Like many other creation stories from different cultures around the globe , Sumerian clay tablets tell the story of how GODS literally created and later modified mankind, creating man in their own image.
Around 4500 BC, in what is today modern-day Iraq, Sumer, or the land of the kings, flourished in the region where the ancient Sumerians created an extremely advanced civilization unlike any other at the time with an elaborate writing system and language of its own. This ancient civilization is considered by many scholars as one of the first advanced civilizations on the planet. Apart of an elaborate language and writing system, this ancient culture developed incredible architectural skills, arts unlike anything present anywhere else at the time and complex knowledge in mathematics, astronomy and other sciences. This ancient culture developed an incredible intricate religious system comprised of hundreds of gods and according to their ancient, sacred texts, each Ancient Sumerian city was protected by its own God at a time when Humans and Gods coexisted on Earth and lived together thousands of years ago.
Found on an ancient clay tablet that was discovered in Nippur, an ancient Mesopotamian city created around 5000 BC, we find the Ancient Sumerian Creation Story ( The Eridu Genesis). According to the clay tablet, the creation of our planet began in the following way:
When in the height heaven was not named and the earth beneath did not yet bear a name and the primeval Apsu, who begat them and chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both, Their waters were mingled together and no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen; When of the gods none had been called into being and none bore a name and no destinies were ordained; Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven, Lahmu and Lahamu were called into being… (Source)
According to Sumerian Mythology, in the beginning of time, humanoid ‘gods’ ruled over our planet. When the gods came down from the heavens much needed to be done on the planet and they literally terraformed the Earth in order to make it habitable while they mined its minerals from the soil.
When the gods like men Bore the work and suffered the toll
The work of the gods was great. The work was heavy, the distress was much. The creation of mankind according to ancient Sumerian tablets is extremely interesting. (Source)
According to the creation story, Anu, the main God of the Ancient Sumerians saw that the labor on Earth was too great. The Son of Anu, Enki, proposed to create a species that would inhabit the planet and bear the labor and so the gods created man. One of the Ancient Sumerian Gods was put to death and they mixed his blood with clay from Earth. Out of this material the first human was created in the likeness of the ‘Gods’.
You have slaughtered a god together With his personality
I have removed your heavy work I have imposed your toil on man. …
In the clay god and man Shall be bound. To a unity brought together; So that to the end of days The Flesh and the Soul Which in a god have ripened – That soul in a blood-kinship be bound. (Source)
So, the first human was created in Eden.
Eden is mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh as the garden of the Gods and was supposedly located somewhere between the Rivers Tigris and the Euphrates in ancient Mesopotamia. Eden is an ancient Sumerian word which means ‘flat terrain’.
What is extremely interesting in the ancient Sumerian Creation Story is the fact that initially, man created by the Gods was not able to reproduce on their own. This is why the Gods ‘MODIFIED’ mankind with the help of Enki and his sister Ninki. After the Gods had modified mankind, Adapa was created as a fully functional human being which had the ability to reproduce. However, this ‘modification’ was done without being approved by Enlil, brother of Enki and Ninki, which created a conflict among the Gods.
The conflict made Enlil the first adversary of human beings and according to ancient Sumerian texts, mankind went through an extremely difficult time while serving the gods.
As you can see, there are numerous similarities between the creation story of Ancient Sumer and other ancient cultures and religions around the globe, but interestingly, in all of them, we learn that mankind was literally CREATED by the GODS in their own image.