An alternative to Sitchen is the work of Oxford scholar N.K. Sandars who gives a lengthy, explanatory and detailed introduction to her version of The
Epic of Gilgamesh, relying on Kramer's 1956 English translation of Sumerian texts. Her book was published by Penguin Books in 1960 (my copy is a
Penguin Classics paperback, 1972).
The earlier interpretations and translations of Sumerian tablets refer to the gods as a mythological pantheon in the same way that we think of Greek
gods (like Zeus) as mythological. There was also the concept of the mythic "underworld" which I suppose is the only thing in common with the Mayans
--- the concept of the underworld as a sort of spiritual purgatory.
Here is an interesting excerpt from the introduction by Sandars:
"The gods alone inhabit heaven in the Sumerian and Babylonian universe. Among mortals only one was translated to live forever 'in the distance at the
mouth of the rivers', and he, like Enoch who 'walked with God, and he was not, for God took him', lived in the dim past before the flood. Ordinary
mortals must go to 'The house where they sit in darkness, where dust is their food and clay their meat, they are clothed like birds with wings for
garments, over bolt and door lie dust and silence.' It is a depressing vision of heavy, moping voiceless birds with draggled feathers crouching in the
dirt. In this underworld, there also lived the Anunnaki, the nameless 'Great Ones' who once, like Ereshkigal, lived above with the host of heaven, but
who through some misdeed were banished to be judges of the underworld, much as Zeus banished the Titans, or like the fallen Lucifer. In Babylonia, the
soul of a dead man was exorcized with the incantation: 'Let him go to the setting sun, let him be entrusted to Nedu, the chief gatekeeper of the
underworld, that Nedu may keep strong watch over him, may his key close the lock.'"
Another passage from the introduction:
"Enlil, whose city was Nippur (Nibiru?), was the storm and wind, breath and 'the word' of Anu; for according to the hymns in his praise, 'The spirit
of the word is Enlil, the spirit of the heart of Anu.' This Enlil is power in action, where Anu is power in being. He is 'the word which stilleth the
heaven above', but he is also 'a rushing deluge that troubles the faces of men, a torrent that destroys the bulwarks'. In the Gilgamesh Epic he
(Enlil) appears oftenist in his destructive aspect; and beside him Anu is a remote being who lives far away in the firmament, beyond the gate of
heaven. In one text, he seems to encourage the journey to the Cedar Mountain, but it is also he who rebukes Gilgamesh and Enkidu for killing its
So anyway, these earlier scholars didn't have the ET take on the material like Sitchen did. Instead, they treated mentions of the 'gods' as mythic
fabrications, which was how the ancient Egyptian gods and Greek gods were thought of --- symbolic of spiritual aspects of the universe, not as
literal, real beings. But these interpretations were pre-Van Danikan, so the scholars were not tempted with any ancient aliens theories.
Just throwing this into the discussion so as to point out that Sitchen was not the only scholar to look at, interpret, and translate the Sumerian
texts. The first English translations of Sumerian texts date back to Campbell Thompson's of 1928.
I'm not convinced that Sitchen got it right, especially the angle that the ET Anunnaki used DNA manipulation to invent humans. It makes a cool story,
but I'm not convinced.
So far, I have seen no scientific evidence of the existence of a planet Nibiru or a brown dwarf Wormwood, or Nemesis. I think there would be at least
a few renegade university trained astronomers speaking up if such a dramatic discovery could be made. Someone would want a Nobel Prize for finding and
confirming it, wouldn't they?
The conspiracy nut side of me is still very intrigued about this subject because I think it has been indicated in crop circles and I'm a sucker for
the most complex crop circles. I don't see how the best crop circles could be manmade overnight without some very advanced technology. Nope, guys with
planks on ropes stamping down the crops overnight could not have done it on the ones that are extremely complex and large with perfect symmetry of
hundreds of shapes.
So I will stay tuned.
edit on 29-6-2012 by switching yard because: add