What if mythology were not myth?

  When did it become myth...  ...and why?

Dave Hickson - July 2006 - dave@truemyths.com

Background Music Controls


[ site under-construction until Sept 2009 ]

[ Intended book publish date July - 2011 ]

home   |  | bio

Sumerian Overview

 last updated - 07.16.2009



About 20 years ago, I was at a social gathering, and anyone who knows me, knows I’m social person, I love to talk, listen, and exchange ideas.  I truly relish in hearing other peoples perspectives and views, even when they differ from my own, because this is how we grow and learn. 

So as I flitted about, I met a woman, whom had just finished her Bachelorette in Anthropology.  Well, for me, I thought I’d hit the conversation jackpot.    After all, Anthropology is the study of human existence, and how we’ve evolved over time, both physically and socially, by tracing our origins and our transformation over time.  So, with my excitement being difficult to contain, I asked her, “So, what do you think of the Sumerians?”  Her response to me was, “Who are the Sumerians?”  At first, I truly thought she was pulling my leg, but I slowly and shockingly realized she had no idea who the Sumerians were.  I simply couldn’t believe that someone could graduate, in Anthropology of all things, in let’s say 1989, and not know about the Sumerians and Sumer.  I asked her if she had heard of the author Samuel Noah Kramer and his book History Begins at Sumer?  She of course said no.

So, me, not being the bashful type, began to share with her what Kramer and Zecharia Sitchin have written about Sumer, Sumerian’s and all of the amazing things discovered and written on the 6,000 year old tablets.  With much enthusiasm, I went on, hoping something would strike a chord and resonate with her, but eventually she developed a very parochial expression, turned and just walked away.  I was dumped at prom and I wasn’t even at the prom, and it certainly wasn't about a physical dance, but an intellectual one.  This experience was key for me, because it demonstrated how even the "quote un quote" educated are not aware of some of the most important and amazing human history, so how is the average person ever going to know these things?

So, let’s take a giant step backwards and provide some basic information on Sumer, the Sumerians and highlight some of their writings, beliefs, and accomplishments.  Sumer, was located in modern day Iraq, pretty much right where the heart of all of ancient Mesopotamian stories are written about, running along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, stretching down to the Persian Gulf, and reaching up to the Mediterranean Sea.  Interestingly, the Biblical Patriarch Abraham was from Ur, which is Sumer, which actually makes him a Sumerian (Genesis Ch. 11 and 15).  As things come together together, I believe you will find that of keen interest, in particular, the part about Yahweh calling him out of Ur as a part of his "covenant (or deal) with Abraham".

Map of Ancient Sumer

There are many great scholars of Sumerian history, but I will reference two the most.   Samuel Noah Kramer, who wrote the book “History Begins At Sumer” in 1956 approaches the subject from a strictly raw translation perspective, which is great. Samuel Kramer was the first well known Sumerologist to represent the parallels in the Sumerian stories, Just two examples are the Epic of Gilgamesh (strongly parallels the Flood of Noah) and The Epic of Creation (strongly parallels the Biblical Creation), yet both predate the Hebrew Old Testament by at least 1,500 years, some scholars argue as much as 2,000 years.  Zecharia Sitchen, who is very literate in ancient Semitic languages and fluent in Hebrew, leverages much of Kramer’s work, but cast the first lights on the strong similarities of Sumer and the Old Testament.  Additionally, Sitchen adds some interesting interpretations, some of which seem very logical and appear to be quite reasonably substantiated, others, maybe not so much.  However, anyone studying the Sumerian subject owes both of these authors a great deal of gratitude.  

The age of the Sumerian culture varies by scholar, but most agree it ranged from 6,000BC to about 4,000BC, possibly 3,500BC.  Kramer writes of “39 first” for humans in his book History Begins At Sumer.  Such things as, math, agriculture, architecture, economics, animal domestication, government, science philosophy, law, justice systems, and more.    So, how did we go from basically wandering the deserts and wilderness to suddenly mastering so many things of obvious higher thinking and intelligence, all, seemingly overnight?

Ancient Sumerian Tablet

Date - 6,000 - 4,000BC


There is a story, that I read many years ago, and I have struggled to find it again in my vast library of books, or even on the internet.  This is how I remember it as I read back then.  A 19 year old museum intern, working during the summer, I believe in the 1850's, at the British Museum of History, was directed to perform a menial task of organizing thousand of tablets that had been excavated from the areas of Nineveh, Babylon, and Ur.  It was a dark and poorly lit room, that was rarely visited, really, no one cared about it. Amazingly, no one knew, the magnitude of what was in the room, the amazing history, chronicled prior to even the Bible, potentially substantiating many things, that prior to 300AD were considered TRUTH and NOT MYTH. There were countless long tables, with old wooden boxes on them, with many thousands of broken tablets in them.  Of course, the first pain staking and slow process was working on the larger pieces.  Just like one would work on a jigsaw puzzle, this fits into that one, and that one there into fits this other one, and together, they make a bigger one.  Well, that process ended eventually, and this young intern was left with thousands of tiny fragments that were very difficult to piece together.  So, he decided to teach himself the text and memorize all of the characters on the tablets, thus allowing him to read the text and match up the smaller fragments with the larger ones.  A by-product of this was he began to understand what the characters were saying, or portraying and with additional help, much of the ancient Sumerian character set was translated.  The rest is history, well, if you're into this kind of thing.......

Close-up of a High-Quality Sumerian Tablet

Date - 2,500BC to 3,000BC







 © Copyright 2005-2009 True Myths, True Mythology, Dave Hickson.  All rights reserved.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.