Who Were the Annunaki?
The Annunaki, quite simply, were a group of the most powerful deities of the ancient Sumerians, Assyrians, and Babylonians. Every culture has worshipped one or more gods – nothing unusual about that.
But things get interesting when “ancient astronauts” theorists like Erich von Däniken, the late Zecharia Sitchin, and others enter the picture. As these folks see it, the Annunaki – whom the ancients may understandably have worshipped as gods – were in fact flesh-and-blood extraterrestrial visitors from a distant planet in our solar system, who were taller, more intelligent, and far more technologically advanced than human beings, and who shared their DNA with human beings for purposes of either enslaving them or elevating them.
Von Däniken and Sitchin both point out, correctly, that the Book of Genesis repeatedly refers to God in the plural when telling the story of Man’s creation [Genesis1:26: Let us create mankind in our image, in our likeness. / Genesis 3:22: Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.] On the other hand, critics point out, also correctly, that referring to God or monarchs in the plural is a common usage known as the “royal we” or “majestic plural.”
But Sitchin – who taught himself Sumerian cuneiform and claimed to be well-versed in ancient Sumerian texts – had a lot more to say on the subject. Sitchin’s intriguing book Genesis Revisited says biblical scholars generally agree Genesis was compiled based on earlier and much more extensive Sumerian texts – and that those texts describe in exquisite detail the genetic engineering process by which the Annunaki (plural) created Man.
Why did the Annunaki create Man? Sitchin says the Annunaki came to Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago in search of gold and needed intelligent slaves to work the mines – so they cloned human beings by combining Annunaki DNA with that of apelike creatures. The recent discovery of a lost 200,000-year-old city in a southern African gold mining area lends credence to Sitchin’s theory, although the methods used in dating the city’s remains have been questioned.
The Bible and other ancient writings, which purport to provide accounts of events that actually happened, all contain tales of giants on Earth, and of higher beings (angels, “sons of God,” etc.) mating with human beings. And recent scientific studies have shown that there have been dramatic changes in human DNA within the past 5,000 years. Maybe there is something to Sitchin’s theories after all.
Graham Hancock, ever the original thinker, poses the question from a slightly different angle. How, he asks, is it possible that the most ancient civilizations (the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians) went almost instantly from being agrarian cultures to mastering complex mathematics and astronomy, and building massive architectural wonders like the Great Pyramid? There must have been a missing piece to explain the incredibly rapid transition from Point A to Point C.
Could it be… the Annunaki?