From Academic Kids

For the fictional Anunnaki from Demon: The Fallen, see Annunaki (White Wolf).
Missing image
Ancient Sumerian seal depicting the Annunaki

The Anunnaki or Anunnaku are a group of Sumerian mythological and Akkadian deities related to, and in some cases overlapping with, the Annuna (the 'Fifty Great Gods') and the Igigi (minor gods). The name is variously written "da-nuna", "da-nuna-ke4</sup>-ne", or "da-nun-na", meaning something like 'those of royal blood'1. The head of the Anunnaki council was the Great Anu, the sky god, and the other members were his offspring. His throne was inherited by Enlil, resulting in a dispute between Enlil and his brother Enki regarding who was the rightful leader. Enki was an alchemist and was said to have created mankind.

The Anunnaki were the High Council of the Gods, and Anu's companions. They were distributed through the Earth and the Underworld. The most known of them were Asaru, Asarualim, Asarualimnunna, Asaruludu, En-Ki (Ea for the Akkadians), Namru, Namtillaku and Tutu.

A rational analysis of Sumerian religious practice can be found in A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization; it revised edition was published in 1976. Unlike popular fantasies of pseudoarchaeology, Oppenheim cautions against too confident and sweeping interpretations of the gods of a "lost civilization."

Ancient astronaut theory

Some ancient astronaut theorists such as Zecharia Sitchin, Sherry Shriner, Laurence Gardner and David Icke claim that the Anunnaki were in fact extra-terrestrials who came to Earth in antiquity and created or tampered with the genetic makeup of primitive mankind. They propose various readings of the word, two of which are "anu-na-ki" and "an-unnak-ki", both translated something like 'those who came from heaven to Earth'.2 (Compare the RaŽlian translation of Elohim.)

According to Sitchin in his book The 12th Planet, these beings were related to the Biblical Nephilim and lived on a planet called Nibiru, an alleged 12th planet of the solar system. He proposes that fallout from their nuclear weapons was the "evil wind" that destroyed Ur c. 2000 BCE, as recorded in the Lament for Ur[1] ( According to Sitchin, the "gods" of the Anunnaki were the rank and file workers of the colonial expedition to earth from the 12th planet, also known later, through the Babylonians, as Marduk. The Nephilim "gods" were the commanders of the operation. The Anunnaki performed the menial labor, mining ores and building bases, while the Nephilim issued the orders setting these tasks into motion. It was only due to an uprising by the Anunnaki against the Nephilim in protest of these conditions that the Anunnaki 'workers' revolted against their overseers. Because of this the Nephilim and Anunnaki came together in a project to blend the DNA of Homo erectus with that of their own, thus giving rise to the Homo sapiens.

Other channeled material claim that they actually came from the Pleiades. Icke claims that they were of reptilian nature and that they fed on human flesh. Some of this theory is based on the idea that we have not found a "missing link", on the Sumerians' knowledge of the solar system, and on the Sumerians' crediting their knowledge and crafts directly to the gods (the concept of me). Most of this theory is fanciful speculation.

These claims, like all ancient astronaut theories, are strongly considered pseudoscience by mainstream science.


  • Note 1: Leick, Gwendolyn: A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology (NY: Routledge, 1998), p. 7
  • Note 2: The reader is advised to consult the Pennyslvania Sumerian Dictionary (, where such forms do not appear, and compare them to the multiply-attested instances of Leick's reading found in the same

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