Find out about the wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia uncovered in the last few centuries. From its culture and cities of Eridu, Lagash, Nippur, Uruk/Erech and Shuruppak, excavated by intrepid explorers such as Austen Henry Layard, Henry Rawlinson and Leonard Woolley; through to some of the oldest literary texts in the world, whose early Sumerian and later Akkadian cuneiform was deciphered by scholars such as Edward Hincks, Jules Oppert, Alexander Heidel, Samuel Noah Kramer, Thorkild Jacobsen and Stephanie Dalley. These texts recount the mythological adventures of gods such as An, Enki, Enlil, Ninhursag, Inanna, Ninlil, Ninurta and Marduk, and the epic adventures of its heroes such as Atra-Hasis, Adapa, Etana and Gilgamesh. And find out why the related theories of Zecharia Sitchin, concerning extraterrestrial visitors called the Anunnaki from the planet Nibiru, have few firm foundations.

The substance of these papers was originally drafted by IL in 1998, and rearranged and edited for publication here in July 2000.

Critique of Zecharia Sitchin

Intro to Sitchin's theories; Sitchin's scholastic approach; what's in a shem?; Sitchin's cosmology and 'Planet X'; Sitchin's pantheon; conclusions about Sitchin's work; problems with interventionism

Link to detailed papers by Michael Heiser of the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison concerning the scholastic errors in Sitchin's work.

Extract from an email in Dec 2001 from a graduate student of Near Eastern Studies at a US university who has added more details to one of the case studies in my 'What's in a Shem' paper commenting on Sitchin's linguistics.