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Chariots of the Gods: Evidence from Sumerian Pictographs

I thought that I might provide a short lesson on how the Pictographic or earliest Sumerian writing was done. Don’t worry – I’m only going to show you three symbols, and I will try to keep this short.

Our scholars refer to this as proto-Sumerian, but actually the proto prefix usually designates a theoretical reconstruction of a language, and in this case we have fairly firm information on the symbols used, and thus it should no longer be considered theoretical.

Most of us are familiar with the type of Sumerian writing that was done with stylus on clay,  but  the examples that I am providing today represent the most archaic version of their writing – done prior to the formalized or classic period that used the stylus. Many of these symbols were scratched into rock, but some were drawn onto clay as well.

Here’s an easy one to start with. It’s the eight-sided star that appears on a great many tablets from Sumeria. This is referred to by modern scholars under several names, or transliterations.

As ‘digir’ it is defined as “deity, god, goddess; personal god”.
As ‘AN’ it designates the “Supreme sky-god”.
As ‘an’ it is defined as “sky, upper, above, and also as sky-god”, although I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Sumerians did not consider the beings who came from the sky to be “gods or goddesses” and so a sky-beings definition would be more factual.

Here are a few examples of it:

The Sumerian sign for AN, indicating a sky god


Actually, the earliest Sumerians hated the sky beings, and we see this reflected in a great many of their earliest writings. So the gods and goddesses theme is more of a late Christian addition.

And just to stifle the skeptics, yes, in the Semitic period of the Akkadians and Babylonians, and Kishites, some thousand years later, they did indeed worship the beings from the sky as sky gods and goddesses. That period, beginning roughly 2600 B.C., is when humans knees touched the earth in respect to the sky gods for the first time.

This next symbol was used to represent the Sumerian word “mar”.   Mar is defined by traditional scholars as being a “chariot, a wagon”,  although to the Akkadians it meant only chariot, and in truth nearly all of the earliest Sumerian pictographs indicate a chariot as well.  It’s a chariot.

You may notice that the symbol itself kind of resembles a rectangular box with a stick in the front, which is what a very early, crude outline of a chariot might look like in 2d.

Here are two ways in which it was written (drawn):

Example of MAR, Sumerian word for Chariot.

The only reason the wagon was included in the definition is because, while the Sumerians are acknowledged as having invented the wheel, some of our scientists do not believe that the chariot was invented by the Sumerians as well. They point to the Urals, to Europe, actually anywhere except Mesopotamia. (Not saying they are racist, but it’s something like ‘anyone but the brown people’).

However, two thousand years before the first image of a chariot in any artifacts from the Urals or Europe, or elsewhere in the world, we see it on a Halafian (pre-Sumerian) vase from 5400 B.C., so they really just need to get over it.

The final symbol represents the Sumerian word “pa”. And pa is defined as “branch, frond; wing, feathers”, all of which seem to refer to birds and flight.  Frond, to the Sumerians, indicated a palm frond, which also resembles a wing.  Branch also provides us with the skeleton of a wing shape, under the leaves, which could be thought of as feathers as well.

Sumerian word PA, indicating a wing, feathers, etc.Now, below are the final two images in this report.  Both are in the Sumerian Pictographic writing style, both dated to between 3500 and 3250 B.C., both are from tablets in the CDLI library of tablets, held at UCLA, and both are listed as “not translated”.  To be fair, most of the earliest and best tablets are not translated, or at least not for public consumption.

I’m fairly sure that they have been translated for in-house use but our scholars are sitting on them like hens.  In fact many of the ones that they list as not translated appear in scholarly reports much later – so they really seem to want to ring up some dollars before they release them to the world.

These are photos of the actual markings on the tablets themselves.

The first one is a photo of the actual tablet itself – the original, and it says “Mar. An”.   You can compare this with the Mar and An that I furnished above.  FYI – the four impressions to the left of the Mar An represent the number four.  So we are talking about four  Mar.An,  or a plural amount.


Four Chariots of the Gods as written in Sumerian

And the second example says “Mar.An.Pa”.   I was forced to provide a line art drawing instead of a photo image due to copyright rules, but it is identical to the original.  This also indicates four of these items.  And I should mention that the reason I picked a second example, and this one in particular, is that our skeptics will have a difficult time in claiming that these are “normal” chariots, since they are “made by or of” the Gods, and this one has wings.   And it’s lucky that it says MA.AN.PA because that’s the three signs that we just learned about above.

Four Chariots of the Gods with Wings, in Sumerian

As you have probably surmised by now, “Mar. An.” means ” Chariots of the Gods”,  (4 of them) and “Mar.An.Pa” means ” Chariots of the Gods with Wings”.

Someone should probably wake up Mr. Erich von Däniken and let him know that he can take the question mark out of his book title of “Chariots of the Gods?”, and yes, I am trying to be funny.

Now our scholars first dug up these tablets beginning with the excavation in 1853 A.D. by William Loftus. And the actual tablets were published online – one in 1998 and the other in 2005, so it’s not like they have not read the same symbols that I have.  So yes, they know.  But I never heard any of them say anything about confirming the Chariots of the Gods theory.    Hmmm.

I hope you enjoyed this short report, and I welcome any comments.