-- The Other Group --
the success and failure of arguments
countering alternative cosmologies

Zecharia Sitchin's Muddled Mesopotamian History

From an article in Atlantis Rising Magazine describing the work of Zecharia Sitchin, "The 12th Planet" (1976) and additional books, "The Stairway to Heaven" (1980), "The Wars of Gods and Men" (1985), "The Lost Realms" (1990), "When Time Began" (1993). The official website is at [http://www.sitchin.com/] but less lucid.

"... According to Sitchin, mankind owes most of its ancient legacy to visiting extraterrestrials. The Russian-born Israeli resident and ancient language expert has indeed come up with some very intriguing, if not compelling, data. Indeed, few can match Sitchin's scholarly credentials. One of a handful of linguists who can read Sumerian cuneiform text, he is also a recognized authority in ancient Hebrew as well as Egyptian hieroglyphics."

"Not a little controversy, though, surrounds his unusual method of interpreting the ancient texts. Sitchin insists they should be read, not as myths, but quite literally, essentially as journalism."

A single mention of "extraterrestrials" is enough to turn me away entirely. Such insanity can only be sustained by someone who has not the slighest concept of the dimensions of space and who lacks an appreciation of the span of time it has taken for life to achieve the complexity we experience. (See [Chapter 2], "The solar system and an alternative cosmology," for a scale model of near space.)

[Sitchin has presented..] "extensive 6,000-year-old evidence that there is one more planet in the solar system, from which astronauts, the biblical giants (nephilim), came to Earth in antiquity. Laid out in the series is an elaborate tale of space travelers from the theoretical 10th planet (12th if the Sun and Moon are included) in the solar system, called Nibiru, or Marduk in Babylonian."

"This planet, claims Sitchin, has a very eccentric orbit traveling from far beyond Pluto, cutting across the orbits of the rest of the planets, and then half-circling the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, taking 3,600 Earth years in the process."

"On its closest orbital approach, about 450,000 years ago, a band of Nibiruans known as the Anunnaki, landed on Earth in southern Mesopotamia and proceeded to mine gold, evidently needed for their planet's survival. Early efforts in the Persian Gulf proved inadequate, so underground mining in South Africa was begun."

-- [http://atlantisrising.com/issue5/ar5visitors.html].

Nothing, of course, has ever been sighted of a 10th planet. Notice that Sitchin lacks the imagination to extend the wonders of the past beyond the objects, desires, and thinking of his own milieu. I was also going to note, "Well, damn, what would you expect to find in the Persian Gulf, except mud?"

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