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Sitchin’s Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis suggesting that a Race of Alien Beings called the Anunnaki started Civilization in Ancient Sumer is false and wrong according to Academic Historians like Dr Michael Heiser.

In Ancient Aliens debunked, we considered why the Ancient Astronaut Theory is false based on the TV series ‘Ancient Aliens’.

In this entry, we look at whether the Ancient Astronaut Theory is false based on the Cuneiform Translation errors in Sitchin’s work according to Ancient Semetic language Scholars like Dr Heiser.

In order to determine whether the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis is false, there are 3 main points for understanding and consideration:

  1. The Anunnaki Gods in Sumerian Literature,
  2. Sumerian Astronomy, the Anunnaki & Nibiru connection;
  3. The Sumerian Naru mythological literary style, the Anunnaki and History.

 The Sumeria Anunnaki Gods In Sumerian Literature

According to the Electronic Corpus Of Sumerian Literature maintained by Oxford University, the Anunnaki appear in at least 182 lines of Sumerian Literature.

Whilst they are referred to as Gods in Sumerian literature, there is no reference or connection between the Anunnaki and the Planet Nibiru as claimed by Zechariah Sitchin’s Ancient Astronaut Theory.

In particular, the Sumerians themselves did not believe what Ancient Astronaut Theorists claim that the Anunnaki descended from the Planet Nibiru which orbits every 3 600 years.

The references to the Anunnaki and Nibiru in support of the Ancient Astronaut Theory are a wrong distortion of Sumerian Astronomy and literature which becomes clearer once Nibiru is understood in accordance with actual Sumerian Astronomy.

 Sumerian Astronomy, the Anunnaki & Nibiru Connection

The Mula.Pin Tablet contains the Astronomical knowledge of the Sumerians, and its contents also suggest that the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis is incorrect.

In this Tablet, Nibiru is recognised specifically as one of the 7 Planets which the Sumerians knew of, which were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and the Earth.

 As such, Nibiru was not the name of a 12th Planet of the Sumerians as claimed by Ancient Astronaut Theorists. Instead, it was just one of the 7 Planets the Sumerians already recognised and observed.

The term Nibiru meant a place of the crossing and could be associated with any Planet during the Equinox. It was not considered an additional Planet beyond Pluto as claimed by the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis because the last observable Planet to the Sumerians was Saturn.

From the above its clear that the Ancient Astronaut Theory and in its interpretation of Sumerian Astronomy is false especially on the place held by Nibiru in Sumerian Astronomy which did not regard it as an actual Planet but simply a location in the Skies.

Cylinder VA243

Cylinder VA243 is often used by Ancient Astronaut Theorists as proof that the Sumerians had knowledge of 12 Planets.

However, on closer inspection, the seal’s inscription does not at all refer to Gods of the 12th  Planet, but actually depicts a Star Constellation according to standard Sumerian iconography.

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                                                  Sun, Moon & Star

Sumerians depicted Stars and the Sun using separate symbols, and the symbol used on Cylinder VA243 is that of a Star Constellation shown by a single Star surrounded by the other Stars that would have made up the Constellation.

It is not a symbol of the Sun surrounded by the other Planets of our Solar system to make up 12 Planets as the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis claims.

Cylinder VA243 therefore does not support the existence of Nibiru as a 12th Planet, let alone the idea that the Anunnaki came to Earth from this particular Planet.

Therefore, the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis is false in its interpretation of Cylinder VA243.

The question therefore remains on which sources Sitchin rely for his elaborate Ancient Astronaut Theory if he is so mistaken regarding the Sumerian Texts on aspects that form the cornerstone of the idea of Ancient Astronauts?

 The Sumerian Naru Mythological literary style, the Anunnaki and History.

In my view, Sitchin may have been able to read the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis into the Sumerian Texts by taking random separate references to the Anunnaki in the Sumerian Texts out of the context of their original narratives.

This may be important to understand how a fictional Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis was constructed once we appreciate the existence of a genre of Sumerian Literature called Naru in which anonymous authors used fictitious stories to retell significant Historical events in order to further a particular Ruler’s agenda as a form of official Sumerian Propaganda.

A good example would probably be the Enuma Elish created after the establishment of Babylon in which the Sumerian Legends were retold to place the God Marduk at the Head when it had initially been Enlil from the onset of the Sumerian Civilization.

Although the stories are told as literal accounts of History, they are in-fact fictitious.

It would seem that in formulating his false Ancient Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis, Sitchin may have randomly chosen particular Naru texts and presented them as Historical Sumerian accounts out of context.

This would be particularly easy to do even as a genuine mistake since the Sumerian Naru Texts he is taking from present themselves as literal History when they are not.

The only way to verify the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis and its interpretation of these Texts is if a Citation and references were made available by Sitchin as part of the Earth Chronicles series which is the basis of the Ancient Astronaut Theory.

However, Sitchin provided no such citations and references, and for this reason, it is problematic to assume that the Texts from which Sitchin quotes in support of the Ancient Astronaut Theory depict actual History because the Naru Texts were fictitious but written as History in the literary style of the time.

The Ancients for whom these Texts were written would understand that they were fictions meant to re-inforce a particular theme such as the Epic Of Gilgamesh on Human Mortality.

A clear example used by Sitchin in support his incorrect Ancient Astronaut Theory in The End Of Days and The Wars Of Gods Of Men to explain History and Biblical events such as the pact between Abraham and Yahweh in the context Anunnaki Wars between the Gods, the rise of Babylon, the departure of the Anunnaki and their return, is the apocalytpic Marduk Prophecy which was explicitly recognised as a work of Naru fiction in Ancient times, but Sitchin quotes from it throughout his books in support of the Ancient Astronaut Theory as literal History even though the original writers and the Ancients themselves knew it was fiction which did not make reference to the idea of Ancient Astronauts at all.

Sitchin either does not realise that the works he relies on in order to produce the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis are works of Ancient fiction or chooses not to acknowledge it because it would not fit in with the Alien arguments made in his books.

In the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis, we are thus presented with a number of Anunnaki references from a variety of Ancient Sumerian Texts but outside their original context, and without a means of referencing back to the Sumerian source.

All this suggests that Sitchin’s Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis is wrong.


In the final analysis, based on the above, Sitchin’s Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis is a false but intriguing idea on the Extraterrestrial Origins of Man and Civilization.

Nevertheless, whilst the Ancient Astronaut idea may be appealing, the various elements Sitchin uses to construct it are probably not supported by the Sumerian Texts themselves.

From this perspective, Sitchin’s Ancient Astronaut Theory is wrong and can only be saved by providing the reference sources for the original Texts he used so we can understand if Sitchin interpreted them in their actual Ancient context.

In the absence of this, we are presented with a false Ancient Astronaut narrative that is appealing but may really be a selective construction of separate quotes and Ancient strands of ideas woven together into what appears to be a cohesive idea that is actually a product of Sitchin’s own imagination.

Check out the video on the Anunnaki in the Sumerian Texts, and the websites sitchiniswrong as well as fringepop321 for an alternative but well presented perspective on why Sitchin’s Ancient Alien Astronaut Hypothesis is wrong.

Why Sitchin’s Alien Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis Is False