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The reptilian man of Mesopotamia: a 7,000-year-old mystery still unanswered

The opinion of traditional archaeologists is almost unanimous in establishing that human history began in Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq, with the great civilization of the Sumerians. However, in the archaeological site of Al Ubaid numerous pre-Sumerian artefacts dating back to around 7 thousand years ago have been found, many of which represent enigmatic humanoids with clear reptilian features.

The reptilian man of Mesopotamia: a 7,000-year-old mystery still unanswered
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The prehistoric Ubaid culture lived in Mesopotamia between 4 thousand and 5.5 thousand BC. As with the Sumerians, the origin of the Ubaidian people is also unknown.

They lived in large settlements made up of mud brick houses, developing architecture, agriculture and livestock breeding.

The housing architecture included large T-shaped houses, open courtyards, paved streets, a sort of preview of the Sumerian city.

Some of these villages, in fact, began to develop into cities, temples began to make their appearance, as well as large monumental buildings such as in Eridu, Ur and Uruk, the most important sites of Sumerian civilization. According to ancient Sumerian texts, Ur was considered the first city that ever existed on our planet.

The main place where the unusual statues were found is called Al'Ubaid. Furthermore, some of them were also found in Ur and Eridu.

The first explorer to excavate the Al'Ubaid site was Harry Reginald Hal in 1919. It is a small mound about half a kilometer in diameter, with a height of about two meters above the ground.

The excavation uncovered several male and female figurines in different postures and in most cases they appear to be wearing some sort of helmet and having some type of padding on their shoulders. Other figurines hold a sort of scepter, perhaps a regal and power symbol.

The most curious fact is that the facial features of the figurines have reptilian features, with long heads, almond-shaped eyes and a nose very similar to that of lizards. Among the strangest figurines there are some female figurines holding an infant in the shape of a lizard in their arms.

Exactly what or who they represent is completely unknown to researchers. According to some archaeologists, the postures, such as the one representing female breastfeeding, do not suggest that they were ritual objects. But then why did this ancient people decide to represent individuals with reptilian traits?

Whoever they represented, they seem to have been particularly important to Ubaid culture, as the serpent is a very important symbol for human culture. Many ancient populations represented their deities as 'coming from heaven' in the form of reptilian beings.

In the pantheon of Sumerian deities there is Enki, the divinity of crafts, good, water, the sea, lakes, wisdom and creation. Enki, in some representations, appears as a half-man, half-serpent being.

The meaning of his name should be "lord of the earth". He was the guardian of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization from which humanity would benefit.

The reptilian man of Mesopotamia: a 7,000-year-old mystery still unanswered
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His image is a serpent with a double ellipse, or Caduceus, very similar to the Staff of Asclepius. In the opinion of some authors, it is not surprising that the symbol of Enki was later used as a symbol of medicine, given its uncanny resemblance to the double helix of DNA.

left: symbol of Enki; middle: Esculapo stick; right: Caduceo.
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left: symbol of Enki; middle: Esculapo stick; right: Caduceo.

The Sumerians represent the first urbanized population in the world. They were the descendants of an ethnic group from southern Mesopotamia (today's south-eastern Iraq), indigenous or settled in that region from the time they migrated there (around 5000 BC) until the rise of Babylon (around 1500 BC).

The term Sumerian is actually the name given to the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia by their successors, the Semitic people of the Akkadians. The Sumerians, (or Shumerians from Shumer) in fact, called themselves sag-giga, literally "the black-headed people" and their land Ki-en-gi, "place of civilized lords".

The religious system of the Sumerians was a complex pantheon inhabited by hundreds of deities. According to ancient Sumerian religious texts, gods and humans lived together on Earth. Each Sumerian city was 'guarded' by its own god, and humans were employed as servants of the gods.

However, when you read the Sumerian creation myth, found on a tablet from Nippur, an ancient Mesopotamian city founded in 5,000 BC, you learn something interesting. The creation of the Earth (Enuma Elish) according to the Sumerian tablets occurred like this:

When the Sky above was not yet named,
And the Earth below was not yet called by its name,
Nothing existed except Apsû, the ancient, their creator,
And Mummu and Tiāmat, the mother of them all,
Their waters mingled together
And the pastures were not yet formed, nor the reeds existed;
When none of the Gods were yet manifest.
None had a name and their fates were uncertain.
Then, among them the Gods took shape.

From the story it is clear that none of the deities of the Sumerian pantheon are responsible for creation, indeed the gods themselves are part of creation. Sumerian mythology holds that in the beginning humans were ruled by non-human 'divine' offspring. These beings were able to travel across the sky in round or cylindrical shaped vehicles.

Who were the Nephilim of the Bible: deities or ancient astronauts?

According to myths, they came to Earth to make it habitable in order to exploit its mineral resources! What do the gods do with silver and gold? The texts report that at a certain point some gods rebel against their leaders:

When the gods, like men,
carried out the work and paid the consequences,
their effort was extraordinary,
the work was heavy and the anguish was high.

Anu, the god of gods, agreed that the work for his subordinates was far too great. His son Enki (also known as Ea) proposed creating a creature that would take on the work of the other gods. So, with the help of his half-sister Ninki, they created man to be a worker 'in their image'.

The texts state that a god was put to death and his blood was mixed with clay. From this primordial material the first human being was created, in the likeness of the gods.

The first human couple was created is placed in Eden, a Sumerian word meaning 'flat ground'. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Eden is mentioned as the garden of the gods and is located somewhere in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

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