Our Origins in Iraq?
By Kathleen Mary Andersen
Reprinted from Opinion Magazine
Our beginning as civilized mankind is in Iraq. I think it is very ironic that the beginning of mankind today, should have its roots in exactly the area at which we are now at war. The "Cradle of Civilization", that area known as the Mesopotamian Valley which lies between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is hardly now "civil". In this region, the ancient and mysterious Sumerians put forth the ground work of the division of our days into 24 hours, our calendar year into 12 months, the wheel, astronomy, cultivated crops and of course the first written language and alphabet. The origin of the Sumerians is one of those great mysteries from our past that now reaches into the present. We learned only in 1853 about the Sumerians, even though they were never mentioned in the bible or by Greek authors.
They did not have the same physical appearance or the same clothing customs as their neighbors, the Assyrians or the Babylonians. They intermingled with the population and became very rich. Historians concluded they came from the mountains or KUR and their temples included stepped ziggurats. We now believe the Sumerians could be the pre bearers of another prehistoric culture before them that was known simply as the "black headed ones". The Sumerians were merely the record keepers. Those simply referred in archeology to as "X". The Sumerians brought to the current peoples, the knowledge of letters, and the sciences. The brought to man the wheel.
They knew how to found cities, build temples, implement a code of law (Hammurabi), and weave cloth and taught how to measure plots of land. They were keen astronomers, gave us "time", the division of the year into seasons, and recorded genealogy. They even brought with them many recipes, domesticated wheat, beer, wine and revolutionized the art of forging metal. Sumerian language has no relationship to any other language in the world. Eridu a city in the southern part of the Mesopotamia was never a great city but according to the Sumerian King List it was the oldest of the Sumerian cities and was the city where "royalty had descended from thesky" well before the flood. In 1946 to 1949 archeologist uncovering a large palace and a ziggurat found an impressive series of eighteen temples built one on top of each other. This was a testimony that the site had long been occupied as a devotion to a God.
His name was Enki and he was the Sumerian god of the waters. So it became that a man, not a god, by the name of Saddam Hussein many years later would drain the marshes from 8000 square miles to 400 to penalize his Shia rivals. Through the writings in the tale of Gilgamesh, the Sumerians left behind, "Dilmun"; a story of a lost paradise that gives us the concept of the oldest account of the Flood. We also learn about the saga of Abraham, Babylon and the Garden of Eden. What was written and recorded as the paradise of the world is now a pitiful shambles of its once magnificent glory. Over 10,000 years ago our genesis echoes back to us - this is the beginning of civilized man.
What happened? The Bible suggests that the original "Paradise" was located at the confluence of four rivers, the Tigris, the Euphrates and two that are unknown. But the Eden of yesterday can no longer be found in a country rifled with land mines, dead bodies and hate. It is a land torn by greed and control. If we look at the records of the Sumerian, nothing has really changed from those beginnings. Man, even back then had a thirst to kill. The ancient city of Ur is known as the birthplace of recorded thought. A pyramid or ziggurat was built by the Sumerians in 2013 B.C.E. It was made of clay and baked bricks to draw closer to the god of the moon. In Genesis 11, it is suggested that Abraham lived here. Many sites that would have provided us with information and rewritten our historyare gone forever. If we can destroy the Cradle of Civilization for the sake of man's righteousness should we be called civilized? Fortunately many of the cuneiform tablets that contain this early history are now housed at Oxford University, University of Pennsylvania and Chicago University. Many have never been translated. Much of who we are and how we began is still open to the scholars. And to make matters worse, because of war, The Iraq Museum of Mesopotamian Art was looted of 14,000 objects out of its 170,000 important objects. Many believe it was an inside job. The mythology and written stories we have decoded tell us that the ziggurat that was known as the Tower of Babel would lead humans closer to one God, Babel. But Babel was long known as a warning that God was so threatened by humans cooperating and possibly becoming "gods" themselves, that he dispersed them into many nations with many languages and of course many differing opinions about who "God", with the big "G" really was. Do the behaviors of the ancient Gods of our past; carry through to our own behavior when it comes to love and war? Are we in fact, Gods with a little "g"? The Divine World - Gods with the little "g"
According to what the Sumerians left us, the world consisted of three places, heaven, the netherworld, and earth. Earth or 'ki'. The universe was populated by gods and demons. Gods lived in temples or "houses". Some gods were represented on a celestial sphere by a constellation or a star named after them. They had bodies, they needed food and wine, wanted to be dressed and washed, traveled, carried weapons and had sex. Their characters had well defined personalities on the scale of human characteristicsâ€¦.ill-tempered, aggressive, cheerful, clever, just, ambitious, skillful, merciful and graceful. Some liked mankind better than others. And they sought to end their disagreements with war. They created man, or "us", to work in their quest for indulgence. The servant race was needed to cater to their whims. I guess you can look at man as being sort of a pet to the Gods.
But man, having descended from the genes of the Gods, got out of hand, wanted to be more like their creators, and ran totally amuck about the place. The Gods, having little patience, decided to punish them in various ways. Flood, pestilence, weapons of fire (sounding very familiar to nuclear weapons). And finally out of pity to humanity, they come up with a plan to keep us in check by dividing us with religion. For after all, our opinions on religion would control us, reduce the population when necessary and keep us at odds with each other so we might not spend our time finding the path of true enlightenment. We would forever be at odds with each other until we figured out what they had done to us. We don't have to wonder that these "gods" were very clever. But they sure sound like Gods with a little "g" as well. Is our quest for war really just a quest for our opinion of truth? For each nation who fights, does so to prove right in their beliefs. And man as a human, is known to fight until his death for that which he believes is truth. If we all born from the cradle of civilization, then we are indeed one in the same. In Tablet Fourteen left by the Sumerians, it is written about two brothers who created mankind, Enlil and Enki. As they debate about the past, Fate and Destiny, they talk of weapons of terror; they talk about the remorse of using such weapons against mankind and upon each other. Zacharia Sitchin, well known linguist and expert at deciphering Sumerian cuneiform has translated the tablet as follows: "How it all began and how it thus far ended, he sat and pondered. Was it all destined, or was it fate." "What had happened will again occur? Is the Past - the Future?" "The record read, the Past remember, the Future as prophecy understand". "Let the future of the past the judge be!" We cannot change our past but if we look to the history of who we are to impact the future of what we will become.