Pat Thomas recently sent me a reference about an interesting archeo-astronomy research paper by J. N. Harris. It proposes that the Star of Bethlehem was Uranus, as a visible naked-eye object, which didn't strike me as very likely (and still doesn't, although the reference to Uranus as a naked-eye object does have an amusing ‘ring’ to it!)(2). But upon reading the paper I realised why Pat had recommended it. It contains two independent Babylonian references to Marduk-Nibiru that clearly corroborate Sitchin (3), and provide further evidence to substantiate my claims in the Dark Star Theory (4).
One of the lines of attack used by Sitchin’s critics to dismiss his work is that the Sumerian and Babylonian texts simply did not refer to the solar system and its planets. They regard him as a fraud for interpreting the myths in this way. From their point of view, the stories alluded to by the early Mesopotamians were simply primitive myths about primitive gods and goddesses, and that’s where the matter ends. Talk of the 12th Planet and the Annunaki is seen as dangerous nonsense.
Now, it is well known that the Babylonian knowledge of astronomy was well advanced for its time. Harris cites Babylonian quotations about their god Marduk, and highlights their crystal-clear understanding of ‘his’ astronomical identity. The first is from a Babylonian astrolabe:
"The red star, which when the stars of the night are finished, bisects the heavens and stands there whence the south wind comes, this star is the god Nibiru-Marduk" (5)
One might assume that this reference was to a planet of red colour, which would have to be Mars. But Marduk is in no way connected with Mars, and Harris’s rather bizarre assumption that Nibiru/Marduk is Jupiter is laughable, at least on face value (Harris does indicate that Nibiru/Marduk might be a ‘Jupiter-related phenomenon’, but does not expand on this). Jupiter appears as a white planet, not a red one. Once again, Marduk is not correspondent with Jupiter in any of the myths, either. Instead, we have an anomalous red star that moves through the heavens in an unusual way. The reference is to an early morning celestial event, when the Sun would be rising in the east. Yet, Nibiru/Marduk is ‘bisecting the heavens and standing whence the south wind comes’. It thus appears to be off the ecliptic, and low in the southern celestial hemisphere, just as I have indicated for the brown dwarf’s perihelion in the planetary solar system. Brown dwarfs, as recent photos from the Hubble Space Telescope indicate, appear red. Irrespective of my own views, what is entirely clear is that the Babylonian astronomers equated Marduk/Nibiru with an anomalous celestial phenomenon.
But then the plot thickens. The Babylonians included a similar reference in a star-list called the “12 stars of Elam, Akkad and Amurru”. Whilst one recognises the importance Sitchin places upon the 12 ‘planets’, this is a star-list, seemingly differentiating Nibiru/Marduk from the known planets:
"When the stars of Enlil have disappeared the great faint star, which bisects the heavens and stands, is Marduk-Nibiru SAG.ME.GAR; he (the god) changes his position and wanders over the heavens.” (5)
One must ask oneself what the Babylonians were referring to when describing a ‘great faint star’. This appears to be a contradiction in terms, until one understands the orbital properties of Nibiru. This ‘planet’, or brown dwarf as I have proposed, cannot be seen for the vast majority of its long motion around the Sun. Yet it is the ‘Lord’ of the ancient world in Mesopotamia, the very source of their gods. Its greatness was praised over all other cosmic objects, including the Sun. In this context, the quote readily makes sense.
Given these quotes from the ancient texts, it is difficult to see how Sitchin could conceivably be labelled as a fraud. His interpretation may be radical and controversial, but he is evidently presenting the facts of the matter, at least how the ancient Babylonians saw things, anyway. As they proclaimed, “This star is the god Nibiru-Marduk”. And they should know…
© Andy Lloyd, October 2000
Thanks to Pat Thomas email@example.com
2) J. Harris “The star of Bethlehem and Babylon” http://www3.telus.net/JNHDA/sbb1.htm 1996
3) Z. Sitchin “The 12th Planet” Avon Books 1976
4) A. Lloyd “The Dark Star Theory” http://www.darkstar1.co.uk © 2000
5) B. Van der Waerden “Science Awakening II” pp66-68 Oxford University Press 1974
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