In much of my research into alternative theories of civilization and archaeology, I often come across the Anunnaki. The Anunnakiis a group of ancient Mesopotamian deities headed by Anu, (Sumerian An) the sky god of Uruk and often symbolized by a horned crown on a shrine.
This group of chthonic deities of fertility later became the Judges, or Watchers of the Underworld. These Anunnaki deities have been popularized in more recent time by the late author Zecharia Sitchin, who proposed an explanation for human origins based on his interpretations of Sumerian creation myths, as it relates to the Ancient Alien/Astronaut Theory.
Many who read my blog and follow my work are likely already familiar with Sitchin and have at least a working knowledge of his theories. If you do not, I would suggest a simple Google search of Sitchin will be enough to give you a general idea.
Widely considered controversial at best, Sitchin's theories are routinely dismissed as pseudoscience and his work has been shown to have many flaws. It may be easy to dismiss his claims; however, it is not so easy to dismiss his conviction. Sitchin was a prolific writer and researcher. Though technically an amateur, he was dedicated to researching the fundamental questions of human origins. He must be at least respected for the level of work and gall he had to allow his creativity to fuel his scholarly quest.
With this being said, I enjoy Sitchin. I am intrigued by its romanticism and I am supremely interested in the overall themes. However, having studied Sumerian creation myths as well as a variety of other myths with the hope of finding some unifying themes, which I have, I must conclude that the Sitchin account is not something in which I believe. Does this mean it has no value? I wouldn't say that. I believe Sitchin and his predecessors, Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Däniken have brought to light some interesting ways of looking at myths, artifacts, and society as a whole. However, just as I wouldn’t take the word of any one professor, I would not accept the word of any one author. I think it is important to expand our thinking and entertain theories even if they seem contrary to our belief systems, or even outlandish. At the very least, it spurs creative thinking and offers counter arguments and new perspectives.
So, my suggestion to anyone interested in theories of Anunnaki as our extraterrestrial creators is to do the research yourself and come to your own conclusions. In doing so, be sure to consider many views, from the most fringe to the most sterile and academic. Allow yourself the freedom of both creative and critical thinking. Don’t stop until you have answered all your questions and have filled in all the gaps. Build yourself a framework of historical variables and don’t succumb exclusively to the methods of hard science or Reductionism.
Cartesian style Reductionism is at the heart of modern scientific thinking. This method of understanding says that complex systems can be explained by reducing them to their most basic and fundamental parts. There are many data points that must be in place for Reductionism to work well, a luxury we don’t often have when looking at history or the archaeological record. While this works to some extent, it is not always the most effective approach when dealing with social sciences.
In history, all variables are, in a sense, dependent. To isolate one as independent is to alter the nature of historical development (Gaddis, 2004). Historical variables are not causal. As a historian, archaeologist, or student of the past, there are only pieces of history with which to study. Each variable is a piece of the puzzle as a whole. There is a valid need to generalize based on the variables and their connections to gain a more holistic view of past events.
This is why as a social scientist, I often favor Holism, over Reductionism. I believe that natural systems and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts. I believe that humanity is an extremely complex system whose function cannot be fully understood by its pieces alone. We need creative dot connectors, including Sitchin and others, to help open our minds to possibilities outside of our own intellectual comfort zones. Even Sir Isaac Newton allowed himself the privilege of entertaining theories which science would surely deem superstitious and based in fantasy.
Do I believe in the Anunnaki? If I were limited to Reductionism or semantics I would say no, not in the popular sense. But in a holistic way, I would say I believe there is some greater truth buried deep within the Sumerian myths, as there is with all myths. By studying these myths, this truth can be realized but by limiting ourselves to romantic ideas, semantics, or the word of authority figures, we will forever be vulnerable to the story-telling of anyone with enough charisma to convince us into complacency.
So for now, I personally need more “proof,” but I am happy to be approaching this question with an open heart, and critical mind. Like many truth-seekers, I am still seeking, but you can be sure of one thing, if/when I come across this proof, you will be the first to know!