This is our apology of the renowned Dr. Zecharia Sitchin, whom those mean souls used to call, and still call, charlatan, phony and even crazy.
If, as we’ve seen in the first part of this article, the Anunnaki are indeed mentioned in the Sumerian clay tablets, and if myths are not always “myths”, what else is Zecharia Sitchin accused of?
Zecharia Sitchin and the curse of Nibiru or the Planet X
Zecharia Sitchin’s worst crime was to claim that, within our Solar System, there is a planet called Nibiru. This planet has a gigantic elliptic orbit that takes it close to the Earth only every 3600 years, which has kept it hidden from our telescopes. Nibiru, popularly known as Planet X, is the place were the Anunnaki lived.
Zecharia Sitchin developed this theory based on his interpretations of the Babylonian tablets, called “Enuma Elish”, and on the analysis of many Sumerian pictorial representations, their cylinder seals in particular. For most scholars, the “Enuma Elish” is a myth that tells about a confrontation among gods. For Sitchin, it is a historic text that describes in detail the collision of planet Nibiru (called Marduk in the narration) with planet Tiamant, which created the Earth, its only satellite and the asteroid belt.
“The Lord trod upon Tiamat’s hinder part; With his weapon the connected skull he cut loose; He severed the channels of her blood; And caused the North Wind to bear it To places that have been unknown. Earth had been created! The lower part had another fate: on the second orbit, Marduk himself hit it, smashing it to pieces: The [other] half of her he set up as a screen for the skies: Locking them together, as watchmen he stationed them. . . . He bent Tiamat’s tail to form the Great Band as a bracelet.”
This is a good example to illustrate one of the most common accusations against Zecharia Sitchin: “Sitchin misinterprets the Sumerian tablets”.
Zecharia Sitchin interprets this excerpt of the “Enuma Elish” as if planet Nibiru had crashed with planet Tiamat, splitting it in two. The upper part would become planet Earth, and the lower part would create the Moon and the asteroid belt. Then, the orbits of all the planets would stabilize until the Solar System, as we know it today, is formed. Due to the collision, planet Nibiru developed a gigantic orbit of 3600 years.
Although Sitchin gets lost, and is surely wrong about details, the essence of his proposal is hardly dismissable. The “Enuma Elish” could be, indeed, a narration of explosions and stellar collisions related to the creation of the Universe and the Solar System.
In 1902, seventy years before Sitchin was born, the Sumerian civilization scholar, Leonard William King, maintained that the gods and monsters of the tale represented astronomic components. According to his interpretation, Tiamat represents a star or a constellation, and Marduk represents planet Jupiter.
Notwithstanding Leonard King’s interpretation and Sitchin’s linguistic ability –he read Hebrew since childhood and dedicated half of his life to studying the cuneiform texts engraved in the Sumerian clay tablets– it is pertinent to ask ourselves: How precise could the interpretation of these Sumerian texts of more than 5000 years be?
James B. Pritchard, an authority in ancient Middle East texts, tells us how accurately the Sumerian tablet texts could be interpreted. In this case, specifically, the Enki and Ninhursag myth.
“Unfortunately, the main purpose of this myth, as a whole, is by no means clear, and the literary and mythological implications of its numerous and varied motifs are not readily analyzable”.
An elegant way to admit that the interpretation of these texts admits more than one version. This is even worse considering that many tablets are damaged and hard to reconstruct. The ground for speculation is increasingly broader.
The Anunnaki’s novel by Zecharia Sitchin
This is the mistake that has led many to believe that Zecharia Sitchin was a science fiction writer and to mistakenly associate him with fishy writers, such as Maximillien de Lafayette, and with those who maintain that a group of reptiles dominate the planet.
Let’s review the following passage of a Sumerian tale quoted in his book “There Were Giants Upon The Earth”.
“Once in the olden days, Alalu was king in Heaven. Alalu was seated on the throne; The mighty Anu, first among the gods, was standing before him: He would bow to his feet, set the drinking cup in his hand.
For nine counted periods, Alalu was king in Heaven. In the ninth counted period. Anus gave battle to Alalush.”
Sitchin’s interpretation is as follows:
“Serving, then, as the royal Cup Bearer (a task calling for utmost loyalty), Anu betrays the king’s trust and seizes the throne in a bloody coup d’etat.”
Sitchin doesn’t need to explain that Anu is the royal cup-bearer. There’s no way he could know that but, in order to provide his readers with a detailed narration, he assumes it and is, perhaps, mistaken.
Thus, Zecharia Sitchin has turned the life and works of the Anunnaki in something similar to the Star Wars trilogy, with treasons, intrigue, romance and wars.
If we could edit Sitchin, leaving out the Anunnaki novel, the general impression would be different.
Zecharia Sitchin is not a guru, he didn’t create a religion or a sect and so his words shouldn’t be taken as a dogma.
Then why should we read Sitchin’s work?
- Because he has been able to narrate an alternative and coherent history of mankind, in a global fashion, going back hundreds of thousands of years in time.
- Because in Sitchin’s stories there are no missing links or unexplainable human developments: For him, everything has an explanation, even the less imagined.
- Because, despite his great theory, he has hundreds of small connections based on scientific analysis, which are a good starting point for more comprehensive researches. We just need to read some pages of his “Earth Chronicles” to confirm it.
- Because he has a lot of interesting hypothesis for most of the questions posed by human beings since the beginning of time.
- Because, forgetting about the Anunnaki, what’s left is an acute and comprehensive work with historic, archaeological and linguistic sources. Sitchin, without the Anunnaki, is a serious historian. In his researches, he presents us with valuable information which otherwise would have been forgotten.
Such is the legacy of Zecharia Sitchin.
If we read Sitchin with an open mind we “risk” to marvel ourselves before the existence of such knowledge and to savor the bitter taste of the intellectual rust.
By putting us together with the gods, Zecharia Sitchin offers us the possibility of looking at ourselves differently, of aiming to a better understanding of this existence and, why not, of having a sense of eternity before death.
- James B. Pritchard (1969). Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Princeton University Press.
- Zecharia Sitchin (2010). There Were Giants on Earth. Bear & Company.