This Ancient Sumerian Cylinder Seal is said to depict 12 planets in our Solar System

There is an Ancient Sumerian Cylinder Seal, believed to be around 4,500 years old that curiously seems to depict our Sun and twelve planets within our Solar System, one of them supposedly being Nibiru, the elusive planet lurking somewhere on the outer edges of the Solar System.


One of the most controversial seals ever discovered and discussed among scholars is dubbed VA/243 and seems to depict –accoridng to many—12 planets within our Solar System with the Sun at its center.

The Seal which dates back –at least- from the third millennium B.C. can be found at the State Museum in Easter Berlin and is cataloged as VA/243.

According to numerous researchers, this ancient Akkadian Cylinder Seal is one of the most ancient cylinder seals ever discovered and appears to be one of the most mysterious as well.

The reason? Well, it allegedly depicts the entire family of our Solar System and a rogue planet identified by authors such as Sitchin as Planet X, or Nibiru, home planet of the Ancient Anunnaki.

Zecharia Sitchin discusses the cylinder seal with great detail in his book the 12th Planet.

According to Sitchin, the cylinder seal undoubtedly depicts our solar system with the numerous heavenly bodies and their relative size.



There are nine planets we know of today, –if of course you still think Pluto should be a planet and not a dwarf planet— our moon, the Sun, and a rogue planet commonly referred to as Nibiru.

This interpretation by Sitchin has led towards a great number of criticisms and as Michael S. Heiser indicates, the symbol depicted on the cylinder seal Va/234 is not the sun but a star.

According to Heiser, the alleged planets identified by Sitchin are not planets but other stars.

Heiser further argues that there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the Sumerians had knowledge of more than five planets in our solar system.

Heiser indicates three main things in his study:

1)  The inscription on the seal says nothing about astronomy, Nibiru, or planets.

2)  The alleged “sun” symbol on the seal is not the sun.  We know this for sure because it does not conform to the consistent depiction / symbology of the sun on hundreds of other cylinder seals, monuments, and pieces of Summer-Mesopotamian art.

3)  There is not a single text in any extant Summer-Mesopotamian text that says the Sumerians or Mesopotamians knew of more than five planets.  There are a number of cuneiform tablets that deal with astronomy, all of which have been compiled and published.  These sources are accessible to the reader but at varying levels of difficulty.

Now, this has made me think about both sides of the story, what Sitchin offers as an explanation and what a scholar like Michael S. Heiser has to say.

First of all, I am not saying that I believe any of them is correct in their interpretations, I am just forming my own little opinion.

The curious depictions on the Sumerian cylinder seal are fascinating. I find it extremely interesting that the creator of the seal decided to place a huge star (which resembles the sun) at the center, surrounded by other celestial bodies.

Even though Heiser argues that the star in the middle inst our star, but another star, I wonder why the creator of the seal did not depict the other stars (according to Heiser) just as he depicted the one in the middle?

Also, I wonder why the size of the star in the middle is represented as a larger body compared to the other celestial bodies.

Also, if all of the celestial bodies are stars as Heiser indicates, then why is the one in the middle depicted differently with characteristics eerily reminiscent of rays coming out of it?

Are these characteristics just another coincidence?

Or is it possible that we are missing something in this story?

However, if the mysterious objects depicted on the cylinder seal are in fact planets, how is it possible that the ancient Sumerians knew about our complete solar system in the 3rd millennium BC?

Not only that but how did they know their approximate size?

This leads to other questions like… where did the Sumerians obtain this knowledge from?

Did they develop it independently?

Or is it possible as many ancient cultures suggest, that some of that knowledge was passed on to them by ‘gods’ who came down from heaven and brought vast knowledge to man?

Does this ancient Sumerian Cylinder Seal depict the Solar System with all of its planets including Nibiru as Sitchin indicates?

Or is it possible that authors such as Michael S. Heiser are correct, and that the cylinder seal does not have any astronomical value and DOES NOT depict our solar system, planets, the moon, nor the sun?

There are other questions that must be raised when looking at the cylinder seal. For example, would a cylinder seal be the ‘appropriate’ medium by which someone —4,5000 years ago— would transmit such important astronomical knowledge?

What do you think?


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  1. My first thought upon reading Heiser’s theory is that if the ancient Sumerians could not have known of but five planets in our solar system, then how could they have possibly known of another star with 12 planets that is much further away? It doesn’t make sense. I think he’s incorrect.

  2. Look closely at the center object – those aren’t rays, but a Star of David.

  3. Basically, in my little opinion, we have no basis to know what, if anything, may have been intended by the depiction.
    Without something to cross-reference to, that ties in, we are just speculating in the dark?

  4. A) There are about 1 million other untranslated cuneiform tablets and fragments thereof languishing in museums because there are not enough scholars who can read any cuneiform to read them all. About 1 million is a very rough guess. b) A lot of cuneiform languages (Assyrian, Babylonian, Hittite, Old Persian, Sumerian etc.) are not at all well understood. A lot of guesswork and supposition involved. c) Unlike with say Mayan hieroglyphs where there are modern Maya who know their own language/writing, there are no living speakers of cuneiform languages to tell the scholars if they have it right or not. Unlike say Latin and Greek that have been studied continuously for at least 2000 year, cuneiform was only begun to be deciphered about 200 years ago. Most progress was made from 100 years ago. So its still a very young study area. IMHO scholars like Michael Heiser are incorrect to deny possibilities when so little is still known. There is no reason why this depiction could not have been made of the Sun and 12 planets in a style that was unique, ie not commonplace. There may be a reason for that, what, 4-6000 years ago. So far back we can hardly imagine. No, he should keep an open mind. IMHO.

  5. Furthermore, Dr Michael Heiser is a Bible scholar, not an expert on cuneiform. Now Dr. Irving Finkel IS an expert on cuneiform. Read their books, see the difference between genuine scholarship (Irving Finkel) and self-serving arrogance (Michael Heiser). Heiser seems to have a very high opinion of himself and a low one of anyone who he disagrees with or who disagrees with him. I would simply ignore him and keep an open mind.

  6. Since no one knows for certain, and NO theory is provable or verifiable, I’ll submit this for you to chew on…

    Perhaps the Summarians were aliens that arrived here from another planet… one located in a solar system that contained 12 planets, the very solar system depicted on this tablet. They landed here and propagated our planet, teaching what we know as “ancient man” how to farm and other skills, and before leaving, built some pretty advanced structures for us, such as the pyramids, etc.

  7. If you look it has the planets in our solar system the approximate size and location of where they are is depicted. The planet often called Nibiru is where the asteroid belt is now. One theory is that planet was destroyed at the time of the Biblical flood and ice age. If it was an icy planet as those near it were then it explains the sub zero ice poured like pancake batter onto the magnetic north and south poles trapping millions of animals and plants. There is much evidence that people were technologically more advanced than we realized.

  8. There isn’t 12 there’s 13 shown on this seal and it seems to show the figures looking at it

  9. IMO. It’s no coincidence, that has to be our solar system. Interesting that they included earth’s moon and only a couple others. The planet sizes relative to one another are pretty accurate as well. Notice Nibiru is very far from the rest of the sysyem, in between the figure sitting down and the figure standing up.

  10. I must admit, when I saw the title of this article in my browser list, I was skeptical. But it was a good read. I have never understood the aggressive manner in which scholars defend their stance that the public reads too much into these ancient images, and are being deceived by writers such as Sit chin and Hancock. They repeatedly discredit our ancestors of having a broad and intricate knowledge of the universe and our solar system.

    It’s a little ludicrous of them to deny that the image on this cylinder is what it obviously is. Any 4th grader who has had to endure the project of making a model of the solar system will tell you that this is what the image represents. Whether the twelfth planet is the image of Nibiru, or more likely, the planet whose remains are now the material of the asteroid belt, it clearly depicts our solar system. Scientists and mathematicians have confirmed that by their calculations of the distances of the planets from each other, and idiosyncrasies in their orbits and rotations, there was once an additional planet in our solar system.

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