Sitchin was born in Russia and raised in Palestine, where he acquired a
of modern and ancient Hebrew, other Semitic and European languages, the Old
Testament, and the history and archeology of the Near East. He is one of the
few scholars who is able to read and understand Sumerian. Sitchin attended
and graduated from the University of London, majoring in economic history. A
leading journalist and editor in Israel for many years, he now lives and
writes in New York. His books have been widely translated, converted to
Braille for the blind, and featured on radio and television.
The Earth Chronicles series is based on the premise that mythology is not
fanciful but the repository of ancient memories; that the Bible ought to be
read literally as a historic/scientific document; and that ancient
civilizations--older and greater thanassumed--were the product of knowledge
brought to Earth by the Anunnaki, "Those Who from Heaven to Earth Came."
...I trust that modern science will continue to confirm ancient knowledge.
Connecting Link: What are the Earth
Zecharia Sitchin: The first book, The Twelfth Planet, refers to the
probability that there is one more planet in our solar system. That there
are twelve members, counting sun, moon and ten planets, not the nine we know
of. That people from that planet came to earth almost half a million years
ago and did many of the things about which we read in the Bible, in the book
But that was not my starting point at all. My starting point was, going back
to my childhood and schooldays, the puzzle of who were the Nefilim, that are
mentioned in Genesis, Chapter six, as the sons of the gods who married the
daughters of Man in the days before the great flood, the Deluge. The word
Nefilim is commonly, or used to be, translated "giants." And I am sure that
you and your readers are familiar with quotes and Sunday preachings, etc.,
that those were the days when there were giants upon the earth. I questioned
this interpretation as a child at school, and I was reprimanded for it
because the teacher said "you don't question the Bible." But I did not
question the Bible, I questioned an interpretation that seemed inaccurate,
because the word, Nefilim, the name by which those extraordinary beings,
"the sons of the gods" were known, means literally, "Those who have come
down to earth from the heavens."
CL: From the Hebrew word Nafal, which means "fall"?
ZS: Right. Fall, come down, descend. So, what did it mean? This led me to
biblical studies and then to mythology and archeology and all the other
subjects, including the study of ancient languages, which became my
education and avocation. So, my research and my decision to write about it
started with a question, Who were the Nefilim?
All the ancient scriptures, the Bible, the Greek myths, the Egyptian myth
and texts, the pyramid texts, everything, led to the Sumerians, whose
civilization was the first known one six thousand years ago. I focused on
Sumer, the source of these legends and myths and texts and information. I
learned to read the cuneiform Sumerian texts and came upon their persistent
and repeated statements that those beings, whom the Sumerians called
Anunnaki, came to earth from a planet called Nibiru. The planet was
designated by the sign of the cross and Nibiru meant, "planet of crossing."
The question thus shifted in my research from who were the Nefilim and the
Anunnaki, to, what planet is Nibiru? Forced to become proficient in
astronomy, I had to learn enough about it to deal with the subject. I found
out that the scholars were divided. Some said it (Nibiru) was Mars, which of
course was described and known to the ancient people, and others said, no,
it was Jupiter. Those who said it was Jupiter and not Mars, had very
convincing arguments why it could not be Mars. And those who said it was
Mars and not Jupiter had very convincing arguments also.
Being able to go directly to those ancient sources, clay tablets and
cuneiforn scripts, it seemed to me that neither was right, because the
description of Nibiru and its position when it nears the Sun indicated that
it could not be Mars, and it could not be Jupiter. And then one night I woke
up with the answer: Of course, it is one more planet that comes periodically
between Mars and Jupiter; it is sometimes nearer to Mars and sometimes
nearer to Jupiter, but it isn't Mars or Jupiter.
Once I realized that this was the answer, that there is one more planet,
everything else fell into place. The meaning of the Mesopotamian Epic of
Creation on which the first chapters of Genesis are based and all details
about the Anunnaki, who they were and who their leaders were and how they
traveled from their planet to Earth and how they splashed down in the
Persian Gulf and about their first settlement, their leaders and so on and
so on, everything became clear! The Sumerians had immense knowledge. They
knew about Uranus and Neptune and described them and they knew about Pluto.
They were proficient in mathematics and, in many respects, their knowledge
surpassed modem times. They said, "All that we know was told to us by the
Anunnaki." The first book's innovation, its impact, was the realization that
the ancient peoples, beginning with the Sumerians, knew of and described and
spoke of one more planet in our solar system. It was not a discovery like
that of Pluto in 1930 (of which the Sumerians knew six thousand years ago).
Pluto was a very interesting astronomical discovery; textbooks had to be
revised. But to the average person, the man on the street, it really made no
difference. Nibiru, on the other hand was a different story. If Nibiru
exists, (and this is the planet that astronomers nowadays call planet X)
then the Anunnaki exist.
So the existence of Nibiru is not a matter of just one more globe in our
solar system. This is different, because if Nibiru exists, and the Anunnaki
exist, then the Sumerian claim that they come back to our vicinity every
3,600 years, at which times in the past they gave us civilization, then we
are not alone and there are more advanced people than us in our solar
CL: What will happen next time around?
ZS: Who knows how they will feel about us when they come back. Will they
decide to give us more knowledge again, and more technical advancement and
more civilization, or will they decide that we are no good, as happened at
the time of the Deluge, and try to get rid of us?
So, the first book, laying the foundation and describing Sumerian knowledge
and concluding with the existence of one more planet is really the key to
understanding what it is all about. What the tales of Genesis are, what the
tales of creation are, what our past was, and in a way what our future will
CL: And the second book in the series?
ZS: The Stairway to Heaven, looks at the tales of ancient times, primarily
from two new aspects. One was to bring the Egyptian texts and mythologies
into the picture and show how they fit with the Sumerian [texts] and what
they really meant. The second was to look at the issue of man's search for
immortality. And this ties in with the Sinai, it ties in with the landing
place, with the spaceports in the Sinai Peninsula, the role of Jerusalem and
The third book, The Wars of Gods and Men, continues the story and shows what
happened after Kingship, a new phase of civilization, was given to mankind.
Dealing with the conflict that began with the rivalry between two half
brothers, Enlil and Enki. It relates how this conflict continued among their
sons and their grandchildren, leading to actual warfare which I call the
Pyramid Wars (there were two) in which, eventually, mankind became involved.
That is how mankind learned to make war. And this deals with a moral or
theological subject: Is man a warrior by nature, or was he taught to become
Book four, The Lost Realms, is the tale of the Americas. Not just what they
call pre-Columbian times but four, five thousand years ago, which was before
the Incas, the Mayans and the Aztecs. Who really was in the Americas, how
ancient are some of the antiquities and how were such incredible megalithic
structures built? What for, How come, and By Whom? The Lost Realms shows
that it is part of the same story, that the same Anunnaki brought mankind or
part of mankind to the Americas.
Book five, Genesis Revisited, a companion book, was really written because
in the fifteen years since the first book was published, there have been
many scientific advances, especially in astronomy and all the discoveries of
the Voyager Spacecraft, in geology, biology, the discovery of DNA, the
ability to create babies in a test tube, linguistics, and [in unlocking the
secrets of] the origin of languages. Each such discovery corroborated what
the Sumerians had known and had written, and therefore fully confirmed what
I said in my first book. And each time there was such a discovery I would
literally jump out of my seat and say, "My god, this is exactly what the
Sumerians said six thousand years ago!"
If you read the relevant page in The Twelfth Planet, you will see that I
quote a Sumerian text that says exactly how the Adam, the first Homo
sapiens, was created.* You will see that this is a process that today we
call the test tube baby process. I quote a text that describes Uranus and
Neptune as Voyager 2 saw them in 1986 and 1989. 1 finally sat down and put
together all this scientific evidence, all these scientific discoveries to
show how they match and corroborate ancient knowledge. Hence the subtitle of
Genesis Revisited is Is Modern Science Catching Up With Ancient Knowledge?
So, this is a review of the five books.
CL: Astounding work. And it all started with the word Nefilim?
ZS: Yes. That was the beginning.
CL: Might people read your books and say, well, he's doing a lot of
presuming. He's got fragments of tablets, and pieces of cuneiform, and he's
put many liberties in piecing together the stories?
ZS: There are several different answers to that. The best answer is what I
brought out in Genesis Revisited. The knowledge that we have acquired
corroborates what the Sumerians knew six thousand years ago. You wonder how
is it possible, how could they know? How, as another example, could their
symbol of the entwined serpents, that we still use today to denote medicine
and healing and biology, be 6,000 years ago, the symbol of Enki, who engaged
in genetic engineering to bring about the Adam? That was a symbol of the
DNA, the double helix of DNA.
How could they know without telescopes and spacecraft that Neptune is a
watery planet? They provided the answer by saying "All that we know we have
learned from the Anunnaki. So, you say, "Ok. There were Anunnaki." Now, who
were the Anunnaki and where were they from? The Sumerians say, "They came
here from Nibiru." And you say, "What is Nibiru?" So they say, "It is one
more planet in our solar system." Now, if you say, "I'm really impressed by
the Sumerian knowledge, and, maybe they knew what they were talking about
regarding the Anunnaki. But I don't think there is another planet with these
advanced beings on it near Earth." If so, what is your explanation of who
Anunnaki were? Was there really a race of giants who existed on Earth half a
million years ago? Do you believe there was a civilization on Earth half a
million years ago that surpassed our own and disappeared? When the focus
shifts to explaining those other people, you have no explanation. I then
say, if you have no explanation, why not accept the word of the Sumerians?
The second aspect of the answer is this. Nowhere in all these books do I use
a text, or do I refer to a tablet and say, I went to this or that place in
the Near East and as I was visiting that place, I shifted the soil with my
foot or with a stick and look what I found! I found this tablet and look
what it says! It says that there was somebody called Enki who travelled from
Nibiru to Earth and splashed down in the Persian Gulf. No, nowhere do I say,
"Look what I found." All the time I say, "There is a tablet in the British
Museum, its catalog number is such and such; it was discovered in this and
this place; the text was first published by this and this scholar, here is
what it says." All the information, all the sources that I am giving, are
academically, scientifically, scholarly known and accepted sources. At no
time do I invent my own source.
CL: Just in The Wars of God and Men, the sources you list take up almost 16
ZS: The difference is, and this is the key difference, that when there is a
text, for example, that describes how Enki came to Earth and splashed down,
the scholars, the text books, call this the "Myth of Enki and the Earth."
Another text that deals with Enlil is called the "Myth of Enlil" and
whatever the subject is. All these texts are called by scholars "mythology."
I say: What if this is not a myth, what if these texts tell us what really
ZS: From that I created the scenario, a plausible, a logical scenario that
explains so many of the enigmas and the puzzles and the mysteries which
otherwise remain enigmas, and mysteries and puzzles. Like, who built the
pyramids, what for, etc.
CL: What more can you tell us about the Anunnaki, and do we have free-will
or is it all determined by these same Anunnaki?
ZS: I'm asked, "Do they look like us?" and I say, no, we look like them.
They made us through genetic engineering. they jumped the gun on evolution,
and made us to look like them physically, and to be like them emotionally.
That is what the Bible says: "Let us make the Adam in our likeness and after
our image." Physically, outwardly and inwardly. So much of what they are, we
There is a tremendous difference in the lifespan, which is the cause of the
notions of their immortality. Because one year to them is one orbit of
theirs around the sun. So, one of their years equals
three-thousand-six-hundred of ours. This is the key difference between us
Then there is the difference in their technological advancement which
enables them not only to travel in space, and to have traveled half a
million years ago, but also to revive the dead and do other things which in
biblical times were considered miracles.
I feel that just as they came to earth and created us through genetic
engineering, and mixed their genes with those of Ape-woman, that one day we
will go out in space and land on another planet somewhere and do the same
thing. In this sense, I believe things are ordained in a grand pattern.
But can events within this grand pattern be determined by individuals? I
think so. Take the story of the Deluge and the destruction of mankind and
the saving of the seed of mankind, through Noah and his ark. Enlil decided
to use the opportunity of the avalanche of water to destroy mankind, while
Enki told Noah, (the Sumerian Ziusudra) about what was coming. Enki taught
Noah how to build an ark and cover and seal it so it wouldn't be swamped,
and Noah was able to take himself and his family and others, according to
the Sumerians, into the ark and save the seed of mankind. Here you have a
conflict between two leaders of the Anunnaki. One felt one way and one felt
another way. So the question of free choice, of what is right, what is
wrong, what should be done, what should not be done, is there all along.
CL: What about the theory that we are the gods of before? That we created
mankind and now are at the effect end?
ZS: All I can tell you is that I see my task, or maybe my mission, to bring
to the knowledge of people today what the ancient people knew and believed
in. To do so by being able to go to their sources and their writings and
their depictions, and treating that material not as a myth but as a true
story. Now, my writings have become a basis of quite a substantial
literature. There are two dozen or more books that are based on my books.
These are in theology, astrology, and so on and so forth, and I am sure
there are many more about which I don't know. They refer to my writings or
are based on them. I provide the facts as I see them, and everyone is free
to interpret them as they wish.
CL: That's the scientific way of looking at it, which makes your work even
more credible, That means you're not making guesses, you're going by the
actual evidence that exists.
ZS: Yes. I am pleased that many have used this material as evidence, to
build on it, to expound on it in various directions. Without saying whether
I agree or disagree with the other theories and developments, I am very
happy that my books have become text books about ancient times.
CL: You said when Pluto was discovered, in 1930, text books were rewritten
to accommodate that fact. Has anyone or any textbook publisher done the same
with this information?
ZS: It takes time, but it is beginning to filter through.
CL: When is this thirty-six hundred year cycle due again?
ZS: Well, you have to reach your own conclusions.
CL: If every time they came back they taught us something new, and advanced
our civilization, do you have a theory what their next step for us might be?
ZS: No. As I said, one time they didn't give us any civilization, they tried
to destroy us. So, I don't know what the odds are.
CL: Is there a lesson here for us? If this is our history, what are we
supposed to have learned to avert another flood when the Anunnaki come back?
Or is that too unpredictable to guess?
ZS: To some extent it is unpredictable because I don't know who their leader
is now. Whether he is from the Enlil clan or from the Enki clan. If I knew
that, I could answer you more easily. That's why I still have books to write
to reach the answer. It is a big question, and the answer is not that
The Earth Chronicles are
available in hardcover from Bear and Co., P.O.
Drawer 2860, Santa Fe, NM, 87504. 1-800-932-3277, (credit cards only) and in
paperback from Avon Books.
Zacharia Sitchin's official
Home Page: http://www.sitchin.com/