Aliens Didn’t Build The Pyramids, You Racist Fool!
As a person interested in the Sumerian language and culture, I have a particular dislike for the “Ancient Aliens Hypothesis.” In case you missed one of the History Channel’s many reality-indifferent documentaries, the Ancient Aliens Hypothesis asserts that a bunch of smart space aliens visited Earth a long time ago, built some things, then left for no apparent reason. Supposed evidence for this theory includes Paleolithic cave art, Hopi drawings, the Nazca Lines, the pyramids at Giza, Machu Picchu, the big stone heads on Easter Island, the ziggurats of Ancient Sumer and a few more of the world’s ancient wonders.
I’m going to give my fellow Americans the benefit of the doubt and assume that most people do not subscribe to the belief but are happy enough to treat it as a light bit of entertainment. I can’t.
Curiously, ancient aliens are not generally given credit for the Parthenon, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse at Alexandria, the Palace of Versailles or the Notre Dame Cathedral, all of which were built by white Europeans but hey that’s probably a coincidence.
Sitchin posited that the Sumerian gods were actually a space alien race called the Annunaki, that Sumerian mythology is not the metaphor-rich folklore of a desert culture but a literal factual account of alien visitation, that the solar system has a twelfth planet called Nibiru, that the Annunaki created humans with genetic engineering to work as slaves, and that the Annunaki blew themselves up in a nuclear war.
I never met Zecharia Sitchin, but he and I have a history. Every time I mentioned my interest in Sumer, some schmoe would bring up his ludicrous theories and try to convince me that he was right. I have suffered through many, many arguments about the Annunaki. If I ever try to Google something about ancient Sumer, I have to sort through page after page of Zecharia Sitchin trash.
I was once gifted a Zecharia Sitchin book (I believe it was The Twelfth Planet). The one thing about it I remember was that Sitchin referred to the world’s first civilization as “Sumeria,” which is a completely wrong thing that only bad bad bad wrong people do. The proper term is Sumer. It’s like referring to Ancient Rome as Romania.
I have immense admiration for the Ancient Sumerians and immense distaste for loud-mouthed ignorant yahoos who are convinced that they’re right, so over the course of my life my distaste for Zecharia Sitchin has compressed into a sparkling diamond of hate. So this article will contain far more profanity than is typical in a discussion of Sumerology. Let me tell you how much I’ve come to hate Zecharia Sitchin. Hate. HATE.
It would take me entirely too long to explain everything that’s wrong with Sitchin’s beliefs, but here are just a few highlights of his crimes against Sumerology.