What you see above is Sumerian cosmology clearly etched on a Sumerian tablet. In this tablet, you see the sun surrounded by ten planets (our Solar System).
But why ten planets?
I was a history major and studied the Sumerian tablet translations from scholars such as George Smith, Zacharia Sitchin, Sir Henry Rawlinson, Austen Henry Layard, and Heinrich Zimmern.
The Sumerian civilization died around 5,500 to 6,000 years ago. It rose seemingly out of nowhere with advanced laws, jury systems, monetary systems, schools, libraries, mathematics, reading, writing, and astronomy.
They disappeared as curiously as they appeared.
During their heyday, the Sumer civilization was somewhat advanced in astronomy. They had a view of the solar system that rivaled ancient cultures, trumping the Egyptian, Indian, Roman, and Greek cosmological systems.
The Sumerians had a view and a handle on the solar system that even today, and within the scholarly circles, is hard to believe, and we don't yet understand how they correctly identified each planet in the Solar System, even planet size.
In fact, they named each planet: Mummu (Mercury); Lahamu (Venus); Enuma (Earth); Lahmu (Mars); Tiamat (ancient planet destroyed and turned into our asteroid belt); Kinshar (Jupiter); Anshar (Saturn); Anu (Uranus); Ea (Neptune); and Gaga (Pluto).
According to our current view of science and technology, we are the most advanced civilization ever to rule the Earth, so how do you think the Sumerians were able to see the asteroid belt and the planets past Saturn without telescopes? Remember, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto were discovered after the 1700s, and with high-powered telescopes, something we don't believe existed 5,500 to 6,000 years ago.
Maybe they had a type of telescope back then, but if they did, we surely don't have any ancient remains to give us a true or false answer.
What has some scholars even more baffled by the Sumerian astronomical stories and myths they etched on the stone tablets was their idea about the asteroid belt, something you cannot see from Earth with the naked eye.
So, how could they know it existed?
We simply don't know.
The Sumerians believed the asteroid belt came into existence by way of Tiamat, a planet that exploded via an impact by another rather large cosmic body. They placed Tiamat's orbit between Mars and Jupiter, exactly where the asteroid belt floats today.
Again, it's a mystery very few have an answer to: How did Sumerian astronomers know such an event took place and place that event in the correct origin in our Solar System?
Furthermore, ancient Sumer created star charts, and, in fact, gave the world the constellations we know today such as Scorpius, Leo, Sagittarius, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, and Capricorn, and thus, correctly identifying the stars in those constellations as well. Plus, adding to those constellations, ancient Sumerian astronomers inscribed measurements of degrees on their star charts, all ridiculously accurate.
Yet, how could this be?
Some believe that modern translations are simply incorrect and that our translators were placing hopes and dreams in the cuneiform tablets, even way back in the 1800s, creating fantasies and geniuses out of these ancient ones.
Others think aliens.
Or scholars think the translations and translators are indeed correct as modern archaeology still uses the same translations and codes for newer found cuneiforms.
And after scholars review the ancient systems that Sumer had in place, such as incredibly elaborate canal systems, an advanced law system, being giants in agriculture, creating the first encyclopedia's of knowledge, establishing libraries, governments, and trade routes, they saw a civilization that seemed to evolve overnight and descend just as quickly, giving us some of the biggest cosmological geniuses that humanity has ever seen...yet, these same scholars don't know, other than speculation and theories, how Sumerians accurately charted the skies.
It's a mystery.
Even though the Sumerians were advanced for their time, and some say probably advanced for our time—perhaps more advanced—when you don't have a solid reason as to how the Sumerians calculated and accurately told the world via Sumerian tablets about the Solar System, its cycles, and so on and so forth...well...you gotta wonder.
Aliens? Advanced civilization? Or just plain lucky?
What are your thoughts?