Chapter 10: Tilmun: Land of the Rocketships

…The goal of Gilgamesh was Tilmun, the land where the rocketships were raised up. To ask where he went to reach Tilmun, is to ask where Alexander went, deeming himself a Pharaoh and a god’s son. It is to ask: Where on Earth was the Duat? Because all these destinations, we must conclude, were one and the same. And the land where they hoped to find the Stairway to Heaven, we shall conclusively show, was the peninsula of Sinai.

…The suggestion that the Pharaoh’s journey to the Afterlife had indeed taken him to the Sinai peninsula is supported by the fact that Alexander had emulated not only the Pharaohs, there was a deliberate effort to emulate the Israelite Exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses.

…The arena for the biblical Exodus was the peninsula of Sinai. The conclusion from all the similarities and footstep-following can only be that it was toward the Sinai peninsula that Alexander, Moses and the Pharaohs set their course as they set east from Egypt. This, we will show, was also the destination of Gilgamesh.

…To reach Tilmun on his second and decisive journey Gilgamesh set sail in a "Ship of Magan," a ship of Egypt. Starting from Mesopotamia, his only course was to sail down the Persian Gulf. Then, rounding the Arabian peninsula, he would have entered the Red Sea (which the Egyptians called the Sea of Ur). As the name of his ship indicates, he would have sailed up the Red Sea toward Egypt. But his destination was not Egypt, it was Tilmun. Was he then intending to land on the western shores of the Red Sea – in Nubia? On the eastern shore – in Arabia? Or straight ahead, on the peninsula of Sinai?

…Just as the Cedar of Lebanon had served as a unique landmark for determining the first destination of Gilgamesh, so does the "Sea of the Waters of Death" serve as a unique clue to the whereabouts of Gilgamesh on his second journey… It is so called to this day: the Dead Sea. Its waters are so saturated with salt and minerals that it is totally devoid of all marine and plant life.

…The city that overlooked the Sea of the Waters of Death was surrounded by a wall. Its temple was dedicated to Sin, the Moon-god. Outside the city there was an inn. The hostess took Gilgamesh in, extending to him hospitality, giving him information.

…The uncanny similarities to a known biblical tale cannot be missed. When the Israelite’s forty years of wondering in the Wilderness had come to an end, it was time to enter Canaan. Coming from the Sinai peninsula, they circled the Dead Sea from its eastern side until they reached the place where the Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea. When Moses stood upon a hill overlooking the plane, he could see – as Gilgamesh had seen – the shimmering waters of the "low-lying-sea." In the plain, on the other side of the Jordan, stood a city, Jericho. It blocked the Israelite’s advance to Canaan, and they sent two spies to explore its defenses. A woman whose inn was at the city’s walls extended to them hospitality, gave them information and guidance.

…The Hebrew name for Jericho is Yeriho. It literally means "Moon City" – the city dedicated to the Moon god, Sin.

…It was, we suggest, the very city reached by Gilgamesh fifteen centuries before the Exodus.

…Was Jericho already in existence circa 2900 B.C. when Gilgamesh was engaged in his searches? Archaeologists are agreed that Jericho has been inhabited since 7000 B.C., and served as a flourishing urban center since about 3,500 B.C.; it was certainly there when Gilgamesh arrived.

Through directions given to Gilgamesh, he was supposed to arrive to a city named Itla, Mr Sitchin continues:

Itla, it was located some distance from the Great Sea. Beyond Itla, in the Fourth Region of the gods, lay the restricted area.

…Was Itla a "City of the Gods" or a City of Men?

…The events there, described in a fragmented Hittite version of the Gilgamesh Epic, indicate that it was a place for both. It was a "sanctified city," with various gods coming and going through or within easy reach of it. But men too could go there: the way to it was indicated by road markers.

In the Old Testament it was known as Kadesh ("The Sanctified") "it was distinguished from a northern namesake (situated, significantly on the approaches of Baalbek) by being called Kadesh-Barnea (which stemming from the Sumer [symbol] (shown on book) could have meant "Kadesh of the Shiny Stone Pillars").

…Scholars have advanced many theories regarding the origin of the peninsula’s name Sinai. For once, the obvious reason – that, as the name stated, it "Belonged to Sin" – has been among the preferred solutions.

We can see [shown on book] that the Moon’s crescent was the emblem of the deity in whose land the Winged Gate was located. We find that the main crossroads in the central Sinai, the well-watered place Nakhl, still bears the name of Sin’s spouse.

…And we can confidently conclude that the "Land Tilmun" was the Sinai peninsula.

…An examination of the geography, topography, geology, climate, flora and history of the Sinai peninsula will confirm our identification, and clarify the Sinai’s role in the affairs of gods and men.

And indeed it does. Mr. Sitchin gives a quote from texts and gives an identification with the actual land. The wadis are mentioned as part of the identification:

…Typical to most of the peninsula are the wadis… The bulk of the peninsula’s rainwater is drained northward into the Mediterranean Sea, via the extensive Wadi El-Arish and its myriad tributaries, that look on a map as the blood vessels of a giant heart. In this part of the Sinai, the depths of the wadis that make up this network may change from a few inches to a few feet, the width – from a few feet to a mile and more after a sizable rain.

…The Bedouin (local nomads), as other seasoned travelers in the Sinai, can duplicate the miracle (of Moses), if the soil making up the wadi’s bed is right. The secret is that in many places the rocky bed lies above a layer of clay soil that captures the water as it quickly seeps through the rocks. With knowledge and luck, a little digging in a completely dry bed uncovers water only a few feet below the surface.

…Was this normal art the great miracle performed by the Lord? Recent discoveries in the Sinai throw a new light on the subject. Israeli hydrologists (associated with the Weizman Institute of Science) have discovered that, like parts of the Sahara Desert and some deserts in Nubia, there is "fossil water" – the remains of prehistoric lakes from another geological era – deep under the central Sinai. The vast underground reservoir, with enough water (they estimated) to suffice for a population as large as Israel’s for almost one hundred years, extends for some 6,000 square miles in a wide belt that begins near the Suez Canal and reaches under Israel’s arid Negev.

…Could the Nefilim, with their space-age technology have missed this knowledge? Was this, rather than a little water in a dry wadi bed, the water that gushed forth after Moses had struck the rock, as indicated by the Lord?

As the tale of Moses in the Old Testament, striking the rock in the desert, and water poured forth for all the Israelites and their livestock; there is a similar Sumerian tale. A tale of bad times in Tilmun caused shortage of waters.

…Ninsikilla, spouse of Tilmun’s ruler Enshag, complained to her father Enki:

The city which thou has given…
Tilmun, the city thou has given…
Has not waters of the river…
Unbathed is the maiden…
No sparkling water is poured in the city.

Father Enki answered Ninsikilla, his daughter…
"Let divine Utu position himself in the skies…
A missile let him tightly affix to his "breast"
and from high direct it toward the earth….
From the source from whence issues Earth’s waters,
let him bring thee sweet water from the earth."

…Could a missile shot from the skies pierce the earth and cause potable water to come up? Anticipating the incredulity of its readers the ancient scribe affirmed at the tale’s end: "Verily, it was so." The miracle, the text went on, did work: Tilmun became a land "of crop raising fields and farms which bear grain;" and Tilmun-City "became port city of the land, the site of quays and mooring piers."

…The parallels between Tilmun and Sinai are thus double affirmed: first, the existence of the subterranean water reservoir, below the rocky surface; secondly, the presence of Utu/Shamash (the Spaceport’s commander) in the proximity.

The Sinai peninsula can also account for all the products for which Tilmun was renowned,

gemstones akin to bluish lapis lazuli
blue-green gemstone turquoise
blue-green mineral (malachite).

…Indeed the Egyptian name for turquoise mafka-t (after which they called the Sinai "The Land of Mafkat), stems from the Semitic verb meaning "to mine, to extract by cutting." These mining areas were in the domain of the goddess Hathor, who was known both as "Lady of Sinai" and "Lady of Mafkat." A great goddess of olden times, one of the early sky gods of the Egyptians, she was nicknamed by them "The Cow." Her name Hat-Hor spelled hieroglyphically by drawing a falcon within an enclosure, has been interpreted by scholars to mean "House of Horus," (Horus having been depicted as a falcon). But it literally meant: "Falcon House," which affirms our conclusions regarding the location and functions of the Land of the Missiles.

…According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "turquoise was obtained from the Sinai peninsula before the fourth millennium B.C. in one of the first world’s important hard-rock mining operations." At the time the Sumerian civilization was only beginning to stir, and the Egyptian one was almost a millennium away. Who then could have organized the mining activities. The Egyptians said it was Thoth, the god of sciences.

…In this and in the assignment of the Sinai to Hathor, the Egyptians emulated Sumerian traditions. According to Sumerian texts, the god who organized the mining operations of the Anunnaki was Enki, the God of Knowledge; and Tilmun, the texts attested, was allotted in pre-Deluvial times to Ninhursag, sister of Enki and Enlil. In her youth she was a smashing beauty and the chief nurse of the Nefilim, but in her old age, she was nicknamed "The Cow" and as the goddess of the Date Palm, was depicted with cow’s horns.

The similarities between her and Hathor, and the analogies between their domains, are too obvious to require elaboration.

…The Sinai was also a major source of copper, and the evidence of this is that the Egyptians relied mostly on raiding expeditions to obtain it… A Pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty (the time of Abraham) left us these comments of his deeds:

"…Reaching the bounderings of the foreign lands with his feet, exploring the mysterious valleys, reaching the limits of the unknown." He boasted that his men lost not a single case of the seized booty.

Beno Rothenberg (Sinai Explorations 1967-1972), "We could establish the existence of a fairly large industrial metallurgical enterprise … There are copper mines, miner’s camps and copper smelting installations, spread from the western parts of southern Sinai to as far east as Elat at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba."

…The tribe into which Moses married when he escaped from Egypt into the Sinai was that of the Qenites. Their name literally meant "smiths, metallurgists."

R.J. Forbes (The Evolution of the Smith) pointed out that the biblical term Qain ("smith") stemmed from the Sumerian KIN ("fashioner").

Pharaoh Ramses III, who reigned in the century following the Exodus, recorded his invasion of these coppersmiths’ dwellings and the plundering of the metallurgical center of Timna-Elat.

…It was to spend the rest of his life in the mines of Tilmun that the gods had sentenced Enkidu, and so it was that Gilgamesh conceived the plan to charter a "Ship of Egypt" and take his comrade along – since the Land of Mines and the "Land of Missiles" were both part of the same land. Our identification matches the ancient data.

…A persistent school of thought, one of whose early advocates was P.B. Cornwall (On the Location of Tilmun), identifies Tilmun (sometimes transcribed "Dilmun") as the island of Bahrein in the Persian Gulf."

…There are several flows in this interpretation. First, it could well be that only the capital city of Tilmun was on an offshore island: the texts leave no doubt that there was a land Tilmun and a Tilmun-city. Secondly, other Assyrian inscriptions which describes cities as being "in the midst of the sea" apply to coastal cities on a bay or a promontory, but not on an island (as, for instance, Arvad on the Mediterranean coast). Then, if the "sea where the sun rises" indicates a sea east of Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf does not qualify, since it lies to the south, not to the east, of Mesopotamia

…Another major problem arising from a Bahrein-Tilmun identification concerns the products for which Tilmun was renowned… Bahrein had none of these, except for some "ordinary dates."

Mr. Sitchin continues with more prove about the location of Tilmun. Of special importance is the explanation of the misunderstanding of some scholars:

…In view of the proximity of Tilmun to Egypt, what about the statements that Tilmun was "where the sun rises" – meaning (scholars say) east of Sumer, and not west of it (as the Sinai is?)

The simple answer is that the texts do not make that statement at all. They do not say "where the Sun rises"; they state "where Shamash ascends" – and that makes all the difference. Tilmun was not at all in the east; but it certainly was the place where Utu/Shamash (the god whose celestial symbol was the Sun, and not the Sun itself) ascended skyward in his rocketships. The words of the Gilgamesh epic are quite clear:

At the Mountain of Mashu he arrived,
Where by day the Shems he watched
as they depart and come in…
Rocket-men guard its gate…
they watch over Shamash
as he ascends and descends.

…That indeed was the place whereto Ziusudra had been taken.

…And so it was that Gilgamesh – denied permission to mount a Shem, and seeking therefore only to converse with his ancestor Ziusudra – set his steps to Mount Mashu in Tilmun – the Mount of Moshe (Moses) in the Sinai Peninsula.

Among the examples of the flora of Tilmun, Mr. Sitchin mentions the acacia tree, onions, tamarisks, and also:

…The tree with which Tilmun was most associated in antiquity, however, was the date palm. We know from Mesopotamian records that these dates were also exported from Tilmun in antiquity. The dates were so large and tasty that recipes for the meals of the gods of Uruk (the city of Gilgamesh) specified that "every day of the year, for the four daily meals, 108 measures of ordinary dates, and dates of the Land Tilmun, as also figs and raisings… shall be offered to the deities." The nearest and most ancient town to the land route from Sinai to Mesopotamia was Jericho. Its biblical epithet was "Jericho, the city of dates."

…Alongside the Winged Disk (the emblem of the Twelfth Planet), the symbol most widely depicted by all the ancient nations was the Tree of Life.

…The source of all these depictions and beliefs were Sumerian records of the Land of Living, Tilmun,

Where old woman says not "I am an old woman,"
Where old man says not "I am an old man."

…The Sumerians, masters of word-plays, called the Land of the Missiles TIL.MUN, yet the term could also mean "Land of Living," for TIL also meant "Life." The Tree of Life in Sumerian was GISH.TIL; but GISH also meant a man-made, a manufactured object; so that GISH.TIL could also mean "The Vehicle to Life" – a rocketship. In art too, we find the Eagle-men sometimes saluting not the date palm, but a rocket.

…The binding knots tighten further, as we find that in Greek religious art, the omphalos was associated with the date palm.

…We have found earlier that the omphalos served as a link between Greek, Egyptian, Nubian and Canaanite "oracle centers" and the Duat. Now we find this "Stone of Splendor" linked to the date palm – The Tree of the Land of Living.

…Indeed, Sumerian texts accompanying depictions of the Cherubim included the following incantation:

The dark-brown tree of Enki I hold in my hand;
The tree that tells the count, great heavensward weapon,
I hold in my hand;
The palm tree, great tree of oracles, I hold in my hand.

…A Mesopotamian depiction shows a god holding up in his hand this "palm tree, Great tree of oracles." He is granting this Fruit of Life to a king at the place of the "Four Gods." We have already come upon this place, in Egyptian texts and depictions; they were the Four Gods of the Four Cardinal Points, located by the Stairway to Heaven in the Duat. We have also seen that the Sumerian Gateway to Heaven was marked by the date palm.

…And we have no more doubt that the target of the ancient Search of Immortality was a Spaceport – somewhere in the Sinai peninsula.

Continue to Chapter 11: The Elusive Mount

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