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Sumer

The Ubaid Period

The region of Sumer was long thought to have been first inhabited around 4500 BCE. This date has been contested in recent years, however, and it now thought that human activity in the area began much earlier. The first settlers were not Sumerians but a people of unknown origin whom archaeologists have termed the Ubaid people (from the excavated mound of al-Ubaid where the artifacts were uncovered which first attested to their existence) or the Proto-Euphrateans (which designates them as earlier inhabitants of the region of the Euphrates River).

Whoever these people were, they had already moved from a hunter-gatherer society to an agrarian one prior to 5000 BCE. Excavations from al-Ubaid and other sites throughout southern Iraq have uncovered stone tools from the Ubaid people such as hoes, knives, and adzes and clay artifacts which included sickles, bricks, painted pottery, and figurines. These people were the first agents of civilization in the region. At what point the people who came to be known as Sumerians entered the area is not known.

The Sumerian King List

Mesopotamians generally, and the Sumerians specifically, believed that civilization was the result of the gods’ triumph of order over chaos.

According to the Sumerian scholar Samuel Noah Kramer, “The first ruler of Sumer, whose deeds are recorded, if only in the briefest kind of statement, is a king by the name of Etana of Kish, who may have come to the throne quite early in the third millennium B.C. In the King List he is described as `he who stabilized all the lands’.” The Sumerian King List is a cuneiform document, written by a scribe of the city of Lagash, sometime around 2100 BCE which lists all of the kings of the region, and their accomplishments, in an attempt to show continuity of order in society dating back to the beginning of civilization.

As the Mesopotamians generally, and the Sumerians specifically, believed that civilization was the result of the gods’ triumph of order over chaos, the King List is thought to have been created to legitimize the reign of a king named Utu-Hegal of Uruk (who ruled c. 2100 BCE) by showing him as the most recent in a long line of rulers of the region. Etana is famous from the myth of the man who ascends to heaven on the back of an eagle and, like other kings mentioned in the list (Dumuzi and Gilgamesh among them) was known for superhuman feats and heroism. Utu-Hegal, it is thought, was trying to link himself to such earlier hero-kings through the creation of the King List. Since the Mesopotamians believed that the gods had set everything in motion, and that human beings were created as co-laborers with the gods to maintain order and hold back chaos, the early writers of history in the region concentrated more on the links between the rulers and their gods. Writing down the history of human accomplishments seems to have been considered a matter of little importance for these writers and, as a result, the early history of Sumer has been deduced from the archaeological and geological record more than a written tradition and much information is still unavailable to modern scholars.


Ruins of Ur

The Rise of Cities

Whenever the Sumerian civilization was first established in the region, by 3600 BCE they had invented the wheel, writing, the sail boat, agricultural processes such as irrigation, and the concept of the city (though China and India also lay claim to `the first cities’ in the world). It is generally accepted that the first cities in the world rose in Sumer and, among the most important, were Eridu, Uruk, Ur, Larsa, Isin, Adab, Kullah, Lagash, Nippur, and Kish. The city of Uruk is held to be the first true city in the world. It has been noted, again by Kramer, that these names are not Sumerian but come from the Ubaid people and so were founded, at least as villages, much earlier than c. 5000 BCE. Other cities in Sumer were Sippar, Shuruppak, Bad-tibira, Girsu, Umma, Urukag, Nina, and Kissura. All were of varying size and scope with Uruk the largest and most powerful at its prime.

With the establishment of the cities of Sumer, their history unfolds from approximately 5000 BCE to 1750 BCE when “the Sumerians ceased to exist as a people” (Kramer) after Sumer was invaded by the Elamites and Amorites. After the Ubaid Period (c. 5000-4100 BCE) came the Uruk Period (4100-2900 BCE) in which cities began to emerge across the landscape and the city of Uruk rose in prominence. Though the period is named for the `first city’ of Uruk, Eridu was considered the first city by the Sumerians themselves, as previously noted. Trade was firmly established with foreign lands at this time and writing evolved from pictograms to cuneiform script. It is thought that trade was the main motivator in the development of writing as there now had to be some means for accurate, long-distance, communication between the merchants of Sumer and their agents abroad. The kingship also arose at this time and the city-states of Sumer came to be ruled by a single monarch who was assisted by a council of elders (which included both men and women). The kings following Etana were Semites, not Sumerians, as attested to by their names such as Enmebaraggesi of Kish. It is not until after the rule of eight kings passed that Sumerian names begin to appear in the King List.


Map of Sumer and Elam

The Akkadian Empire in Sumer

The Early Dynastic Period (2900-2334 BCE) saw the subtle shift from a priest-king (known as an ensi) to a more modern-day concept of `king’ known as a Lugal (`big man’). The city-states of Sumer during this time fought for control of arable land and water rights until the rise of the First Dynasty of Lagash in 2500 BCE. Under their king Eannutum, Lagash became the centre of a small empire which included most of Sumer and parts of neighboring Elam. This empire was still extant under the king Lugal-Zage when a young man, who later claimed to have been the king’s gardener, seized the throne. This was Sargon of Akkad who would go on to found the Akkadian Empire (2334-2154 BCE), the first multi-national empire in the world and, it is thought, based on the model set by Eannutum. The Akkadian Empire ruled over the majority of Mesopotamia, including Sumer, until a people known as the Gutians invaded from the north (the area of modern-day Iran) and destroyed the major cities. The Gutian Period (c. 2154-2047 BCE) is considered a dark age in Sumerian history (and Mesopotamian history overall) and the Gutians were universally reviled by Sumerian writers in later histories, most of which consider them a punishment sent by the gods.

The Sumerian Renaissance

The last period in Sumerian history is known as The Ur III Period (2047-1940 BCE) so named for the Third Dynasty of the city of Ur. This period is also known as The Sumerian Renaissance due to the remarkable advances in culture – touching upon virtually every single aspect of civilized human life – which were made. The kings of Ur, Ur-Nammu and Shulgi, set cultural advancement as the goal of their administrations and maintained a peace which allowed for art and technology to flourish. Whether invented before or during the Ur III Period, the tools, concepts, and technological innovations in place during the Third Dynasty of Ur solidified the Sumerian’s place in history as the creators of civilization as we know it. In Samuel Noah Kramer’s book History Begins at Sumer he lists 39 “firsts’ in history from the region among which are the first schools, the first proverbs and sayings, the first messiahs, the first Noah and the Flood stories, the first love song, the first aquarium, the first legal precedents in court cases, the first tale of a dying and resurrected god, the first funeral chants, first biblical parallels, and first moral ideas. The Sumerians also essentially invented time in that their sexigesimal system of counting (a system based on the number 60) created the 60-second minute and the 60-minute hour. They also divided the night and day into periods of 12 hours, set a limit on a `work day’ with a time for beginning and ending, and established the concept of `days off’ for holidays. The historian Bertman writes, “The hand of Mesopotamia still determines the hourly length of the traditional workday and even the length of our electronic entertainment (half-hour or hour TV shows) when our workday has stopped” (334). Bertman further notes that the modern day practice of checking one’s horoscope comes from ancient Sumer and that the astrological signs one is born under were first noted and named by the ancient Mesopotamians.


A Sumerian Wall Plaque Showing Libation Scenes

Ur-Nammu wrote the first legal code in Sumer which became the precedent for the much later, and better known, Code of Hammurabi of Babylon. The historian Paul Kriwaczek writes, “Ur-Nammu’s universal legal pronouncements present a good example of the unifying drive of Ur’s kings: the compulsion to regulate every aspect of life” (149). Sumer, under the unifying force of the Third Dynasty of Ur, became a Patrimonial State (“meaning one constructed on the pattern of the patriarchal family ruled by a father figure”, as Kriwaczek notes) in which the monarch served as the father figure who guided his children along a proper path toward prosperity. Ur-Nammu’s son, Shulgi, is considered the greatest of the Neo-Sumerian kings who continued his father’s policies but went further. In an effort to both impress his people, and distinguish himself from his father, Shulgi ran 100 miles (160.9 kilometres) between the religious centre of Nippur and the capital city of Ur and back again – in one day – in order to officiate at the festivals in both cities. Though some have considered the hymn which recounts his achievement as a kingly boast and highly exaggerated, scholars have determined that he could, in fact, have made his famous run and, further, that it was in keeping with the spirit of Shulgi’s rule. Creating a sense of awe and admiration in their subjects seems to have been central to the governing power of the kings of Ur at this time.

Sumer's Decline & Legacy

Under Shulgi’s reign, a wall was constructed 155 miles long (250 kilometres) to keep out the Semitic-speaking tribes known as the Martu or Tidnum but better known by their biblical name of Amorites. Shulgi’s son, grandson, and great-grandson all renovated and strengthened the wall to keep those they called `the barbarians’ out of Sumer proper but the barrier proved ineffective. The wall could not be properly manned or maintained and, further, was not anchored to any solid barrier at the end points and so invaders could simply follow the wall on the one side to either end point and then walk around it. The forces of neighboring Elam breached the wall and marched on Ur, sacking it and carrying away the king.

Following the Ur III Period and the fall of Ur, many Sumerians migrated north. Sumerian was no longer spoken as a language (though it was still written), having been largely replaced by the Semitic Akkadian, and the Sumerian culture was ended. Their legacy, however, continues in many aspects of civilization which those in the modern day take for granted as always existing. Even so, something as basic as the twenty-four hour day was invented, once upon a time, in Sumer.


Sumer

Zapanjujuća činjenica o Sumeranima je da su znali da godina ima 365 dana, 6 sati i 11 minuta, što se od današnjih proračuna razlikuje samo tri minute! Podijelili su dan na 86400 sekundi, dakle, 24 sata od 60 minuta sa po 60 sekundi. Pisali su tvrdim pisaljkama na glinenim pločicama pa je njihovo pismo nazvano klinasto pismo.

Pretpostavlja se da su Sumerani napisali prvi knjige na svijetu, da su znali za statički elektricitet i električnu energiju. Imali su znanje iz područja optike, a moguće je da su znali i za mikroskop. Njihovo znanje iz astronomije bilo je ne odlično, nego izvanredno. Znali su za Uran i Neptun, mada se Uran samo ponekad može vidjeti golim okom, dok se Neptun ne može vidjeti. Sumerani su znali da se sve planete i njihovi sateliti istog datuma i u istoj točki svakih 2268 miliona dana tj. svakih 6300 godina od 360 dana nalaze u istoj ravnini na nebu. Ali naravno to nije sve od njihovog astronomskog znanja. Kao što smo već rekli njihovo astronomsko znanje je ogromno, pa je logično da ono nije ograničilo samo na naš planetarni sustav. Oni su poznavali i zagonetno zviježđe Sirijus B koje je otkriveno tek 1862. godine i to teleskopom s promjerom od 40 cm. I opet, po stoti put se moramo pitati kako su oni mogli vidjeti nešto što smo mi tek uspjeli vidjeti prije gotovo 150 godina?

Prema zapisima koje su nam ostavili Sumerani, Anunnaki su došli na Zemlju radi vađenja ruda. Vladar Anunnakija zvao se Anu i imao je sina Enkija koji je bio glavni znanstvenik. Shvatio je da je to pretežak posao za njegove ljude pa je dao svome sinu zadatak. Enki je od svog oca dobio zadatak da stvori novo biće, roba radnika. Biće je moralo biti dovoljno napredno da obavlja složene poslove. Nakon mnogo neuspjeha, Enki je uspio. Stvorio je Homo sapiensa.

Vođe Anunnakija bili su zadovoljni te su ih stavili da rade u rudnicima. No Enki je želio više. Želio je stvoriti biće po svom ugledu, slično ne samo fizički nego i mentalno, intelektualno, emotivno i duhovno. Ostali Anunnakiji bili su ljuti i pokušali su uništiti Enkijevu kreaciju.

Drevni narodi smatrali su da su njihovi Bogovi besmrtni. No njihova tzv.besmrtnost je bio njihov dug životni vijek.


The Sumerian Sciences

Writing (Cuneiform) - The Sumerian writing known as cuneiform is often (mistakenly) cited as the oldest writing in the world. It was achieved by pressing a 'stylus' made of reed or wood into soft clay tablets. The first signs were pictographic, later improved upon by the Babylonians, who created a syllabic script.

A strong link has been shown to exist between the scripts of the 'Old Europe' Vinca culture and the Sumerians. It was long assumed that the Sumerians were the originators of writing, but recent archaeology has shown that the Vinca existed c. 6,000 - 3,500 BC, with evidence of the Vinca 'proto' script from as early as 5,500 BC. This evidence clearly suggests that the Vinca were the originators of script, and not the Sumerians, to whom they apparently passed it on during their mass migration following the collapse of their 2,000 year old civilisation.

More about the Vinca Culture


Associated with writing is the development of cylinder-seals, which were also a Sumerian invention.
The first written documents, from around 3,500 BC, are receipts and lists of items.

Amongst the thousands of cuneiform clay tablets discovered, there are three major Sumerian texts left to us; The Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish), The Epic of the Flood and The Epic of Gilgamesh.

The discovery of both Sumerian and Indus valley seals demonstrates a level of communication between the two great cultures. Both of which disappeared overnight at around the same time.

More about the Indus Valley Culture

 

Astronomy

The Sumerians are amongst the first people to leave sophisticated records of their astronomical observations. Their fascination with the heavens is apparent in the large number of seals and cuneiform tablets unearthed of an astronomical nature.

The Sumerians were the first to divide both space and time by units of six.

The modern division of the year into 12 months, the 24 hours of each day, the division of hours into 60 minutes and 60 seconds, and the divisions of the circle/sphere by 360 degrees, each composed of 60 minutes and 60 seconds of an arc, are all Sumerian developments. This same division by units of six has been observed at several of prominent British megaliths.

Aubrey Burl said of it:

'From Brodgar, where there was once 60 stones, to the Stripple stones with a probable thirty, the builders may have counted in multiples of six. Stennes had twelve. The inner and outer rings at Balfarg have been computed at twenty-four and twelve respectively. Twenty-four has been suggested for Cairnpappel, thirty-six for Arbor Low, and the same number for the devils quoits'.

 
The Sumerians were also aware of the importance of Pleiades, showing it in several seals and images (4).

In addition to being thought of as the seven great gods gathered together, the morning setting of Pleiades was used to mark the beginning and end of the agricultural year.

The Sumerians called the twelve major zodiacal constellations the 'Shiny Herd'.

Sumerian Translation Modern name
GU.AN.NA
MASH.TAB.BA
DUB  
UR.GULA 
AB.SIN
ZI.BA.AN.NA
GIR.TAB
PA.BIL (Archer)
SUHUR.MASH
GU
SIM.MAH
KU.MAL
Heavenly Bull
Twins
Pincers, Tongs
Lion
Her father was Sin
Heavenly Fate
Which claws and cuts
Defender
Goat-Fish
Lord of the waters
Fishes
Field dweller
Taurus
Gemini
Cancer
Leo
Virgo
Libra
Scorpio
Sagittarius
Capricorn
Aquarius
Pisces
Aries


Possible 'Cardinal' animals. From Susa. c. 3,000 B.C.

 
This cylinder seal (VA/243 -State Museum, East Berlin), shows a 'star' with several (eleven) planets surrounding it. However, as there are no known records of the Sumerians having knowledge of any more than five planets in our solar-system the jury's out over what it represents.

More about Archaeoastronomy

 

Other Sumerian 'Firsts'

The Wheel: Many authorities regard the wheel as one of the oldest and most important inventions which supposedly originated in ancient Mesopotamia in the 5th millennium BC ( Ubaid period), suggested to be originally in the function of potter's wheels. Near the northern side of the Caucasus several graves were found, in which since 3,700 BC people had been buried on wagons or carts (both types). (Ref: Wikipedia.com).

An similar example of the Sumerian wheeled vehicle (right) but from c. 5,500 BC was recently (2012) discovered in Mardin, Turkey and is now on display in the Mardin Museum.  (Quick-link)

 

Ziggurat's (Predecessors to Pyramids)


The Ziggurat of Ur, Iraq - Was a '7 Step-pyramid', and is officially classified as a 'Solar Temple'.

The similarity in style with Djoser's step pyramid at Saqqara is too strong to ignore. Both structures were built with mud bricks, built in steps, and both are surrounded by the same relief pattern on the walls (although at Saqqara this pattern is transposed onto the compound wall rather than on the pyramid itself as at Ur).

More about Ur, Iraq

 

The crystal ‘lens’ from Nineveh (Kuyunjik, Iraq)


The first glass was Sumerian. (1)

In 1853, Sir David Brewster (1781-1868) presented a lens to the British Association for the Advancement of Science that had been found in excavations by Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) at Nineveh (Kuyunjik, Iraq). It had been found in deposits dated around 600 BC and although its provenance was not in question, doubts were raised about its function. Whilst it clearly works as a lens, it was thought to have been used as a decoration in a piece of jewellery.

More about Optics in Prehistory

 

Beer Brewing

Article: The Independent. 22nd March 1997.

Chemical analysis has identified a 6,000-year-old brewery at an archaeological site in what is now modern Iran. The evidence, which was published recently in the scientific journal Nature, suggests that fermentation of barley was first practised in Sumer - southern Babylonia - between 4000 and 3000 BC. The Sumerian civilisation occupied the flood plain between the lower Tigris and Euphrates rivers, land that is today mainly shared by Syria and Iraq. One of the oldest literate civilisations, the Sumerians had a sophisticated system of agriculture, in which irrigation was used to grow cereal crops, including barley.

Towards the end of last year, archaeologists found a jar from the late fourth millennium BC at Goden Tepe (just inside the border of Iran). It has grooves containing traces of calcium oxalate, the main component of 'beerstone', a substance that settles on the surfaces of storage tanks of fermented drinks brewed from barley. The only other foodstuffs to contain an appreciable amount of oxalates are spinach and rhubarb, neither of which plays a key part in the human diet.

The archaeologists working on this ancient artefact, Rudolph Michel and Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania, and Virginia Badler of the University of Toronto, have concluded that it was used as a vessel for a fermented barley drink. If this is indeed the case, then they have stumbled across the earliest record of such brewing in history.

Link to Full article

 

Babylonian map of the world

Babylonian "map of the world" in the British Museum, London was long claimed as the earliest extant map. The map was composed in Babylonia and is the only Babylonian map drawn on an international scale. It is a Neo-Babylonian (Persian Period, circa 500 BCE) copy of an original dating to the Sargonid Period, circa late eighth or seventh century BCE. The clay tablet is a drawing and textual description of the Babylonian cosmos. It is oriented to the north-west. (It is uncertain whether the accompanying cuneiform text was composed together with the map.) It is the only known map of the world dating from the Neo-Babylonian Period. All other maps have a purely local focus.

More about the Babylonian Map of the World

 

The Baghdad Batteries: (AD225-640).

Railway construction in Baghdad in 1936, uncovered a copper cylinder with a rod of iron amongst other finds from the Parthian period. In 1938, these were identified as primitive electric cells by Dr. Wilhelm Konig, then the director of the Baghdad museum laboratory, who related the discovery to other similar finds (Iraqi cylinders, rods and asphalt stoppers, all corroded as if by some acid, and a few slender Iron and Bronze rods found with them). He concluded that their purpose was for electroplating gold and Silver jewellery.

More about the Baghdad Batteries


Sumerian bull lyre

"Oduvijek smo znali" - objašnjava ekipa sa Berkleva - " da je u ranijoj asirsko - babilonskoj civilizaciji postojala glazba, ali dok nismo odgonetnuli note nismo znali da se radilo o istoj ljestvici od sedam dijatonskih tonova koja je karakteristična za suvremenu zapadnu glazbu, i grčku glazbu prvog tisućljeća pr.n.e." Do sada se smatralo da je zapadna glazba porijeklom iz Grčke: sada je ustanovljeno da naša glazba, kao i glazba zapadne civilizacije, potječe iz Mezopotamije.

To nas ne bi trebalo čuditi, jer je već grčki učenjak Filon izjavio kako su Mezopotamci bili poznati po tome što "traže svjetski sklad i slogu preko glazbenih tonova".
Nema sumnje da Sumeranima možemo pripisati prvenstvo u pitanjima glazbe i pjesme. Profesor Crocke je konstruirao liru poput one pronađene u ruševinama Ura i na njoj uspio odsvirati drevnu melodiju.

 

 

Ninhursag


Nintu with their early failures to fashion proper workers

Ninmah ("Great Queen"); Nintu ("Lady of Birth"); Mamma or Mami (mother)

Ninhursag symbol


Ninhursag Enki


Ninhursag

Hathor


Hathor

Orpheus


Hermes lyre

Stećci


Stećci - Illyrians


Sumerian symbols of the gods


Nannar, Inanna, Utu, Anu Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Nergal Zababa, Ninurta, Marduk, Nabu, Bau, Adad, Shala, Nusku, Ningirsu, Shuqamuna, Shumalia, Ningishzidda, & Ishara

Ningishzidda, Nannar, Utu-Inanna, Enlil - Nabu, Ishara, Nusku, Nanshe, Marduk, Ninhursag, Shala, Enki, Ninurta, Zababa, Enlil, Anu, Adad, & unkn symbols


Enki - Enlil

 

Ningishzida


Ningishzida

Ningishzida (sum: dnin-ǧiš-zi-da) is a Mesopotamian deity of the underworld. He is the patron of medicine[citation needed], and may also be considered a god of nature and fertility. His name in Sumerian means “lord of the good tree”. In Sumerian mythology, he appears in Adapa’s myth as one of the two guardians of Anu’s celestial palace, alongside Dumuzi. He was sometimes depicted as a serpent with a human head.

The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. It is the oldest known image of snakes coiling around an axial rod (royal scepter), dating from before 2000 BCE. (Medical Logo)

Ningishzida is the earliest known symbol of snakes twining (some say in copulation) around an axial rod. It predates the Caduceus of Hermes, the Rod of Asclepius and the staff of Moses by more than a millennium.

In the Louvre, there is a famous green steatitevase carved for king Gudea of Lagash (dated variously 2200–2025 BCE), dedicated by its inscription:

“To the god Ningiszida, his god Gudea, Ensi (governor) of Lagash, for the prolongation of his life, has dedicated this”.

The Adapa myth mentions Ningizzida and Tammuz (or Dumuzi) and refers to the serpent god as male.

NINGISHZIDDA (ENKI, ANU, ANSHAR, APSU) {aka Thoth, Tehuti, the Winged Serpent} NINGISHZIDDA was a genetics scientist, known in Egypt as the god, Thoth.

According to Zecharia Sitchin, NINGISHZIDDA went to the American continent (Yucatan) after being deposed by his brother, Marduk. During his sojourn in the lands which would become known as the Americas, NINGISHZIDDA was known as the “Winged Serpent.”

Ningishzidda established the Olmec’s and the Mayan’s cultures.

 

Enki, Ningishzida symbols


Enki & Ninhursag


Ningishzidda's symbol of entwined serpants


Thoth Hermes Trismegistus and his Ancient School of Mysteries

Thoth Hermes Trismegistus is portrayed by the Egyptians as the moon god with the body of a man, head of an ibis, and a crescent moon over his head. His symbol was the winged serpent staff. He was the god of wisdom, letters, and time. But he was not only known to the Egyptians. To the Sumerians he was Ningizzida; he may have been Enoch to the Jews, Odin to the Scandinavians, Wotan to the Teutons, and some even suggest Buddha.

Before he was revered as a god, he was the first great Egyptian philosopher and founder of the Ancient Mystery Schools, receiving his wisdom while in meditative trances, writing over 40 books including (allegedly) the Emerald Tablet, The Book of Thoth and The Divine Pymander, with the Book of Thoth only being given to his enlightened initiates of the Mysteries.


A reconstruction of what the Emerald Tablet is believed to have looked like by the International Alchemy Guild.

The topics he covered ranged from medicine, chemistry, law, art, music, rhetoric, magic, philosophy, geography, mathematics, anatomy, and oratory. To the Egyptians, his knowledge was so vast and all-encompassing that they first began to credit him as the communicator with the gods, eventually inducting him into the Egyptian pantheon.

Whether or not one agrees his is the hand that penned the books attributed to him, a quick perusal or in-depth study resounds in most readers, due to the similarity with Buddhism and Christianity. Perhaps the clearest examples are his teachings on reincarnation and the creation of the world.


Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, depicted with the body of a man, head of an ibis, and a crescent moon over his head.

Nothing is for certain about the Book of Thoth other than the fact that it was written in Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  It was kept in a golden box in the inner sanctuary of the temple and only the highest initiate of the Hermetic Arcanum Mystery School had the key to it. It is said the book described the Key to Immortality, the process achieved through awakening certain areas of the brain, similar to the Buddhist monks’ practices.  Gardner and other authors claimed the awakening of the brain was achieved through meditation, the use of a white powder, and the priestesses’ sacred essence.

The most powerful of the Mystery Schools was known as the Royal School of the Master Craftsmen at Karnak, founded by Pharaoh Thuthmosis III, though as with all the Mystery Schools, it is commonly believed that the true founders resided in Sumeria, emigrating to Egypt, which ties in to Sitchin’s claims that Enki and his sons (including Ningizzida) had Magan (Egypt) as their domain.

This school was also known as the Great White Brotherhood due to the members choice of raiment (white robes) and their dedication to producing the white powder known to the Mesopotamians as Shem-an-na, the High-Ward Fire Stone, or ‘white bread’ to the Egyptians. Pictures of it show it being offered to the Pharaohs, in the shape of a cone.


Man holding the Shem-an-na, white powder

Petrie discovered on the top of Mount Sinai, an Egyptian Temple which contained a bewildering discovery:  laying some inches deep beneath heavy flagstones in a storeroom was a considerable supply of the finest pure white, unadulterated powder. Copper smelting and animal sacrifice were quickly ruled out.

Some of the mysterious powder was taken back to Britain for analysis and examination, but no results were ever published. The rest was left open to the elements after 3000 years to become a victim of the desert winds. What has become apparent, however, is that this powder was seemingly identical to the ancient Mesopotamian fire-stone or shem-an-na - the substance that was made into bread-cakes and used to feed the Babylonian kings and the pharaohs of Egypt. This, of course, explains the temple inscriptions denoting the importance of bread and light, while the white powder (the shem-an-na) has been identified with the sacred manna that Aaron placed in the Ark of the Covenant.


Petrie discovered a large quantity of pure white powder in a temple on top of Mount Sinai. ‘Ascent of the lower ranges of Mount Sinai’. Coloured lithograph by Louis Haghe after David Roberts, 1849.

Eventually the Mystery Schools went into decline as new Dynasties emerged. The initiates left Egypt and brought the Book of Thoth to another land. Where it is now, no one knows, though supposedly the chain of succession of Grand Master since Thoth, has remained unbroken. The Rosicrucians are said to be descended from his school while the Freemasons are descended from the school founded by Solomon.


 Buckets, Corn and the Tree of Life

A common Mesopotamian theme, found on many seals, and works of art is the appearance of what appears to be an image of the 'Tree of Life/knowledge' being harvested (or watered), by 'Winged people' or occasionally by 'Fish-people' as the cylinder seal below shows.


The 'Enuma Elish' epic of creation, describes the 'Half fish God' Eanna coming from the water following the 'great deluge' to bring knowledge to the Sumerians.

   
The Sumerian image of the 'tree of life/knowledge' is reminiscent of the later images of Greek 'Omphalos' or woven 'Navel Stones' - which in turn originated From Thebes in Egypt).

 

The eagle-headed winged protective spirit 'Djinn' shown here is known as an “Apkallu” spirit.

   
Although it is commonly suggested that these figures are 'watering' the 'tree of life' , the following images suggest otherwise.

 
In these images the 'cob' is not 'watering' the 'tree of life'.. suggesting it is being 'harvested' instead. 

    -
This depiction is from Khorsabad, 8th century BC.

Although the character in the image changes from one image to another, an artistic significance is maintained over certain specific features such as the bucket, the wristband and the 'cob'.

 

Cob or Pineal Gland

It has been suggested that the 'cob' object could be a pine-cone. The pine-cone has a strong symbolism, being a reference to the 'Third-eye' or 'pineal-gland', so named because of its similarity in shape. The pine-cone is traditionally associated with immortality and knowledge. The Pineal gland is activated by Light, and it controls the various biorhythms of the body. It works in harmony with the hypothalamus gland, which directs the body's thirst, hunger, sexual desire and the biological clock, that determines our aging process.

"E. A. Wallis Budge has noted that in some of the papyri illustrating the entrance of the souls of the dead into the judgment hall of Osiris the deceased person has a pine cone attached to the crown of his head. The Greek mystics also carried a symbolic staff, the upper end being in the form of a pine cone, which was called the thyrsus of Bacchus. In the human brain there is a tiny gland called the pineal body, which is the sacred eye of the ancients, and corresponds to the third eye of the Cyclops. " Manly P. Hall.


The Egyptian Staff of Osiris, dating back to approximately 1224 BC, depicts two intertwining serpents rising up to meet at a pinecone.

Modern scholars and philosophers have noted the staff’s symbolic parallels to the Indian “Kundalini,” a spiritual energy in the body depicted as coiled serpents rising up from the base of the spine to the Third Eye (Pineal Gland) in the moment of enlightenment. Awakened Kundalini represents the merging and alignment of the Chakras, and is said to be the one and only way to attain the “Divine Wisdom” brining pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.

In 1997, British Dr. Jennifer Luke extensively documented the Pineal Gland as the primary target for Fluoride accumulation in our bodies, where it calcifies the Pineal, inhibiting blood flow and “clogging” the basic functions of our Third Eye. By feeding the public Fluoride from birth, critics claim that our greater spiritual abilities are being dulled by chemically clouding our biological portal to spiritual awareness.

The Psychopharmacologist Rick Strassman believes the Third Eye/Pineal Gland to be the source of the psychedelic Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in our bodies. Strassman has hypothesized that large amounts of DMT are released in our bodies during heightened states of spiritual consciousness, such as birth, death and near-death experiences -- or perhaps during the awakening of our Kundalini in a moment of Enlightenment.

Synthesized DMT, or plants containing DMT are often used as recreational psychedelics, or in shamanic ceremonies, such as the Ayahuasca ceremony originating in South America. DMT and/or Ayahuasca users often report intensely entheogenic experiences of spiritual awakening, contact with entities of supernatural or spiritual origin, and the dilation or compression of time.

More about Drug-use in Prehistory

 

The following image is from La Venta, Mexico, in which we see a person carrying a similar bucket.

 

While this may well be a coincidence, it is strongly suspected that the 'Olmec' culture at La Venta was a multicultural colony from around 1,200 BC onwards. Several large Negroid heads were carved there between 700 and 800 BC, suggesting an African presence there at this time and there are several real-life depictions of people with oriental features.

More about the Olmecs

 

   
These images are from India. They also appear to show images of 'Maize' or 'Corn', as the pattern does not twist around the object in the way Pine cones do.

More about Ancient India

 


Sumerian pantheon

An
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ninḫursaḡ
 
 
 
 
 
Enki
born to Namma
 
 
 
Ninkikurga
born to Namma
Nidaba
born to Uraš
 
 
 
Ḫaya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ninsar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ninlil
 
 
 
Enlil
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ninkurra
 
 
Ningal
maybe daughter of Enlil
 
 
 
Suen Nergal
maybe son of Enki
Ninurta
maybe born to Ninḫursaḡ
 
Baba
born to Uraš
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Uttu Inana
maybe daughter of Enki
 
Dumuzī
maybe son of Enki
Utu Ninkigal
married Nergal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meškiaḡḡašer Banda
 
 
 
Ninsumun
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Enmerkar Gilgāmeš
 
 
Urnungal

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