by Summer Worsley
"Talk about the return of the Anunnaki Gods” YouTuber MrMBB333 declares in his video, ‘Unreal! Two GIANT Men spotted nearby Giza Pyramids!’
MrMBB333 tells viewers that he was perusing Google Earth by the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt when he stumbled upon the “giant” men in a street view photo. He then goes on to wonder if these giant men are the very same guys who built the pyramids.
For this YouTuber, and many of his 30,000 strong followers, the idea that Sumerian deities could be casually wandering through a suburban area in Giza seems entirely viable. Unfortunately, the concepts of foreshortening and angular perspective don’t seem quite as viable. These are not giant men at all, rather, they’re just closer to the camera than the cars and the other people in the background. And the camera is angled upwards.
This video is just the tip of the Anunnaki conspiracy-theory iceberg though. Type Anunnaki into a Google video search and watch the hits roll in; currently, there are more than 230,000. Most are uploaded by channels with names such as ‘Ancient Astronaut Archive,’ ‘High Strangeness’, ‘Enigmas of the Universe, and ‘Zohar StarGate Ancient Discoveries’.
So, who are the Anunnaki and why are they inspiring such a crusade of fervent followers and believers?
The Anunnaki were the gods worshipped in ancient Mesopotamia, a historical area that covers modern-day Iraq and stretching to parts of Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. The belief system stems from the Sumerians and Akkadians and was later informed by the Babylonians and the Assyrians. All of these civilizations lived in Mesopotamia in the millennia prior to the Christian era.
Anunnaki as a term refers to those gods who were the offspring of An, the Sumerian god of the sky. Cuneiform texts dating from the proto-literate period circa 3400 - 2900 BCE make reference to ‘a-nuna’, and ‘a-nuna-ke-ne’. Depending on the scholar, these terms either mean princely offspring or offspring of An.
According to the Sumerians the main god, An, came into being after Nummu, the waters, birthed him. The waters also spawned the god of the earth, Ki. Ki and An produced a son, Enlil god of storms, rains, and winds. It is Enlil who separated An from Ki and claimed the earth, leaving the heavens to his father.
Much of our knowledge of the Anunnaki come from the stories, ‘Inanna's Descent into the Netherworld’ and ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’. In both of these, the Anunnaki are portrayed as judges decreeing fates in the underworld. In other stories, the deities serve different functions and specifics on their role in Sumerian mythology is contradictory.
Like other polytheistic belief systems, the Sumerians worshipped multiple gods who were related to each other and had human traits and characteristics. Much like the more familiar gods of Greek mythology, Sumerian gods had human foibles, desires, and aims. The individual gods had wide-ranging powers and were described as imposing beings, physically far larger than non-divine humans.
Interestingly, there are a few striking similarities between the Sumerian religious traditions, — particularly as they grew and shifted focus along with increased urbanization — and the Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
All four, for example, tell the story of a great flood. And all four feature a female character who is referred to as “the mother of all living”. In the Bible, this is Eve, and in the Hebrew and Aramaic traditions, Hawwah, made from the rib of Adam. In the Mesopotamian texts, “this mother of all living” is born from the sperm (or waters) of Enki, a powerful son of An.
Lost in translation?
Our knowledge of Sumerian mythology concerning the Anunnaki comes from cuneiform tablets excavated from the area in the 1800s. These tablets are predominantly literary in nature and contain myths, epics, panegyrics and the like. Of the many thousands of tablets unearthed, many are yet to be translated because there are very few cuneiform specialists in the world.
One self-proclaimed specialist is Zecharia Sitchin a Russian-born American author. In the 70s, Sitchin turned away from the widely accepted scholarly view of the Anunnaki and crafted an opposing myth of his own, one that has been embraced by independent theorists and conspiracy aficionados all over the world.
Instead of accepting the mainstream translation of ‘Anunnaki’ as “offspring of An” Sitchin based his theory on the idea that the cuneiform sign DIĜIR means “people of the blazing rockets”.
In 1976 Sitchin published a book called ‘The 12th Planet’. In it, he claims that Sumerian cuneiform tablets reveal an unrecognized planet called Nibiru. The inhabitants of this planet are the Anunnaki who came to Earth with the express purpose of mining gold in Africa.
According to Sitchin, they did so because gold would help to replenish the atmosphere on Nibiru which was failing. But the miners were not keen on working in the gold mines so the Anunnaki bred with Homo erectus resulting in Homo sapiens who were created to work in the mines as slaves.
For Sitchin, modern-day humanity is a direct result of alien astronauts genetically engineering us hundreds of thousands of years ago.
It may sound completely outlandish, but Mr. Sitchin’s theory is a popular one. ‘The 12th Planet,’ his first book, has sold millions of copies and has been translated into dozens of languages. He followed this book with six other volumes which make up the ‘Earth Chronicles’ series.
Supporters of Sitchin point to solid evidence of early mining in Africa as proof that the Anunnaki did indeed come from the stars via Nibiru. But why does an early African civilization need to have their agency and capabilities stripped from them and credited to alien astronauts instead?
Building on Sitchin’s work, David Meade, another self-proclaimed academic whose work would probably struggle to pass peer review, claims that the Anunnaki built the pyramids.
There’s a trend here. Writing for The Conversation, Julien Benoit notes that racism is the root of these theories which discredit early peoples and instead privilege extraterrestrial intervention. That all of this supposed alien activity happens in the Global South is, perhaps, unsurprising.
"Despite all this evidence, some people still refuse to believe that anyone from Africa [or anywhere in what is today considered the developing world] could possibly have created and constructed the Giza pyramids or other ancient masterpieces. Instead, they credit ancient astronauts, extraterrestrials or time travellers as the real builders."
Sitchin has faced criticism from linguists and cuneiform scholars worldwide who have called his work “amateurish” and the work of a “dogmatist”. In 1979, Roger Wescott, a past president of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States, reviewed ‘The 12th Planet’ and noted that Sitchin’s favoured expressions include ‘without question’ and ‘there can be no doubt’ which “regrettably, he applies to the most questionable assertions and the most doubtful interpretations.”
Despite reviews such as this one, alien astronaut theories of creation and past civilizations, which are largely the result of Sitchin’s ‘pioneering’ work, have massive cultural currency.
Conspiracy theories will always be appealing to us because as a species we have the ability to find patterns and craft inferences, even ones that are not really there. Once we've half-formed these ideas our confirmation bias, a powerful cognitive force, takes over and we find evidence to support what we think.
We ignore evidence that points to the other side of the story. We also like to bestow upon ourselves the ability to be different, to think outside-of-the-box, to reason above and beyond our fellow humans.
This could be the reason why, despite the flaws and contradictions in his work, Sitchin has managed to craft a modern-day myth, one that now stretches beyond his legacy.
Imagine years in the future, a society somewhat like our own discovering ‘The 12th Planet’ and the pseudo-science documentaries it spawned, in much the same way that we discovered the cuneiform tablets. What would they make of our myths?
As for the role of the Anunnaki in creation? The truth is out there. Whether it’s to be found on YouTube is debatable.
by Samuel Gitukui
One of the main reasons why it’s crucial to understand the needs of the customer is because this is the number one way to promote innovation. Predicting the requirements of customers is never easy, however.
In fact, business leaders can get biased as they try to understand what a customer wants. Such biases can have negative consequences to the entrepreneur and the business as a whole. An example of bias is the fact that an entrepreneur is more likely to use his or her most recent experience with customers. The downside is that this may not paint the complete picture.
The best way to understand customers is to think like them. However, it is hard to sometimes know where to start.
Let’s consider a few tips to help you better understand your customers.
1. Make a follow up on the outlier answers
Sometimes you may not get a direct answer but this doesn’t exclude the response nonetheless from being an important input. You can get valuable information by not just considering the responses while doing your interviews but also observing the behavior of your customers.
This type of flexibility when conducting research can provide you with information that you may not have gotten otherwise.
2. Make use of objective tools
When you are designing a product as a business leader, it is very easy to focus more on your individual assumptions. When conducting your product validation, it is important that you remain as objective as possible.
As you create the product, document all the assumptions that you have. This will enable you to make the required changes as you go along. This allows you to remain aware and to be objective.
You can also use the moderate user testing method. This is where the testing exercise is moderated in many different ways. It involves guiding the whole process and answering the questions that the participants ask.
To the business, the benefits are great. It is an excellent way to find out how the customers view your products and you can understand what parts of the product fails to meet customer expectations.
3. Try framing the questions differently
You can try framing the questions for your research differently to find out the effect on user feedback. A recent study showed that the design of the questionnaire had a significant effect on the type of responses and the type of feedback.
For example, you can ask a question in a negative way or you can use percentages instead of numbers.
The bottom line is that it is not simple to find out what users really want. Sometimes they may not be aware of what will work best for them or they may not have a direct answer.
However, to understand the minds of the customer is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the game in the modern business environment. Preforming basic studies and surveys simply is not enough. Take time, be patient and invest in knowing the real truth behind customer wants.
by Samuel Gitukui
When it comes to innovation, two of the biggest names online are Sportify and Amazon. In the modern business era, which is unpredictable, these two business models are able to remain ahead of the game.
Both Amazon and Sportify must be doing something right. They are market leaders and experts at gauging the overall direction of the trend, making the right choices and executing their plan well enough to keep customers engaged and happy.
Leadership is the driving force of a company’s success. Many businesses still feature a top down hierarchy leadership that is slow to pick on trends and equally slow to adapt.
Think of a company as a car. Just as the driver guides the car in the direction he wants, the same is true with the business leader. The role of the leader can determine whether the business dominates the market or ends up as just another failure.
There are three main types of leaders.
1. The entrepreneurial leader
The entrepreneurial leader engages the minds of the customer by creating products that are not just innovative but simple to use. Sometimes, customers may not know how much they need a particular product until they try it.
They are masters of streamlining organization by coming up with new innovations and concepts. Entrepreneurial leaders also know how to support and foster team members to bring their own ideas to the table.
Through team building, experimentation and risk taking, these leaders are able to encourage their team members to become more innovative. By looking into the future and seeing the potential and encouraging innovation from their workers, the entrepreneurial leaders move the business into the future.
Entrepreneurial leaders are also able to take full responsibility of the results. If their ideas turn out unsuccessful, they will take their fault and never that of the team members.
2. The enabling leader
These are leaders that are able to create a work environment that focuses on the wellbeing of the worker as well as the relationship with other workers. The contribution of every individual worker is acknowledged.
An enabling leader can be a great complement to the entrepreneurial leader. Since they are able to push employees to greater levels of performance, they are the ones that help to keep the business culture solid and from collapse as the business moves to the next level.
The enabling leader helps to build a strong and capable team that integrates well with each other.
3. The architecting leader
If there is one thing about architecting leaders, it is their unique ability to look into the future and put measures in place to take the business from where it is now to where it needs to be. They create the long-term plans from which other business leaders will work to drive the company forward.
Think of them as visionaries.
Architecting leaders are also able to focus on current global trends and come up with innovations to take advantage of the trends.