Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Sabrina. Sabrina Wonders, “Who were the Sumerians?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Sabrina!

What comes to mind when you think of ancient civilizations? You might think of the Romans. Maybe Maya pops into your head. Perhaps you think of the Aboriginal people of Australia. Today’s Wonder of the Day is another great ancient civilization--the Sumerians.

Situated in Mesopotamia, ancient Sumer was a collection of city-states. The Sumerians had advanced militaries, mathematics, and writing. And many of their writings tell modern people about Sumerian culture. 

The Sumerian civilization existed from 4100 B.C.E. until around 1750 B.C.E. The name “Sumer” meant “land of the civilized kings.” The Sumerians were one of the first groups to divide time into hours and minutes. They also had a complex religion that involved gods called the Anunnaki.

The Anunnaki were believed to be in charge of Sumerians’ fates. Many myths involved members of the Anunnaki passing judgment on humans. Additionally, the gods were described as children of the Earth and sky. Most people chalk these stories up to mythology, the same way they do the Greek gods.   However, others wonder whether there’s more to the story.

Some researchers believe the Anunnaki may have been actual beings. One popular theory is that they came to Earth from another planet. Some believe they came from the mysterious Planet X, which they say passed close to Earth thousands of years ago.

Why would aliens come to Earth and pose as gods? To enslave the human race, of course! Believers of this theory say the Anunnaki forced Sumerians to mine gold for them. Then, when they had what they needed, the Anunnaki returned to Planet X. 

Some even go so far as to say the Anunnaki were a species of reptilian humanoids. They believe these reptiles helped the Sumerians develop their systems of writing and mathematics. Further, they think the reptiles are still around today and wield power in the human world.

Were the Anunnaki real? Or were they mythical gods? We’ll let you decide that for yourself. But one thing is certain--these ancient Sumerian gods still fascinate people today.

Standards: C3.D2.His.2, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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