Read The 12th Planet Online

Authors: Zecharia Sitchin

Tags: #Non-Fiction, #Gnostic Dementia, #Fringe Science, #Retail, #Archaeology, #Ancient Aliens, #History

The 12th Planet


Praise for
The Earth Chronicles


"Exciting ... credible ... most provocative and compelling."


—Library Journal


"A dazzling performance ... Sitchin is a zealous investigator."


—Kirkus Reviews


"Several factors make Sitchin's well-referenced works outstandingly different from all others that present this central theme. For one, his linguistic skills, which include not only several modern languages that make it possible for him to consult other scholars' works in their original tongues, but the ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, Hebrew, and other languages of antiquity as well.
    "The devotion of thirty years to academic search and personal investigation before publishing resulted in unusual thoroughness, perspective, and modifications where need arose. The author's pursuit of the earliest available texts and artifacts also made possible the wealth of photos and line drawings made for his books from tablets, monuments, murals, pottery, seals, etc. Used generously throughout, they provide vital visual evidence.... While the author does not pretend to solve all the puzzles that have kept intensive researchers baffled for well over one hundred years, he has provided some new clues."


—Rosemary Decker, historian and researcher




The author wishes to express his gratitude to the many scholars who, over a span of more than a century, have uncovered, deciphered, translated, and explained the textual and artistic relics of the ancient Near East; and to the many institutions and their staffs by whose excellence and courtesies the texts and pictorial evidence on which this book is based were made available to the author.


The author wishes especially to thank the New York Public Library and its Oriental Division; the Research Library (Reading Room and Oriental Students Room) of the British Museum, London; the Research Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York; and, for pictorial assistance, the Trustees of the British Museum and the Keeper of Assyrian and Egyptian Antiquities; the Director of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen, East Berlin; the University Museum, Philadelphia; la Reunion des Musées Nationaux, France (Musée du Louvre); the Curator, Museum of Antiquities, Aleppo; the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.





The prime source for the biblical verses quoted in
The Twelfth Planet
is the Old Testament in its original Hebrew text. It must be borne in mind that all the translations consulted—of which the principal ones are listed at the end of the book—are just that: translations or interpretations. In the final analysis, what counts is what the original Hebrew says.


In the final version quoted in
The Twelfth Planet,
I have compared the available translations against each other and against the Hebrew source and the parallel Sumerian and Akkadian texts/tales, to come up with what I believe is the most accurate rendering.


The rendering of Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Hittite texts has engaged a legion of scholars for more than a century. Decipherment of script and language was followed by transcribing, transliterating, and finally, translating. In many instances, it was possible to choose between differing translations or interpretations only by verifying the much earlier transcriptions and transliterations. In other instances, a late insight by a contemporary scholar could throw new light on an early translation.


The list of sources for Near Eastern texts, given at the end of this book, thus ranges from the oldest to the newest, and is followed by the scholarly publications in which valuable contributions to the understanding of the texts were found.


Z. S


Prologue: GENESIS



At a time when our own astronauts have landed on the Moon and our unmanned spacecraft explore other planets, it is no longer impossible to believe that a civilization on another planet more advanced than ours was capable of landing its astronauts on the planet Earth at some time in the past. Indeed, a number of popular writers have speculated that ancient artifacts such as the pyramids and giant stone sculptures must have been fashioned by advanced visitors from another planet.


There is, however, little novelty in such intriguing speculation. Even the ancient peoples themselves believed that superior beings "from the heavens"—the ancient gods—came down to Earth. What no popular writer on the subject provides is
If, indeed, such beings did come to Earth,
did they come,
did they come, from
did they come, and
did they do here during their stay?


What we propose to do is to provide answers to these questions. Using the Old Testament as our anchor, and submitting as evidence nothing but the texts, drawings, and artifacts left us by the ancient peoples of the Near East, we will go beyond the intriguing questions and the provocative suggestions. We will prove that Earth was indeed visited in its past by astronauts from another planet.


We will identify the planet from which these astronauts came.


We will decipher a sophisticated ancient cosmology that explains better than our present sciences how Earth and other parts of the solar system came into being.


We will lay bare ancient reports of a celestial collision, as a result of which an intruding planet was captured into the Sun's orbit, and show that all the ancient religions were based on the knowledge and veneration of this twelfth member of our solar system.


We will prove that this Twelfth Planet was the home planet of the ancient visitors to Earth. We will submit texts and celestial maps dealing with the space flights to Earth, and will establish when and why they came to Earth.


We will describe them, and show how they looked and dressed and ate, glimpse their craft and weapons, follow their activities upon Earth, their loves and jealousies, achievements and struggles. We will unravel the secret of their "immortality."


We will trace the dramatic events that led to the "Creation" of Man, and show the advanced methods by which this was accomplished. We will then follow the tangled relationship of Man and his deities, and throw light on the true meaning of the events passed to us in the tales of the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, the Deluge, the rise of civilization, the three branches of Mankind. We will show how Man—endowed by his makers biologically and materially—ended up crowding his gods off Earth.


We will show that Man is not alone and that future generations will have yet another encounter with the bearers of the Kingship of Heaven.







Of the evidence that we have amassed to support our conclusions, exhibit number one is Man himself. In many ways, modern man—
Homo sapiens
—is a stranger to Earth.


Ever since Charles Darwin shocked the scholars and theologians of his time with the evidence of evolution, life on Earth has been traced through Man and the primates, mammals, and vertebrates, and backward through ever-lower life forms to the point, billions of years ago, at which life is presumed to have begun.


But having reached these beginnings and having begun to contemplate the probabilities of life elsewhere in our solar system and beyond, the scholars have become uneasy about life on Earth: Somehow, it does not belong here. If it began through a series of spontaneous chemical reactions, why does life on Earth have but a single source, and not a multitude of chance sources? And why does all living matter on Earth contain too little of the chemical elements that abound on Earth, and too much of those that are rare on our planet?


Was life, then, imported to Earth from elsewhere?


Man's position in the evolutionary chain has compounded the puzzle. Finding a broken skull here, a jaw there, scholars at first believed that Man originated in Asia some 500,000 years ago. But as older fossils were found, it became evident that the mills of evolution grind much, much slower. Man's ancestor apes are now placed at a staggering 25,000,000 years ago. Discoveries in East Africa reveal a transition to manlike apes (hominids) some 14,000,000 years ago. It was about 11,000,000 years later that the first ape-man worthy of the classification
appeared there.


The first being considered to be truly manlike—"Advanced Australopithecus"—existed in the same parts of Africa some 2,000,000 years ago. It took yet another million years to produce
Homo erectus.
Finally, after another 900,000 years, the first primitive Man appeared; he is named Neanderthal after the site where his remains were first found.


In spite of the passage of more than 2,000,000 years between Advanced Australopithecus and Neanderthal, the tools of these two groups—sharp stones—were virtually alike; and the groups themselves (as they are believed to have looked) were hardly distinguishable. (Fig.1)



Fig. 1


Then, suddenly and inexplicably, some 35,000 years ago, a new race of Men—
Homo sapiens
("thinking Man")—appeared as if from nowhere, and swept Neanderthal Man from the face of Earth. These modern Men—named Cro-Magnon—looked so much like us that, if dressed like us in modern clothes, they would be lost in the crowds of any European or American city. Because of the magnificent cave art which they created, they were at first called "cavemen." In fact, they roamed Earth freely, for they knew how to build shelters and homes of stones and animal skins wherever they went.


For millions of years, Man's tools had been simply stones of useful shapes. Cro-Magnon Man, however, made specialized tools and weapons of wood and bones. He was no longer a "naked ape," for he used skins for clothing. His society was organized; he lived in clans with a patriarchal hegemony. His cave drawings bespeak artistry and depth of feeling; his drawings and sculptures evidence some form of "religion," apparent in the worship of a Mother Goddess, who was sometimes depicted with the sign of the Moon's crescent. He buried his dead, and must therefore have had some philosophies regarding life, death, and perhaps even an afterlife.


As mysterious and unexplained as the appearance of Cro-Magnon Man has been, the puzzle is still more complicated. For, as other remains of modern Man were discovered (at sites including Swanscombe, Steinheim, and Montmaria), it became apparent that Cro-Magnon Man stemmed from an even earlier
Homo sapiens
who lived in western Asia and North Africa some 250,000 years before Cro-Magnon Man.


The appearance of modern Man a mere 700,000 years after
Homo erectus
and some 200,000 years before Neanderthal Man is absolutely implausible. It is also clear that
Homo sapiens
represents such an extreme departure from the slow evolutionary process that many of our features, such as the ability to speak, are totally unrelated to the earlier primates.


An outstanding authority on the subject, Professor Theodosius Dobzhansky
(Mankind Evolving),
was especially puzzled by the fact that this development took place during a period when Earth was going through an ice age, a most unpropitious time for evolutionary advance. Pointing out that
Homo sapiens
lacks completely some of the peculiarities of the previously known types, and has some that never appeared before, he concluded: "Modern man has many fossil collateral relatives but no progenitors; the derivation of
Homo sapiens,
then, becomes a puzzle."


How, then, did the ancestors of modern Man appear some 300,000 years ago—instead of 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 years in the future, following further evolutionary development? Were we imported to Earth from elsewhere, or were we, as the Old Testament and other ancient sources claim, created by the gods?


We now know where civilization began and how it developed, once it began. The unanswered question is: Why—why did civilization come about at all? For, as most scholars now admit in frustration, by all data Man should still be without civilization. There is no obvious reason that we should be any more civilized than the primitive tribes of the Amazon jungles or the inaccessible parts of New Guinea.


But, we are told, these tribesmen still live as if in the Stone Age because they have been isolated. But isolated from what? If they have been living on the same Earth as we, why have they not acquired the same knowledge of sciences and technologies on their own as we supposedly have?


The real puzzle, however, is not the backwardness of the Bushmen, but our advancement; for it is now recognized that in the normal course of evolution Man should still be typified by the Bushmen and not by us. It took Man some 2,000,000 years to advance in his "tool industries" from the use of stones as he found them to the realization that he could chip and shape stones to better suit his purposes. Why not another 2,000,000 years to learn the use of other materials, and another 10,000,000 years to master mathematics and engineering and astronomy? Yet here we are, less than 50,000 years from Neanderthal Man, landing astronauts on the Moon.


The obvious question, then, is this: Did we and our Mediterranean ancestors really acquire this advanced civilization on our own?


Though Cro-Magnon Man did not build skyscrapers nor use metals, there is no doubt that his was a sudden and revolutionary civilization. His mobility, ability to build shelters, his desire to clothe himself, his manufactured tools, his art—all were a sudden high civilization breaking an endless beginning of Man's culture that stretched over millions of years and advanced at a painfully slow pace.


Though our scholars cannot explain the appearance of
Homo sapiens
and the civilization of Cro-Magnon Man, there is by now no doubt regarding this civilization's place of origin: the Near East. The uplands and mountain ranges that extend in a semiarc from the Zagros Mountains in the east (where present-day Iran and Iraq border on each other), through the Ararat and Taurus ranges in the north, then down, westward and southward, to the hill lands of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, are replete with caves where the evidence of prehistoric but modern Man has been preserved. (Fig. 2)



Fig. 2


One of these caves, Shanidar, is located in the northeastern part of the semiarc of civilization. Nowadays, fierce Kurdish tribesmen seek shelter in the area's caves for themselves and their flocks during the cold winter months. So it was, one wintry night 44,000 years ago, when a family of seven (one of whom was a baby) sought shelter in the cave of Shanidar.


Their remains—they were evidently crushed to death by a rockfall—were discovered in 1957 by a startled Ralph Solecki, who went to the area in search of evidence of early Man. What he found was more than he expected. As layer upon layer of debris was removed, it became apparent that the cave preserved a clear record of Man's habitation in the area from about 100,000 to some 13,000 years ago.


What this record showed was as surprising as the find itself. Man's culture has shown not a progression but a regression. Starting from a certain standard, the following generations showed not more advanced but less advanced standards of civilized life. And from about 27,000
to 11,000
, the regressing and dwindling population reached the point of an almost complete absence of habitation. For reasons that are assumed to have been climatic, Man was almost completely gone from the whole area for some 16,000 years.


And then, circa 11,000
, "thinking Man" reappeared with new vigor and on an inexplicably higher cultural level.


It was as if an unseen coach, watching the faltering human game, dispatched to the field a fresh and better-trained team to take over from the exhausted one.



Throughout the many millions of years of his endless beginning, Man was nature's child; he subsisted by gathering the foods that grew wild, by hunting the wild animals, by catching wild birds and fishes. But just as Man's settlements were thinning out, just as he was abandoning his abodes, when his material and artistic achievements were disappearing—just then, suddenly, with no apparent reason and without any prior known period of gradual preparation-Man became a farmer.


Summarizing the work of many eminent authorities on the subject, R. J. Braidwood and B. Howe
(Prehistoric Investigations in Iraqi Kurdistan)
concluded that genetic studies confirm the archaeological finds and leave no doubt that agriculture began exactly where thinking Man had emerged earlier with his first crude civilization: in the Near East. There is no doubt by now that agriculture spread all over the world from the Near Eastern arc of mountains and highlands.


Employing sophisticated methods of radiocarbon dating and plant genetics, many scholars from various fields of science concur in the conclusion that Man's first farming venture was the cultivation of wheat and barley, probably through the domestication of a wild variety of emmer. Assuming that, somehow, Man did undergo a gradual process of teaching himself how to domesticate, grow, and farm a wild plant, the scholars remain baffled by the profusion of other plants and cereals basic to human survival and advancement that kept coming out of the Near East. These included, in rapid succession, millet, rye, and spelt, among the edible cereals; flax, which provided fibers and edible oil; and a variety of fruit-bearing shrubs and trees.


In every instance, the plant was undoubtedly domesticated in the Near East for millennia before it reached Europe. It was as though the Near East were some kind of genetic-botanical laboratory, guided by an unseen hand, producing every so often a newly domesticated plant.


The scholars who have studied the origins of the grapevine have concluded that its cultivation began in the mountains around northern Mesopotamia and in Syria and Palestine. No wonder. The Old Testament tells us that Noah "planted a vineyard" (and even got drunk on its wine) after his ark rested on Mount Ararat as the waters of the Deluge receded. The Bible, like the scholars, thus places the start of vine cultivation in the mountains of northern Mesopotamia.

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