Mythos 18 – Seven Abgals

 

When compared to the geological and genetic records, the Sumerian King List appears to record the major changes that took place on Earth over the past 260,000 years. During this ongoing chain of events the Abgal were recorded to have been guiding humanity, until around 21,000 years ago when they withdrew from the Earth. Seven are recorded as helping the kingdoms prior to the flood caused by the Lord of Phantoms: Uanna, Uannedugga, Enmedugga, Enmegalamma, Enmebulugga, An-Enlilda, and Utuabzu. Their names seem to be mostly descriptions or metaphors, such as Uannedugga ‘who was endowed with comprehensive intelligence,‘ Enmedugga ‘who was allotted a good fate,‘ Enmegalamma ‘who was born in a house,‘ and Enmebulugga ‘who grew up on pasture land.’ A few do seem to be connected to events, such as An-Enlilda ‘the conjurer of the city of Eridu‘, Uanna ‘who finished the plans for heaven and earth,’ and Utuabzu ‘who ascended to heaven.’ It appears as if the Abgal decided to leave the Earth after Utuabzu. Some scholars have identified Utuabzu as the legendary Babylonian mythical figure Oannes,(1)Edgar W. Conrad and Edward G. Newing, editors (1987) Perspectives on language and text : essays and poems in honor of Francis I. Andersen’s sixtieth birthday, July 28, 1985, Page 39 while others identify Uanna with Oannes.(2)Richard J. Clifford, editor (2007) Wisdom literature in Mesopotamia and Israel, Page 25

Assyrian Era Seal Depicting a Bird-like Abkallu (Abgal)

Assyrian Era Seal Depicting a Bird-like Abgal From Around 3200 Years Ago

Anunna and humans were presumably genetically compatible, since after the flood of the Lord of Phantoms four more Abgals returned to the Earth. These were part human and part Anunna, and included Nungalpirriggaldim, Pirriggalnungal, Pirriggalabsu, and Lu-nana who was only two-thirds Anunna. These Abgals are said to have committed a transgression by returning to Earth which angered the other Anunna. After these four hybrid Abgals followed the first completely human advisers, who were called Ummanu. The Sumerian King of Uruk Bilgamesh, later known to the Akkadians as Gilgamesh, was said to be the first king to have had an entirely human adviser.(3)Lindsay Jones, editor in chief (2005) Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 9, 2nd edition, Page 5964 Later Abgal depicted during the Assyrian period, included several strange looking creatures, with some being bird-men, others being fish-men, and others entirely human. At the time they were not worshiped, but rather seen as guardians against evil spirits.(4)Mehmet-Ali Ataç (2010) The Mythology of Kingship in Neo-Assyrian Art, Page 150

These strange stories were merged with many other odd stories during the Late Babylonian period into what became the first few chapters of the Book of Bereishit in the Jewish Torah, which was translated into Greek and renamed Genesis, becoming the first book of the Christian Bible. Scholars have suggested that Alulim may be the prototype of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Adam character.(5)William H. Shea (1977) Adam in Ancient Mesopotamian Traditions Enmendurana’s adventure in heaven has been linked with the Judeo-Christian Enoch’s similar adventure.(6)Victor Hamilton (1990) “The Book of Genesis” The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Pages 257-258 The seeming negative deeds of the later Abgal and their roles as wise councilors has led some scholars to equate them with the nephilim found in Judeo-Christian beliefs, who descended from heaven to teach humanity against the will of their ruler.(7)Edgar W. Conrad and Edward G. Newing, editors (1987) Perspectives on language and text : essays and poems in honor of Francis I. Andersen’s sixtieth birthday, July 28, 1985, Page 39 Atra-Hasis also called Ziusudra or Utnapishtim has been documented as being an earlier version of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic story of Noah’s Ark.(8)Robert M. Best (1999) Noah’s Ark and the Ziusudra Epic These similarities have caused people that reject the historicity of the later Judeo-Christian-Islamic stories to also reject the earlier stories, which is unfortunate as these stories do seem to be telling a scientifically plausible tale.

References   [ + ]

1, 7. Edgar W. Conrad and Edward G. Newing, editors (1987) Perspectives on language and text : essays and poems in honor of Francis I. Andersen’s sixtieth birthday, July 28, 1985, Page 39
2. Richard J. Clifford, editor (2007) Wisdom literature in Mesopotamia and Israel, Page 25
3. Lindsay Jones, editor in chief (2005) Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 9, 2nd edition, Page 5964
4. Mehmet-Ali Ataç (2010) The Mythology of Kingship in Neo-Assyrian Art, Page 150
5. William H. Shea (1977) Adam in Ancient Mesopotamian Traditions
6. Victor Hamilton (1990) “The Book of Genesis” The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Pages 257-258
8. Robert M. Best (1999) Noah’s Ark and the Ziusudra Epic