This item establishes the general scholarly position heldcontradicting a lot of the evidence proffered by Sitchin. Sitchin offered a coherent story line that hethen struggled to support with hard evidence. Comparable story lines are supplied from Indian Scripture and also openthe door to optimistic interpretations of available evidence.
I have been inspired by these cultural sources to look fora coherent pattern of my own and have found much that is secure in time andplace and could well be the inspiration for the accounts handed down.
Sitchin’s weakness is that the textual interpretation of cuneiformtablets is naturally suspect as all ancient tests must be. In this case the founding of
Sumer must have been around 8,000 years ago whenthe Persian Gulf flooded. The actual settlement of the sunken lands wasat least a couple of thousand years earlier perhaps and likely initiated by thecolonizing group led by Noah who introduced agricultural science.
My problem is the depth of time. The Noah story survived into the Bronze Ageand was translated into their worldview. It is amazingly intact in terms of accessibility to my modernistinterpretation.
Sitchen’s problem is that he tried associating names with aback story that is not in the text. Wheredid the back story actually come from? Iask that, because the back story hearkens back to Indian material and is notout of place. It is just not obviouslyreflected in cuneiform texts and I think he forced the evidence. Those texts were ancient in terms of theestablishment of a human colony and I do not think Sitchin fully appreciatedhat.
My point is that the back story is actually successful inpointing to new questions and recently has awoken interest in South African artisangold mining. It could be that it isearly days in understanding the depths of human history and a mountain ofevidence will ultimately diminish what appears important.
Or a management regime was in place ala Sitchin’sinterpretation.
The work of Zecharia Sitchin was brought to my attention in2001, shortly after I completed my book, The Facade. As a trained scholar inancient Semitic languages with a lifelong interest in UFOs and paranormalphenomena, I was naturally enthused about Mr. Sitchin's studies, particularlysince I had also heard he was a Sumerian scholar. I thought I had found akindred spirit. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Zecharia Sitchin is not a scholarof ancient languages. What he has written in his books could neither pass peerreview nor is it informed by factual data from the primary sources. I have yetto find anyone with credentials or demonstrable expertise in Sumerian,Akkadian, or any of the other ancient Semitic languages who has positivelyassessed Mr. Sitchin's academic work.
The reader must realize that the substance of mydisagreement is not due to "translation philosophy," as though Mr. Sitchinand I merely disagree over possible translations of certain words. When itcomes to the Mesopotamian sources, what is at stake is the integrity of thecuneiform tablets themselves, along with the legacy of
andMesopotamian scribes. Very simply, the ancient Mesopotamians compiled their owndictionaries - we have them and they have been published since the mid-20thcentury. The words Mr. Sitchin tells us refer to rocket ships have no suchmeanings according to the ancient Mesopotamians themselves. Likewise when Mr.Sitchin tells readers things like the Sumerians believed there were twelveplanets, the Anunnaki were space travelers, Nibiru was the supposed 12thplanet, etc., he is simply fabricating data. It isn't a question of how hetranslates texts; the issue is that these ideas don't exist in any cuneiformtext at all. To persist in embracing Mr. Sitchin's views on this matter (and ahost of others) amounts to rejecting the legacy of the ancient Sumerian andAkkadian scribes whose labors have come down to us from the ages. Put bluntly,is it more coherent to believe a Mesopotamian scribe's definition of a word, orMr. Sitchin's? Sumer
Zecharia Sitchin's work in other texts, such as the Bible,is equally flawed. This site bears witness to the sorts of erors Sitchin makesin language analysis and translation with respect to the Hebrew Bible and the
Dead Sea Scrolls.
What I've said here is very straightforward. It would bequite easy to demonstrate that I am wrong. All one needs to do is produce textsthat I say don't exist, and produce verification of Sitchin's translations byother experts (that's called peer review). Since I don't believe such evidencewill be forthcoming, I offer this open letter to Zecharia Sitchin, hisfollowers, and other ancient astronaut theorists who defend Sitchin's views.
Dear Mr. Sitchin and others:
While the contents of this letter may constitute achallenge to your academic scholarship, the intent of this letter is in theinterest of research, not confrontation. In no way do I intend to impugn yourcharacter. What I ask is that you provide answers and data to support thetheories you have published. Here are my questions / requests.
1. Can you please provide transcripts of your academiclanguage work, or an address to which I could write to obtain proof of yourtraining in the ancient languages in which you claim expertise? I would like topost this information on my website, and would gladly do so.
2. Can you explain why your work on Genesis 1:26-27overlooks so many obvious grammatical indications that the word elohim in thatpassage refers to a single deity (as demonstrated on this website)?
3. Can you explain why you did not include the comparativelinguistic material from the Amarna texts that shows the Akkadian language alsouses the plural word for "gods" to refer to a single deity or person(which of course undermines your argument that elohim must refer to a pluralityof gods)?
4. Can you explain how your interpretation of the word"nephilim" is at all viable in light of the rules of Hebrewmorphology? Can you provide any evidence that "naphal" has anythingto do with fire or rockets, since you translate "nephilim" as"people of the fiery rockets"? In other words, can you bring forth asingle ancient text where naphal has such meanings?
5. Can you produce a single text that says the Anunnakicome from the planet Nibiru - or that Nibiru is a planet beyond Pluto? I assertthat there are no such texts, and challenge you and readers to study theoccurrences of "Anunnaki" right here on this website. Here is a video where I show readers how toconduct a search online at the Electronic Corpus of Sumerian Literaturewebsite. There are 182 occurrences of the divine name Anunnaki. Please show meany evidence from the Sumerian texts themselves that the Anunnaki have anyconnection to Nibiru or a 12th planet (or any planet).
6. Can you explain why the alleged sun symbol on cylinderseal VA 243 is not the normal sun symbol or the symbol for the sun god Shamash?
7. Can you explain why your god=planet equivalencies do notmatch the listings of such matching in cuneiform astronomical texts?
8. Can you explain why many of your critical word meanings/ translations of Sumerian and Mesopotamian words are not consistent withMesopotamian cuneiform bilingual dictionaries?
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will of coursepost any responses on this site.
Michael S. Heiser, Ph.D., Hebrew and Semitic Studies,
University of Wisconsin-Madison