

"Recognizing the symbolic declaration of "peaceful coexistence" by the leader of the Enlilites, Enki spoke up:

May our son, the Avenger, be exalted;
Let his sovereignty be surpassing,
without a rival.
May he shepherd the human race to the end of days;
without forgetting, let them acclaim his ways.

"....Enki had this to say to the other Anunnaki:

As for us, by his names pronounced,
he is our god!
Let us now proclaim his Fifty Names!

"...."The national character of Marduk, Jacobsen (Thorkild) wrote (in a study titled Toward the Image of Tammuz), created a situation in which "religion and politics became more inextricably linked" and in which the gods, "through signs and omens; actively guided the policies of their countries."

"The emergence of guiding politics and religion by "signs and omens" was indeed a major innovation of the New Age. It was not a surprising development in view of the importance that celestial signs and omens had played in determining the true beginning of the zodiacal change and in deciding who could become supreme on Earth. For many millennia it was the word of the Seven Who Determine the Destinies, Anu, Enlil, and the other Anunnaki leaders, who made the decisions affecting the Anunnaki; Enlil, by himself, was the Lord of the Command as far as Mankind was concerned. Now, signs and omens in the heavens guided the decisions.

"....Under the New Age, the celestial omens - planetary conjunctions, eclipses, lunar halos, stellar backgrounds, and so on - were sufficient by themselves, and no godly intervention or participation was required: the heavens alone foretold the fates.

"....The "entrances" of planets into the zodiacal constellations were thought of as particularly important, as signs of the enhancement of the planetís (good or bad) influence.

"....As the omens, predictions, and instructions increasingly assumed a more personal nature, they verged on the horoscopic. Would a certain person, not necessarily the king, recover from an illness? Will the pregnant mother bear a healthy child? If some times or certain omens were unlucky, how could one ward off the ill luck? In time incantations were devised for the purpose; one text, for example, actually provided the sayings to be recited to prevent the thinning of a manís beard by appealing to "the star that giveth light" with prescribed uttering. All that was followed by the introduction of amulets in which the warding-off verses were inscribed. In time too, the material of the amulet (mostly made to be worn on a string around the neck) could also make a difference. If made of hematite, one set of instructions stated, "the man could lose that which he acquired." On the other hand, an amulet made of lapis lazuli assured that "he shall have power."

"In the famous library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, archaeologists have found more than two thousand clay tablets with texts pertaining to omens. While the majority dealt with celestial phenomena, not all of them did so. Some dealt with dream omens, others with the interpretation of "oil and water" signs (the pattern made by oil as it was poured on water)....What used to be astronomy became astrology, and astrology was followed by divinations, fortune telling, sorcery....

"Why did the New Age bring all that about? Beatrice Goff (Symbols of Prehistoric Mesopotamia) identified the cause as the breakdown of the gods-priests-kings framework that held society together in the prior millennia. "There was no aristocracy, no priesthood, no intelligentsia" to prevent the situation where "all the affairs of living were inextricably bound up with such ímagicalí practices." Astronomy became astrology because, with the Olden Gods gone from their "cult centers," the people were looking at least for signs and omens to guide them in turbulent times.

"...."Chaldean" astronomy.... was a sterile astronomy and a far cry from that of Sumer, where so many of the principles, methods, and concepts on which modern astronomy is founded had originated.... O. Neugebauer wrote in The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, "It is evident," he wrote, "that mathematical theory played a major role in Babylonian astronomy as compared with a very modest role of observations." That "mathematical theory," studies of the astronomical tablets of the Babylonians revealed, were column upon column upon column of rows of numbers, imprinted - we use the term purposely - on clay tablets as though they were computer printouts!

"....Not unlike the astronomical codices of the Mayas, that contained page after page after page of glyphs dealing with the planet Venus, but without any indication that they were based on any Mayan observations but rather followed some data source, so were the Babylonian lists of predicted positions of the Sun, Moon and visible planets extremely detailed and accurate.... But, to quote from Astronomical Cuneiform Texts by O. Neugebauer, "unfortunately these procedure texts do not contain much of what we would call the ítheoryí behind the method."

"Yet "such a theory," he pointed out, "must have existed because it is impossible to devise computational schemes of high complication without an elaborate plan."

"....It was not until the eighth or seventh centuries B.C. that astronomy, in what is called the Neo-Babylonian period, reassumed the observational aspects. These were recorded in what scholars (e.g., A.J. Sachs and H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia) call "astronomersí diaries." They believe that Hellenistic, Persian, and Indian astronomy and astrology derived from such records.

"....The sexagesimal system (in Babylon) and the mathematical theories were retained without improvement, medicine deteriorated to become little more than sorcery. No wonder that many of the scholars studying the period consider the time when the Old Age of the Sumerian Bull of Heaven gave way to the New Age of the Babylonian Ram a "time of darkness."

"....The many Sumerian references to schools, teachers, homework, were nonexistent in the ensuing centuries. Gone was the Sumerian tradition of literary creativity that bequeathed to future generations, including ours, "wisdom" texts, poetry, proverbs, allegorical tales, and not least of all the "myths" that had provided the data concerning the solar system, the Heavens and Earth, the Anunnaki, the creation of Man. These, it ought to be pointed out, were literary genres that appear only in the Hebrew Bible about a millennium later. A century and a half of digging up the remains of Babylon produced texts and inscriptions by rulers boasting of military campaigns and conquests, of how many prisoners were taken or heads cut off - where as Sumerian kings (as, for example Gudea) boasted in their inscriptions of building temples, digging canals, having beautiful works of art made.

"....The Babylonian king Hammurabi.... famous for his legal code "Code of Hammurabi," was only a listing of crimes and their punishments - whereas a thousand years earlier Sumerian kings had promulgated codes of social justice, their laws protecting the widow, the orphan, the weak, and decreeing that "you shall not take away the donkey of a widow," or "you shall not delay the wages of a day laborer."

"....The poetry of Sumer included a substantial number of love and lovemaking poems. Some, it is true, were related to Inanna/Ishtar and her relationship with her bridegroom Dumuzi. Others were recited or sung by kings to divine spouses. Yet others were devoted to the common bride and bridegroom, or husband and wife, or parental love and compassion.... It seems to us that this omission in Babylonia was not accidental, but part of an overall decline in the role of women and their status as compared in Sumerian times.

"....The remarkable role of women in all walks of life in Sumer and Akkad an its very marked downgrading upon the rise of Babylon, have been lately reviewed and documented in special studies and several international conferences....

"....The gathered evidence shows that in Sumer and Akkad women engaged not only in household chores like spinning, weaving, milking, or tending to the family and the home, but also were "working professionals" as doctors, midwives, nurses, governesses, teachers, beauticians, and hairdressers. The textual evidence recently culled from discovered tablets augments the depictions of women in their varied tasks from the earlier recorded times that showed them as singers and musicians, dancers and banquet-masters.

"Women were also appointed in business and property management. Records have been found of women managing the family lands and overseeing their cultivation, and then supervising the trade in the resulting products. This was especially true of the "ruling families" of the royal court. Royal wives administered temples and vast estates, royal daughters served not only as priestesses (of which there were three classes) but even as the High Priestess. We have already mentioned Enheduanna, the daughter of Sargon I.... We know that the mother of Gudea, Gatumdu, was a High Priestess in the Girsu of Lagash.... There is no record of a comparable situation in Babylon.

"....Consort-queens and queen mothers were even more frequent in Sumer, but Sumer could also boast the first-ever queen in her own right, bearing the title LU.GAL ("Great Man") which meant "king."

"....As time went on, womenís dress and garments, as well as their hair- dos, became more elaborate and elegant, reflecting their status, education, and noble demeanor.

"....W.G. Lambert titled the paper he had presented at the Rencontre Assyriologique "Goddesses in the Pantheon: A Reflection of Women in Society?" We believe that the situation may well have been the reverse: womenís status in society reflected the standing of the goddesses in the pantheon. In the Sumerian pantheon, female Anunnaki played leading roles along with the males from the very beginning. If EN.LIL was "Lord of the Command" his spouse was NIN.LIL, "Lady of the Command"; if EN.KI was "Lord of Earth," his spouse was NIN.KI, "Lady of Earth...."

Suffice it also to point out that one of Mardukís first acts was to transfer to the male Nabu the functions of Nisaba as deity of writing. In fact, all those goddesses that in the Sumerian pantheon held specific knowledge or performed specific functions, were by and large relegated to obscurity in the Babylonian pantheon. When Goddesses were mentioned they were only listed as spouses of the male gods. The same held true for the people under the gods: women were mentioned as wives or daughters, mostly when they were "given" in arranged marriage.

"We surmise that the situation (about womanís status) reflected Mardukís own bias. Ninharsag, the "Mother of gods and men" was, after all, the mother of his main adversary in the contest for the supremacy on Earth, Ninurta. Inanna/Ishtar was the one who had caused him to be buried alive inside the Great Pyramid. The many goddesses that were in charge of the arts and sciences assisted the construction of the Eninnu in Lagash as a symbol of defiance of Mardukís claims that his time had come.... Their downgrading in religion and worship was, we believe, reflected in a general downgrading of the status of women in the post-Sumerian society.

"An interesting aspect of that was the apparent change in the rules of succession. The source of the conflict between Enki and Enlil was the fact that while Enki was Anuís firstborn, Enlil was the Legitimate Heir because he was born to Anu by a mother who was Anuís half sister. On Earth, Enki repeatedly tried to have a son by Ninharsag, a half sister of his and Enlilís, but she bore him only female offspring. Ninurta was the Legitimate Heir on Earth because it was Ninharsag who bore him to Enlil.... All such matriarchal lineages lost their significance when Marduk became supreme. (Maternal lineage became significant again among Jews at the time of the Second Temple).

"What was the ancient world experiencing at the beginning of the New Age of the 20th century B.C., in the aftermath of internal wars, the use of nuclear weapons, the dissolution of a great unifying political and cultural system, the displacement of a boundaryless religion with one of national gods? We at the end of the 20th century A.D. may find it possible to visualize, having ourselves witness,

  • the aftermath of two world wars,

  • the use of nuclear weapons,

  • the dissolution of a giant political and ideological system,

  • the displacement of centrally controlled and boundless empires by religiously guided nationalism.

The phenomena of millions of war refugees on the one hand, and the rearrangement of the population-map on the other hand, so symptomatic of the events of the twentieth century A.D. had their counterparts in the twentieth century B.C.

"For the first time there appears in Mesopotamian inscriptions the term Munnabtutu, literally meaning "fugitives from a destruction." In light of our twentieth century A.D. experience a better translation would be "displaced persons" - people who had lost not only their homes, possessions, and livelihoods but also the countries to which they had belonged and were henceforth "stateless refugees," seeking religious asylum and personal safe havens in other peoplesí lands.

"As Sumer itself lay prostrate and desolate, the remnants of its people (in the words of Hans Baumann, The Land of Ur) "spread in all directions; Sumerian doctors and astronomers, architects and sculptors, cutlers of seals and scribes, became teachers in other lands.

"To all the many Sumerian "firsts," they have thus added one more as Sumer and its civilization came to a bitter end: the first Diaspora...

" can learn where the "displaced persons" of Sumer went by looking at the foreign cultures that sprouted one after the other in foreign lands - cultures whose script was the cuneiform, whose language included countless Sumerian "loanwords" (especially in the sciences), whose pantheons, even if the gods were called by local names, were the Sumerian pantheon, whose "myths" were the Sumerian "myths," whose tales of heroes (such as of Gilgamesh) were of Sumerian heroes.

"How far did the wanderers of Sumer go?

They went where new nation-states were formed within two or three centuries after the fall of Sumer:

*   ".... Assyria to Babylonís north,
*   The Hittite kingdom to the northwest,
*   The Hurrian Mittani to the west,
*   The Indo-Aryan kingdoms that spread from the Caucasus on Babylonís northeast and east, and
*   Those of the "Desert Peoples" to the south and of the "Sealand People" to the southeast.

"....It was in such lands that the Sumerian refugees were given asylum all around Mesopotamia, serving at the same time as catalysts for the conversion of their host countries into modern and flourishing states. But some must have ventured to more distant lands....

* The third Region of Ishtar, the Indus Valley, to repopulate and invigorate it.

The Vedic tales of gods and heroes that they brought with them were the Sumerian "myths" retold; the notions of Time and its measurement and cycles were of Sumerian origin. It is a safe assumption, we believe, that mingled into the Aryan migration were Sumerian refugees; we say "safe assumption" because Sumerians had to pass that way in order to reach the lands that we call the Far East.

* "It is generally accepted that within two centuries or so of 2000 B.C. a "mysteriously abrupt change" (in the words of William Watson, China) had occurred in China; without any gradual development the land was transformed from one of primitive villages to one with "walled cities whose rulers possessed bronze weapons and chariots and the knowledge of writing."

The cause, all agree, was the arrival of migrants from the west.... the migrations in the aftermath of the fall of Sumer....

"The prevalent opinion is that writing was introduced together with Kingship by the Shang Dynasty; the purpose was significant in itself: to record omens on animal bones. The omens were mostly concerned with inquires for guidance from enigmatic Ancestors.

"....A major study by C. J. Ball (Chinese and Sumerian, 1913).... proved conclusively the similarity between the Sumerian pictographs (from which the cuneiform signs evolved) and the old forms (Ku Wen) of Chinese writing.... What his research has shown was that not only did the pictographs look the same, but they also (in a material number of instances) were pronounced the same way....

"....Recent studies in linguistics, spearheaded by former Soviet scholars, have expanded the Sumerian link to include the whole family of Central and Far Asian or "Sino-Tibetan" languages. Such links form only one aspect of a variety of scientific and "mythological" aspects that recall those of Sumer.... such aspects as the calendar of twelve months, time counting by dividing the day into twelve double-hours, the adoption of the totally arbitrary device of the zodiac, and the tradition of astronomical observations are entirely of Sumerian origin.

* "The "mythological" links are more widespread. Throughout the steppes of Central Asia and all the way from China to Japan the religious beliefs spoke of gods of Heaven and Earth, and of a place called Sumeru.... The Japanese Shintu religious belief that their emperor is descended of a son of the Sun becomes plausible if one assumes that the reference is not to the star around which Earth orbits, but to the "Sun god" Utu/Shamash; for with the spaceport in the Sinai of which he had been in charge obliterated, and the Landing Place in Lebanon in Mardukís hands, he may well have wandered with bands of his followers to the far reaches of Asia.

Other plausible arrivals are:

*   to the lands along the Volga River, establishing its principal city whose ancient name was Samara (it is now called Kuybichev).... reaching the Baltic Sea. "This would explain why the unusual Finnish language is similar to no other except to Sumerian....
*   along the Danube River, thereby corroborating the deep and persistent belief among the Hungarians that their unique language could also have had but one source: Sumerian.

"Have Sumerians indeed come this way? The answer might be found in one of the most puzzling relics from antiquity that can be seen where the Danube meets the Black Sea and what was once the Celtic-Roman province of Dacia (now part of Romania). There, at a site called Sarmizegetusa, a series of what researchers have called "calendrical temples" includes what could well be described as "Stonehenge by the Black Sea."

After explaining in detail this ancient complex, Mr. Sitchin continues:

"Who was the mathematical-astronomical genius who had devised all that, and to what purpose?

"The spellbinding answer, we believe, also leads to a solution of the enigmas of Quetzalcoatl and the circular observatories he had built, the god who according to Mesoamerican lore left at one point in time to go back eastward across the seas (promising to return). Was it not just the Enlilite gods who had guided and led the wandering Sumerians, but also Thoth/Ningishzidda (alias Quetzalcoatl), the god of the Game of Fifty-two, who himself had been displaced from his native land?

"And was the purpose of all the "stonehenges" in Sumer, and South America, and Mesoamerica, and the British Isles, and on the shores of the Black Sea, not so much to adjust the lunar year to the solar one, not just for calculating Earthly Time but - ultimately - to calculate Celestial Time, the zodiacal Ages?

"When the Greeks adopted Thoth as their god Hermes, they bestowed on him the title Hermes Trismegistos, "Hermes the thrice greatest." Perhaps they recognized that he had thrice guided Mankind in the observation of the beginning of a New Age - the changeover to Taurus, to Aries, to Pisces.

"For that was, for those generations of Mankind, when Time began.