Zecharia Sitchin (born 1922) is an author of books promoting an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts, amidst other aspects of pseudoscience.
Sitchin attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the “Anunnaki”, a race of aliens from a planet he calls Nibiru, which he believes to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth’s own Solar System and asserts that Sumerian mythology reflects this view.
According to Sitchin’s interpretation of Sumerian cosmology, there is an undiscovered planet which follows a long, elliptical orbit, reaching the inner solar system roughly every 3,600 years. This planet is called Nibiru (the planet associated with the god Marduk in Babylonian cosmology). According to Sitchin, Nibiru collided catastrophically with Tiamat, another supposed planet located by Sitchin between Mars and Jupiter. This collision supposedly formed the planet Earth, the asteroid belt, and the comets. Tiamat, as outlined in the Enûma Elish, is a goddess. According to Sitchin, however, Tiamat was what is now known as Earth. When struck by one of planet Nibiru’s moons, Tiamat split in two. On a second pass Nibiru itself struck the broken fragments and one half of Tiamat became the asteroid belt. The second half, struck again by one of Nibiru’s moons, was pushed into a new orbit and became today’s planet Earth.
According to Sitchin, Nibiru was the home of a technologically advanced human-like extraterrestrial race called the Anunnaki in Sumerian myth, who Sitchin states are called the Nephilim in Genesis. He claims they first arrived on Earth probably 450,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined in Africa. These “gods” were the rank and file workers of the colonial expedition to Earth from planet Nibiru. Sitchin believes the Anunnaki genetically engineered Homo sapiens as slave creatures to work their gold mines by crossing extraterrestrial genes with those of Homo erectus. Sitchin claims ancient inscriptions report that human civilization in Sumer of Mesopotamia was set up under the guidance of these “gods”, and human kingship was inaugurated to provide intermediaries between mankind and the Anunnaki. Sitchin believes that fallout from nuclear weapons, used during a war between factions of the extraterrestrials, is the “evil wind” that destroyed Ur around 2000 BC. Sitchin claims the exact year is 2024 BC. This event is described in the Lament for Ur. Sitchin claims that his research coincides with many biblical texts, and that biblical texts come originally from Sumerian writings.
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