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Religion & Legends                   3,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
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In General

 This early Sumerian temple tower with the hieratically organized little city surrounding it, where everyone played his role according to the rules of a celestially inspired divine game, supplied the model of paradise that we find, centuries later, in the Hindu­Buddhist imagery of the world mountain, Sumeru, whose jeweled slopes, facing the four directions, peopled on the west by sacred serpents, on the south by gnomes, on the north by earth giants, and on the east by divine musicians, rose from the mid-point of the earth as the vertical axis of the egg-shaped universe, and bore on its quadrangular summit the palatial mansions of the deathless gods, whose towered city was known as Amaravati, "The Town Immortal." But it was the model also of the Greek Olympus, the Aztec temples of the sun, and Dante's holy mountain of Purgatory, bearing on its summit the Earthly Paradise. For the form and concept of the City of God conceived as a "mesocosm" (an earthly imitation of the celestial order of the macrocosm) which emerged on the threshold of history circa 3200 BC, at precisely that geographical point where the rivers Tigris and Euphrates reach the Persian Gulf, was disseminated eastward and westward along the ways already blazed by the earlier neolithic. The wonderful life­organizing assemblage of ideas and principles - including those of kingship, writing, mathematics, and calendrical astronomy ­ reached the Nile, to inspire the civilization of the First Dynasty of Egypt, circa 2800 BC; it spread to Crete on the one hand, and, on the other, to the valley of the Indus, circa 2600 BC; to Shang China, circa 1600 BC; and, according to at least one high authority, Dr. Robert Heine-Geldern, from China across the Pacific, during the prosperous seafaring period of the late Chou Dynasty, between the seventh and fourth centuries BC, to Peru and Middle America. (128)

...it can be said without exaggeration that all the high civilizations of the world are to be thought of as the limbs of one great tree, whose root is in heaven. And should we now attempt to formulate the sense or meaning of that mythological root - the life-inspiring monad that precipitated the image of man's destiny as an organ of the living cosmos - we might say that the psychological need to bring the parts of a large and socially differentiated settled community, comprising a number of newly developed social classes (priests, kings, merchants, and peasants), into an orderly relationship to each other, and simultaneously to suggest the play through all of a higher, all-suffusing, all-informing, energizing principle - this profoundly felt psychogical as well as sociological requirement must have been fulfilled with the recognition, some time in the fourth millennium BC, of the orderly round-dance of the five visible planets and the sun and moon through the constellations of the zodiac. This celestial order then became the model for mankind in the building of an earthly order of coordinated wills - a model for both kings and philosophers, inasmuch as it seemed to show forth the supporting law not only of the universe but of every particle within it. (128)

There is reason to believe, therefore, that the tales both of the king's sister-in-death, Sali, and of Shehrzad, the king's bride who was to have died on her wedding night, must be echoes of a dim, dark past that was, after all, neither so dim nor dark in the memory of the world in which the tales were told. And we must regard it as likely, too, that whenever a king subordinate to a council of priestly dictators of the kingly destiny is found at the head of an apparently primitive tribe, the culture in question cannot be primitive exactly, but rather regressed. Its idea of correcting (in Plato's words) "those circuits in the head that were deranged at birth by learning to know the harmonies and revolutions of the world" and thereby winning "the best in life set by the gods before mankind both for this present time and for the life to come," must have been derived, ultimately, from that high center of the idea of the hieratic city state...(128)

In the epoch of the hieratic city state (3500-2500 BC), the basic cultural traits of all the high civilizations that have flourished since (writing, the wheel, the calendar, mathematics, royalty, priestcraft, a system of taxation, bookkeeping, etc.) suddenly appear, prehistory ends, and the literate era dawns. The whole city now, and not simply the temple compound, is conceived of as an imitation on earth of the cosmic order, while a highly differentiated, complexly organized society of specialists, comprising priestly, warrior, merchant, and peasant classes, is found governing all its secular as well as specifically religious affairs according to an astronomically inspired mathematical conception of a sort of magical consonance uniting in perfect harmony the universe (macrocosm), society (mesocosm), and the individual (micro­ cosm). A natural accord of earthly, heavenly, and individual affairs is imagined; and the game is no longer that of the buffalo dance or metamorphosed seed, but the pageant of the seven spheres - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the moon, and the sun. These in their mathematics are the angelic messengers of the universal law. For there is one law, one king, one state, one universe. And beyond the walls of our little city state is darkness; but within is the order intended from all eternity for man, supported by the pivot of the king, who in his saintly imitation of the moon has purged from his heart all deviant impulse and been transubstantiated. He is the earthly moon, according to that magical law wherein A is B. His queen is the sun. The virgin priestess who will accompany him in death and be the bride of his resurrection is the planet Venus. And his four chief ministers of state - the lords of the treasury and of war, prime minister, and lord executioner - incarnate the powers, respectively, of the planets Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Sitting about him in his throne room - when the moon is full and he therefore reveals himself, wearing, however, the veil that protects the world from his full radiance - the king and his court are the heavens themselves on earth. (128)

We have found that these mining groups and the settlements arising from them carried Indus Valley, Middle East and Egyptian civilisation around the world. So that today the parts of the globe which are Christian and Moslem somewhat coincide with the areas these men influenced. For Islam, and Christianity have not so much been the carriers of this civilisation but the seals imposed upon those countries which the culture of the sky-worshippers had previously appropriated, Islam and Christianity are rooted in the religious notions of the Middle East, back to the original heaven worship many times reformed. The symbols provide evidence of this. The cross and the star were once among the sky-symbols of the sky-worshippers, the crescent was the moon-symbol. It is as if the leaders of the reform movements felt that almost no break with the old sky religions could be made safely. So they purloined the trade-marks. (135)

Africa

 

Southwest Asia

 We cannot completely' reconstruct Sumerian philosophy on the basis of fragmentary texts, but it seems evident that the Sumerians saw a much more static and magical world than we do. Although their technology and complex organizations demonstrate that they were shrewd, rational people, there seems to have been little emphasis on or analysis of human motivation or the physical world. They viewed the earth as a flat disk under a vaulted heaven and believed that various gods guided history according to well-laid-out plans and that the world continues without end and with little change. Each god was in charge of something--the movements of the planets, irrigation, or brick-making, for example--and each was immortal and inflexible. As with humans, the deities were hierarchically arranged in power and authority and were given to power struggles and many vices.

Like most people, the Sumerians thought that the gods had a special interest in them. Just as the back of every American dollar bill has the assertion that "annuit coeptis" ("[God] has favored our undertaking"), almost every official Sumerian pronouncement and inscription invoked the favor of the gods who, it was assumed, favored the city's fortunes.

One way in which Sumerian religion and ideology has influenced modern cultures is in its influence on Judeo-Christian religious traditions. The biblical account of the Noachian flood, for example, is clearly related to Sumerian stories that predated the Old Testament by thousands of years. (46)

It is significant that a number of the world's calendars agree upon the starting date of the present age--what we might call the Age of Civilization. The Mayan Fifth Sun, the Age of Man, started in 3113 BC, roughly 5,100 years ago. At that time, the first civilizations were under way not only in Mexico, but also in Sumer and Egypt and along the Peruvian coast. The Jewish calendar is reckoned from 3700 BC, and is about 5,700 years old. The Chinese calendar is about 4,500 years old and the Julian calendar is roughly 5,000 years old. According to the Hindu calendar, the panchanga, or traditional almanac, keeps track of the equivalent years in the Kali Yuga and states that from 1990 to 1991: "5,091 Kali years have passed." By late 2001, 5,102 years of the Kali Yuga, or Iron Age, had elapsed in the Yuga system. (69)

Although humans exercised the rights of kingship in most cities, the Anunnaki apparently kept locations vital to their space facilities in their own hands. For instance, in 3450 BC, Marduk (the son of Enki, one of the original Anunnaki colonists) officially designated Babylon the "Gateway to the Gods," and it remained under direct Anunnaki control until the ultimate war of the Anunnaki gods in 2024 BC. (113)

Sumerian texts suggest that on two occasions gods may have undermined human unity by forcing the adoption of different languages. But each Babel occasion actually arose as a result of conflicts among the gods. Sitchin believes one intervention (about 3450 BC) was to foil Marduk's attempt, using human labor, to achieve his own agenda described above. Another language-confusion event (about 2850 BC), he believes, reflected Anunnaki Ishtar and Enmerkar disputes over who would control kingdoms in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. If these interpretations are correct, then disputes among gods (not humans) had significant language consequences for their human subjects. (113)

Three hundred and sixty degrees, then as now, represented the circumference of a circle - the cycle of the horizon - while three hundred and sixty days, plus five, marked the measurement of the circle of the year, the cycle of time. The five intercalated days that bring the total to three hundred and sixty-five were taken to represent a sacred opening through which spiritual energy flowed into the round of the temporal universe from the pleroma of eternity, and they were designated, consequently, days of holy feast and festival. Comparably, the ziggurat, the pivotal point in the center of the sacred circle of space, where the earthly and heavenly powers joined, was also characterized by the number five; for the four sides of the tower, oriented to the points of the compass, came together at the summit, the fifth point, and it was there that the energy of heaven met the earth. (128)

Perhaps the most amazing revelation that has ever come to us of what mythology meant in that remote, heaven-guided age, when the awesome mystery of the planets was enacted on earth by divine kings who at death took with them - back into the night sea - the whole cast of characters of their pageant, has been that of the "royal tombs" of Ur in the cemetery of the sacred Sumerian city of the moon-god Nanna. Human sacrifice was confined exclusively to the funerals of royal persons, and in the graves of commoners, however rich, there is no sign of anything of the sort, not even such substitutes, clay figurines, etc., as are so common in Egyptian tombs and appear there to be reminiscent of an ancient and more bloody rite. In much later times Sumerian kings were deified in their lifetime and honored as gods after their death: the prehistoric kings of Ur were in their obsequies so distinguished from their subjects because they too were looked upon as superhuman, earthly deities; and when the chroniclers wrote in the annals of Sumer that "after the Flood kingship again descended from the gods," they meant no less than this. If the king, then, was a god, he did not die as men die, but was translated; and it might therefore be not a hardship but a privilege for those of his court to accompany their master and continue in his service. (128)

The royal tombs of Ur illustrate the capacity and spirit of the world's first aristocracy for play: pledging in play and then playing out the pledge. And it was in their utterly wonderful nerve for this particular game that the world was lifted from savagery to civilization. In such a performance the question of belief is of secondary moment and effect. The principle is that of the masque, the dance, the pageant, the motion pattern through the form of which a new power for life is evoked. An image is conceived, a supernormal image, surpassing in scope the requirements of food, clothing, shelter, sex, and a pleasant hobby for one's leisure time. Nerve is required to move into such a game and to play out the fraction of one's part in the picture. But then, behold! a transformation of life, an increment such as before had not been even imagined, and therewith a new horizon, both for man and for his gods. It was in the marvelous talent of the Sumerians for their extremely demanding divine play that civilization was born as a function of an aristocracy of spirit. And it was continued as such in many parts of the world up to a very recent date. (128)

According to the Sumerian king-list, Gilgamesh was the fifth king of the First Dynasty of Uruk (biblical Erech), a city-state on the banks of the Euphrates River during the Second Early Dynastic Period of Sumer (circa 27th century BC). Within two hundred years, Gilgamesh was widely revered as a god in Sumer. The adaptation of his recorded exploits from the oral recital to cuneiform inscriptions may have been initiated about this time. But even then continued oral performance by a class of illiterate storytellers was almost certain since the complex system of cuneiform signs kept writing within a tiny elite of professional scribes. A thousand years later the epic was dispersed abroad to Anatolia in the Hittite language and to the Canaanites of Palestine in Hurrian prose. Although it is impossible to know the degree of modification from inherited tradition, ritual details are strikingly similar in content and style among all the versions. Apparently the guslars, in the presence of a powerful poem, had been diligent in the faithful perpetuation of their ancestral myth. (131)

Although Sumer was the heartland of the Enlilite territories and its cities were Enlilite "cult centers," there was one exception: in the south of Sumer, at the edge of the marshlands, there was Eridu; it was rebuilt after the Deluge at the exact same site where Ea/Enki's first settlement on Earth had been. It was Anu's insistence, when the Earth was divided among the rival Anunnaki clans, that Enki forever retain Eridu as his own. Circa 3460 BC Marduk decided that he could extend his father's privilege to also having his own foothold in the Enlilite heartland. The name Marduk gave the place, Bab-Ili in Akkadian, meant "Gateway of the gods"--a place from which the gods could ascend and desend, where the appropriate main facility was to be a "tower whose head shall reach the heavens"--a launch tower! Though fragmented, the Mesopotamian texts (first translated by George Smith in 1876) make it clear that Marduk's act infuriated Enlil, who "in his anger a command poured out" for a nighttime attack to destroy the tower. A well-known text recorded a conversation between Marduk and his father, Enki, in which a disheartened Marduk asked his father what he had failed to learn. What he failed to do was to take into account the fact that the time then--the Celestial Time--was the Age of the Bull, the Age of Enlil. (137)

Many texts from antiquity, including the Hebrew Bible, describe or refer to the unique forest of tall and great cedar trees in Lebanon. In ancient times it extended for miles, surrounding the unique place--a vast stone platform built by the gods as their first space-reLated site on Earth, before their centers and real spaceport were established. It was, Sumerian texts attested, the only structure that had survived the Deluge, and could thus serve right after the Deluge as a base of operations for the Anunnaki; from it they revived the ravished lands with crops and domesticated animals. The place, 'called the "Landing Place" in the Epic' of Gilgamesh, was that king's destination in his search for immortality; we learn from the epic tale that it was there, in the sacred cedar forest, that Enlil kept the GUD.ANNA-the "Bull of Heaven," the symbol of Enlil's Age of the Bull. (137)

The journey to the Cedar Forest and its Landing Place, we learn from the epic tale, began in Uruk, the city that Anu granted as a present to his great-granddaughter Inanna (a name that meant "Beloved of Anu"). Its king, early in the third millennium BC, was Gilgamesh. He was no ordinary man, for his mother was the goddess Ninsun, a member of Enlil's family. That made Gilgamesh not a mere demi-god, but one who was "two-thirds divine." As he got older and began to contemplate matters of life and death, it occurred to him that being two-thirds divine ought to make a difference; why should he "peer over the wall" like an ordinary mortal? he asked his mother. She agreed with him, but explained to him that the apparent immortality of the gods was in reality longevity due to the long orbital period of their planet. To attain such longevity he had to join the gods on Nibiru; and to do that, he had to go to the' place where the rockket ships ascend and descend. Though warned of the journey's hazards, Gilgamesh was determined to go. If I fail, he said, at least I will be remembered as one who had tried. At his mother's insistence an artificial double, Enkidu (ENKI.DU meant "By Enki Made"), was to be his companion and guardian. There were, in fact, not one but two journeys: one was to the Landing Place in the Cedar Forest, the other to the spaceport in the Sinai peninsula...(137)

In the first journey circa 2860 BC--to the Cedar Forest in Lebanon--the duo were assisted by the god Shamash, the godfather of Gilgamesh, and the going was relatively quick and easy. After they reached the forest they witnessed during the night the launching of a rocket ship. This is how Gilgamesh described it:

The vision that I saw was wholly awesome!
The heavens shrieked, the earth boomed.
Though daylight was dawning, darkness came.
Lightning flashed, a flame shot up.
The clouds swelled, it rained death!
Then the glow vanished, the fire went out,
And all that had fallen was turned to ashes.

Awed but undeterred, the next day Gilgamesh and Enkidu discovered the secret entrance that had been used by the Anunnaki, but as soon as they entered it, they were attacked by a robotlike guardian who was armed with death beams and a revolving fire. They managed to destroy the monster, and relaxed by a brook thinking that their way in was clear. But when they ventured deeper into the Cedar Forest, a new challenger appeared: the Bull of Heaven. (137)

Unfortunately, the sixth tablet of the epic is too damaged for the lines describing the creature and the battle with it to be completely legible. The legible portions do make it clear that the two comrades ran for their lives, pursued by the Bull of Heaven all the way back to Uruk; it was there that Enkidu managed to slay it. The text becomes legible where the boastful Gilgamesh, who cut off the bull's thigh, "called the craftsmen, the armorers, the artisans" of Uruk to admire the bull's horns. The text suggests that they were artificially made--"each is cast from thirty minas of lapis, the 'coating on each is two fingers thick." What we do know for certain is that upon its slaying, "Ishtar, in her abode, set up a wail" all the way to Anu in the heavens. The matter was so serious that Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Shamash formed a divine council to judge the comrades (only Enkidu ended up being punished) and to consider the slaying's consequences. The ambitious Inanna/Ishtar had indeed reason to raise a wail: the invincibility of Enlil's Age had been pierced, and the Age itself was symbolically shortened by the cutting off of the bull's thigh. We know from Egyptian sources, including pictorial depictions in astronomical papyri (shown above), that the slaying's symbolism was not lost on Marduk: it was taken to mean that in the heavens, too, the Age of Enlil had been cut short. (137)

Marduk's attempt to establish an alternative space facility was not taken lightly by the Enlilites; the evidence suggests that Enlil and Ninurta were preoccupied with establishing their own alternative space facility on the other side of the Earth, in the Americas, near the post-Diluvial sources of gold. This absence, together with the Bull of Heaven incident, ushered in a period of instability and confusion in their Mesopotamian heartland, subjecting it to incursions from neighoring lands. People called Gutians, then the Elamites came from the East; Semitic-speaking peoples came from the West. But while the Easterners worshipped the same Enlilite gods as the Sumerians, the Amurru ("Westerners") were different. Along the shores of the "Upper Sea" (the Mediterrean), in the lands of the Canaanites, the people were beholden to the Enki'ite gods of Egypt. (137)

...the Akkadians of the third millennium BC would appear to have believed that Kharsag, or Kharsag Kurra ('gar-sag kurkurra) as it was also known, was a sacred mountain located to the north, 'immediately above' the northern limits of their country. To them it symbolized the cradle of their race, and was located in a kind of primordial version of Akkad itself. Here, too, were 'the four rivers', paralleling exactly the Hebraic concept of the four rivers of paradise. Beyond Kharsag Kurra 'extended the land of Aralli, which was very rich in gold, and was inhabited by the gods and blessed spirits'. (149)

The Sumerian hero of this name [Gilgamesh] had probably been a historical figure - seemingly a king of the city-state of Uruk in central Iraq, sometime during the first half of the third millennium BC. The texts say that he had been a lillu, 'a man with demonic qualities', and that he had been worshipped as a god at various shrines. At Uruk, for example, he is recorded as having been adopted as the personal deity of a king named Utu-hegal, c. 2120 BC, as well as by his immediate successors, who ruled from Ur, a city-state in Lower Iraq between c. 2112-2004 BC. (149)

c. 3000-2000 BC Continued influence of Anannage/Watchers over the Sumero-Akkadian city-states. This was recorded either as contact with gods and goddesses, generally through the Sacred Marriage ceremony, or through battles with demonic bird-men, like those encountered in the Kutha tablet. Kings descended from the Anannage/Watchers are granted deification, or are looked upon as part-demon. A similar contact takes place in Media and Iran. Final fragmentation of the fallen race. (149)

See Sumerian Mythology

Egypt

 The traditional plan of Egyptian temples was based on the belief that the temple was not a place of meditation, as a modern church might be said to be, but, instead, a home of a god. Egyptian temples were static realizations in stone of the creation of the universe and are to be seen as replicas of the universe at this moment of creation. Thus, the temples were aligned on an east-west axis, so at each morning the rising sun, the god Ra, would shine through the double pylon gate, representing two mountains, and penetrate the westernmost chamber of the temple, to illuminate the statue of the god. (47)

Through most of antiquity, Egyptians believed that their society and life in general had been established by the gods, and that they and all their social, political, and economic relationships were part of a divinely designed, immutable world order. To some extent, the Egyptian past makes sense only when viewed in that way.

Certain themes are deeply embedded in ancient Egyptian culture. For one thing Egyptians seem to have been a "God-intoxicated" people, "half in love with easeful death." Herodotus wrote that they were the most "religious" people he had encountered, given to incessant and elaborate religious rituals and an enormous priestly bureaucracy. Their concern with death, and the vast energies and richness they invested in preparing for it, are manifestly evident, but it is also a testament to a people so passionately alive that they tried everything to perpetuate life into death. Mummification was an attempt to preserve the body for use in the afterlife, when it would be revived and rehabilitated.

For the ancient Egyptian, the world teemed with unseen but animate conscious forces; malignant spirits were everywhere, as were forces for good; and, with sufficient effort, some of the inconveniences of being dead could be mitigated.

Ancient Egyptians seem to have had a monophysitic perspective in that everything in the universe was thought to been derived from one substance and to be an expression of that substance.

To our own, essentially Greek, minds, the Egyptians seem to have been unable to distinguish between things and representations of things. J. Wilson argues that the Egyptians saw no difference between supplying a dead king with real loaves of bread, wooden models of bread, or loaves painted on the walls; it was not the actual thing that mattered it was the idea. The physical man needed physical bread, but in the spirit world, "spiritual" bread was appropriate. Most temples are oriented from east to west, like the path of the sun, so that the sun could illuminate a statue of god in the innermost sanctuary at specific times. (47)

For several thousand years, these Anunnaki-gods ruled their revitalized areas, generally through local demigod kings (of partial Anunnaki lineage) who had responsibility for a city or particular geographical area. Around 5,700 years ago, according to the calculations of Sitchin, these demigods began to be replaced by humans, as the role of kingship was lowered to their level. King lists in Sumerian, Akkadian, and Egyptian name the successive rulers that we now associate with the rise of civilization. For instance, Egyptian lists make it clear when humans took charge for a transition period and when the role of pharaoh was established, about 3,100 BC. (113)

In Egypt the gods resumed direct rule after the Flood, but around 7000 BC demigods assumed the throne. By 3350 BC, in a very chaotic period when the country was divided into Upper and Lower Kingdoms, rule had passed to human kings. This lasted until about 3100 BC when the first pharaoh was installed in Memphis. Known as the Old Kingdom, this period lasted for about a thousand years. (113)

We are reminded that in Egypt the ass was traditionally a major "Set-animal." Lord of desert lands as well as the principle of desiccation, Set already commanded a large following in Upper Egypt at the beginning of the dynastic period, and according to Plutarch, animals associated with Set were always more carefully tended and worshipped in times of dryness. He further remarked: “Should a long and severe drought occur, bringing with it an excess of deadly diseases or other strange and unaccountable calamities, the priests lead off some of the sacred animals quietly and in silence under cover of darkness, threaten them at first and try to frighten them. But should the visitation continue, they consecrate the animals and slaughter them, intending thus to inflict a kind of chastisement upon the spirit.” (115)

What the ancients said about Thoth, Socrates reports, was that having invented writing he had gone to the god Amon, 'the King of all Egypt at that time', and urged him to introduce it amongst the populace, with these words: '0 King, here is something that, once learned, will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memory; I have discovered a potion for memory or wisdom.' But Amon replied: O most expert Theuth, one man can give birth to the elements of an art, but only another can judge how they can benefit or harm those who use them. And now, since you are the father of writing, your affection for it has made you describe its effects as the opposite of what they really are. In fact it will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practise using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others, instead of trying to remember from the inside, completely on their own. You have not discovered a potion for remembering but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not its reality. Your invention will enable them to hear many things without being properly taught, and they will imagine that they have come to know much while for the most part they will know nothing. (124)

Circa 3100 BC a similar yet not identical civilization was established in the Second Region in Africa, that of the river Nile (Nubia and Egypt). (137)

The immediate predecessor to the Age of Aries was the Age of Taurus - the Bull - which spanned the period between 4380 and 2200 BC. It was during this precessional epoch, when the sun on the vernal equinox rose in the constellation of Taurus, that the Bull-cult of Minoan Crete fllourished. Readers must judge whether it is a coincidence that Egyptians at the very beginning of the dynastic period were already venerating the Apis and Mnevis Bulls - the former being considered a theophany of the god Osiris and the latter, the sacred animal of Helipolis, a theophany of the god Ra. (152)

Indus Valley

 Around 2900 BC Innana (one of the Anunnaki female leaders) received authority from her peers to move into the Indus Valley, and history saw the mixing of Sumerian/Aryan culture with that of the Vedic/Dravidian peoples. (113)

Sumerian texts suggest that on two occasions gods may have undermined human unity by forcing the adoption of different languages. But each Babel occasion actually arose as a result of conflicts among the gods. Sitchin believes one intervention (about 3450 BC) was to foil Marduk's attempt, using human labor, to achieve his own agenda described above. Another language-confusion event (about 2850 BC), he believes, reflected Anunnaki Ishtar and Enmerkar disputes over who would control kingdoms in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. If these interpretations are correct, then disputes among gods (not humans) had significant language consequences for their human subjects. (113)

…I read in the Ramayana (referring to the Naga):
Near Bhogavati stands the place
Where dwell the hosts of the serpent-race,
A broad-wayed city, walled and barred,
Which watchful legions keep and guard.
The fiercest of the serpent youth,
Each awful for his venomed tooth;
And throned in his imperial hall Is Vasuki who rules them all."
The reference to the "serpent race" here is crucial. Naga is Sanscrit for "cobra," the Nagas were the snake, the cobra-people…(120)

Towards the end of the most recent Davapara Yuga, the texts tell us, Dwarka was a fabulous city founded on the north-west coast of India. Established and ruled over by Krishna (a human avatar of the god Vishnu), it was built on the site of an even earlier sacred city, Kususthali, on land that had been reclaimed from the sea: 'Krishna solicited a space of twelve furlongs from the ocean, and there he built the city of Dwarka, defended by high ramparts.' The gardens and the amenities of the city are praised, and we understand that it was a place of ritual and splendour. Years later, however, as the Davapara Yuga comes to an end, Krishna is killed. The Vishnu Purana reports: 'On the same day that Krishna departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali Age descended. The ocean rose and submerged the whole of Dwarka.' The Age of Kali thus ushered in turns out to be none other than the present epoch of the earth - our own. According to the Hindu sages it began just over 5000 years ago at a date in the Indian calendar corresponding to 3102 BC. It is an age, warns the Bhagvata Purana, in which 'people will be greedy, take to wicked behaviour, will be merciless, indulge in hostilities without any cause, unfortunate, extremely covetous for wealth and worldly desires...' (124)

An interval followed, after which another Raja - whose name was Malecheren - took the throne at Mahabalipuram. He encountered a being from the heavenly realms who became his friend and agreed 'to carry him in disguise to see the court of the divine Indra' - a favour that had never before been granted to any mortal: The Raja returned from thence with new ideas of splendour and magnificence, which he immediately adopted in regulating his court and his retinue, and in beautifying his seat of government. By this means Mahabalipuram became soon celebrated beyond all the cities of the earth; and an account of its magnificence having been brought to the gods assembled at the court of Indra, their jealousy was so much excited at it that they sent orders to the God of the Sea to let loose his billows and overflow a place which impiously pretended to vie in splendour with their celestial mansions. This command he obeyed, and the city was at once overflowed by that furious element, nor has it ever since been able to rear its head. (124)

In brief, then, the evidence indicates that in the course of the third millennium BC a powerful influence from the Mesopotamian mythogenetic zone, on the levels of the high neolithic and of the hieratic city state, reached India by way of Iran. It touched here, however, another mythogenetic zone of considerable force - of which, up to this time, there had been left no indubitable archaeological evidence. Among the leading elements of this suddenly revealed native Indian mythogenetic complex we may number: the serpent, as a development of the primitive proto-neolithic monster serpent of the tropical planters; the yogi, as a higher transformation of the shamanistic techniques and experiences of ecstasis; the goddess, though in what way or to what degree differently conceived and developed from the goddess of the Mediterranean sphere we cannot say; and the abstract symbol of sexual union (lingom and yoni in conjunction) as a primary symbol of the divine connubium through which the world is simultaneously generated and dissolved. Among the elements and ideas imported, on the other hand, were certainly writing, the art of the stamp-seal, polychrome pottery, wheeled vehicles, metalcraft, grain agriculture, stock-breeding, the idea of the city, and - possibly - the hieratic city state. Almost without question, also, the later Indian ideas of duty (dharma) and the round of rebirth (sarhsara), the cosmic mountain crowned with the city of the gods, the underworlds of suffering and upper worlds of bliss, the kingly solar and lunar dynasties, and the sacral regicide were derived from Mesopotamia; likewise the sacred bull and cow as theriomorphic counterparts of the lingam and yoni. (128)

Sastri gives a number of reasons for saying that the ruling class was Sumerian. He shows Indus seals of bull-fighting as in Crete. He shows the similarity of the tree legend, the tree of knowledge of the book of Genesis, found both in Sumer and India. The botanic name is ficus religiosa; it is the pipal or bo-tree, beneath which Buddha achieved enlightenment. (135)

An Indian author, Sri. A. Kalyanaraman, in his book Aryatar-angini, ...argues that the Aryans had early made their home in north-west India, the Sapta Sindhu, even if they had originally migrated from the Caucasus. Their literature, he emphasises in three places, was composed at a much earlier date than British archaeologists allow: the Rig Veda 5000-4000 BC, the Yajur Veda 4000-3000 BC, the Brahrnanas 3000-2000 BC, the Upanishads 1500-1000 BC. He argues from the internal evidence of these compositions that the Aryans were a sun-worshipping sea-people, who sailed around the world, to the New World as well as to many parts of the Old. (135)

It was as compensation to Inanna/Ishtar that she was granted dominion over the Third Region of civilization, that of the Indus Valley, circa 2900 BC. (137)

China

 In The Chinese Roswell Hausdorf tells the story of two Australian traders who were traveling through the wide-open plains of central China 100 years ago. The pair discovered the pyramids and went to a local monastery to inquire about their origin and age, and there the monastery's custodian told them they were very old--the monastery's records went back 5,000 years and the pyramids preceded the monastic habit of record keeping! The custodian also I told them that the pyramids belonged to an age when the old emperors ruled China. These emperors were said to have stressed the fact that they did not originate on Earth; they were descendants of the "sons of heaven, who roared down to this planet on their fiery metallic dragons," much like the first "divine rulers" of Sumer. The Great Yu referred to by Tzu was known as the regulator of the waters and builder of canals who dredged the Yellow River after a great flood, just as Enki dredged the Tigris River. He traveled tirelessly for 13 years, draining the land of water, just as the Sumerian gods had. One Chinese tradition claims that "but for Yu we should all be fishes." (68)

It is significant that a number of the world's calendars agree upon the starting date of the present age--what we might call the Age of Civilization. The Mayan Fifth Sun, the Age of Man, started in 3113 BC, roughly 5,100 years ago. At that time, the first civilizations were under way not only in Mexico, but also in Sumer and Egypt and along the Peruvian coast. The Jewish calendar is reckoned from 3700 BC, and is about 5,700 years old. The Chinese calendar is about 4,500 years old and the Julian calendar is roughly 5,000 years old. According to the Hindu calendar, the panchanga, or traditional almanac, keeps track of the equivalent years in the Kali Yuga and states that from 1990 to 1991: "5,091 Kali years have passed." By late 2001, 5,102 years of the Kali Yuga, or Iron Age, had elapsed in the Yuga system. (69)

Europe

 If Catal traditions may be said to reach backward into Upper Paleolithic times, their forward reach seems to have extended into the Bronze Age and beyond. Mellaart is only one of several prehistorians who have found the religion and mythology implied in Catal symbolism to be remarkably similar to that of Minoan Crete and the oldest stratum of Greek religion and myth. Although some three thousand years separate Catal Huyuk from the Minoan civilization, he feels that the numerous symbolic parallels indicate a common ancestry for the two cultures. (115)

So we find that Hesiod distinguished two periods of the Bronze Age: the first when war destroys mankind: 'Their armour was of bronze, and their houses of bronze, and of bronze were their implements...Men were destroyed by their own hands and passed to the dank house of chill Hades.' In the second: ...there was created a god-like race of hero-men...Grim war and dread battle destroyed a part of them...But to the other father Zeus the son of Cronos gave a living and an abode apart from men, and made them dwell at the ends of the Earth. And they live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the Blessed along the shore of deep swirling Ocean, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods...(135)

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 It is significant that a number of the world's calendars agree upon the starting date of the present age--what we might call the Age of Civilization. The Mayan Fifth Sun, the Age of Man, started in 3113 BC, roughly 5,100 years ago. At that time, the first civilizations were under way not only in Mexico, but also in Sumer and Egypt and along the Peruvian coast. The Jewish calendar is reckoned from 3700 BC, and is about 5,700 years old. The Chinese calendar is about 4,500 years old and the Julian calendar is roughly 5,000 years old. According to the Hindu calendar, the panchanga, or traditional almanac, keeps track of the equivalent years in the Kali Yuga and states that from 1990 to 1991: "5,091 Kali years have passed." By late 2001, 5,102 years of the Kali Yuga, or Iron Age, had elapsed in the Yuga system. (69)

 In Mesoamerica, the giver of civilization was the "Winged Serpent" Quetzalcoatl. We have identified him as Enki's son Thoth of the Egyptian pantheon (Ningishzidda to the Sumerians) and as the one who, in 3113 BC, brought over his African followers to establish civilization in Mesoamerica. (137)

North America

 

Other