Zecharia Sitchin and the Meaning of Sumerian and Akkadian Words

On my old website devoted to exposing the phony scholarship of Zecharia Sitchin’s ancient astronaut nonsense, I had occasion to note how the meanings of certain Sumero-Akkadian words or glyphs supplied by by Sitchin were not only nonsense, but the Sumerians themselves had left behind the proof of my assertion in the form of their own bilingual dictionaries. Here’s a snippet from my open letter to Sitchin in this regard:

As noted above, the ancient Mesopotamian scribes created dictionaries.  Lists of words are a common feature among the thousands of Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform tablets which have been discovered by archaeologists.  Many are just groupings of common words, while others represent an inventory of the word meanings of the languages used in Mesopotamia.  These “lexical lists”, as scholars call them, were indispensable to the 19th century scholars who deciphered the Sumerian and Akkadian texts, for they were used to compile modern dictionaries of these languages.  Today all major lexical texts have been published in the multi-volume set, Materials for the Sumerian Lexicon, begun by Benno Landsberger in the 1930s.  It is indeed a rare instance where ancient dictionaries of a dead language form the core of the modern dictionaries used by scholars of today.  Such is the case for the ancient languages of Sumer and Akkad.  Sadly, Mr. Sitchin neglects these resources.

This statement was in the context of challenging Sitchin’s understanding of “shem”, “shamu”, and “MU”.  All of these terms are accounted for in LEXICAL LISTS – these bilingual dictionaries — and so we are able to know what the Sumerians and Akkadians themselves meant by these terms.

The purpose of this post is to direct anyone interested in these lists to a nice resource for understanding what they are (and to see that I’m not making up my reply to Sitchin). Here’s a link to a short article “What is a Lexical List?” found on the Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts (yes, there’s a website devoted to lexical lists!). You’ll find it interesting, unless you blindly follow Sitchin. Don’t click the link if that’s the case.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/brett.mcclung.3 Brett McClung

    You are so religiously Biased. You are claiming all this stuff based on Hebrew that you know when the contention is over a much earlier language. More like, the LATER-TO-COME-ALONG Hebrew language got it wrong when they translated. I know you’re excited to show off your Minnesota degree and argue someone who was actually in the field for 40 yrs. I will tell you one thing that you know is true: you haven’t ever accepted the notion of Zecharia’s work as being plausible; you didn’t try and prove it right or take a look. You literally didn’t like what it said, it went against everything you’ve ever known and your whole aim is that this has to be wrong, no matter how convincing the evidence; the Devil put it there right? Explain to me the Nag Hammadi Scripture, as a Scholar, I’m sure you know right off hand how the Nag Hammadi is proven to be more authentic and older than the traditional Bible. Sorry, God exists, just not there, not in that book, those are different stories taken out of context. Look at the Pacific Islanders after WWII. Damn, where’s my P.h.d, they might as well hand them out–I can memorize information too and use a degree as a golden law of the land too!

    • mheiser

      See ** for my replies.

      You are so religiously Biased. You are claiming all this stuff based on Hebrew that you know when the contention is over a much earlier language. More like, the LATER-TO-COME-ALONG Hebrew language got it wrong when they translated.

      ** if Sitchin talks about a word meaning X in Sumerian and it never shows up in the language with that meaning (see my http://www.sitchiniswrong.com site (under Anunnaki, or nibiru, or elohim) for an actual video of me showing how to find all occurrences of Anunnaki and get the English), then Sitchin would be a nincompoop using Sumerian. The issue isn’t Hebrew — and every language is entitled to its own meanings in context. Your objection makes zero sense.

      I know you’re excited to show off your Minnesota degree

      ** uh, I don’t have a Minnesota degree. Shows how closely you read the material. Wisconsin is where I went to grad school.

      and argue someone who was actually in the field for 40 yrs. I will tell you one thing that you know is true: you haven’t ever accepted the notion of Zecharia’s work as being plausible; you didn’t try and prove it right or take a look.

      ** try looking through the site. I not only look at what he said, I reproduce the search for the materials in video. Maybe you haven’t visited http://www.sitchiniswrong.com. Again, you’re ignorant of the data and what I’ve done.

      You literally didn’t like what it said, it went against everything you’ve ever known and your whole aim is that this has to be wrong, no matter how convincing the evidence; the Devil put it there right? Explain to me the Nag Hammadi Scripture, as a Scholar , I’m su re you know right off hand how the Nag Hammadi is proven to be more authentic and older than the traditional Bible.

      ** it’s precisely because I’m a scholar that I know you’re wrong. The OLD Testament (that would be 3/4 of the Bible) is about 1000 years older than the Nag Hammadi material. The New Testament manuscript material is about 100 years older (at least) than the oldest Nag Hammadi gospel material, with the exception of the Gospel of Thomas, for which a few Greek scraps exist (the rest of Nag Hammadi is in Coptic, and the papyrus is date-able via Carbon-14 — sorry, but it’s all later than the NT). Wrong again.

      ** if this email is any indication, don’t apply for a PhD program.

      Mike

      • Ben Ranalli

        Also, I find it funny that you don’t allow public commenting and moderate what the page shows and doesn’t show. That also, speaks volumes.