Chapter 5: GAIA: The Cleaved Planet

Why do we call our planet “Earth”?

The answer lies in the Sumerian texts that relate the arrival of the first group of Anunnaki/Nephilim on Earth… They splashed down in the Arabian Sea, and waded ashore to the edge of the marshlands that, after the climate warmed up, became the Persian Gulf. And at the head of the marshlands they established their first settlement on a new planet by its name E.RI.DU—”Home in the Faraway”…

And so it was that in time the whole settled planet came to be called after that first settlement—Erde [German], Erthe [Middle English], Earth. To this day, whenever we call our planet by its name, we invoke the memory of that first settlement on Earth; unknowingly, we remember Eridu and honour the first group of Anunnaki who established it.

After Ea had completed the establishment of the first five of the seven original settlements of the Anunnaki, he was given the title/epithet EN.KI, “Lord of Earth.” But the term KI, as a root or verb, was applied to the planet called “Earth” for a reason. It conveyed the meaning “to cut off, to sever, to hollow out.” Its derivatives illustrate the concept: KI.LA meant “excavation,” KI.MAH “tomb,” KI.IN.DAR “crevice, fissure.” In Sumerian astronomical texts the term KI was prefixed with the determinative MUL (“celestial body”). And thus when they spoke of mul.KI, they conveyed the meaning, “the celestial body that had been cleaved apart.”

By calling Earth KI, the Sumerians thus invoked their cosmogony—the tale of the Celestial Battle and the cleaving of Tiamat.

The intriguing fact is that over time (the Sumerian civilization was two thousand years old by the time Babylon arose) the pronunciation of the term ki changed to gi, or sometimes ge. It was so carried into the Akkadian and its linguistic branches (Babylonian, Assyrian, Hebrew), at all times retaining its geographic or topographic connotation as a cleavage, a ravine, a deep valley. Thus the biblical term that through Greek translations of the Bible is read Gehenna stems from the Hebrew Gai-Hinnom, the crevice-like narrow ravine outside Jerusalem named after Hinnom, where divine retribution shall befall the sinners via an erupting subterranean fire on Judgment Day.

We have been taught in school that the component geo in all the scientific terms applied to Earth sciences—geo-graphy, geo-metry, geo-logy, and so on—comes from the Greek Gaia (or Gaea), their name for the goddess of Earth. We were not taught where the Greeks picked up this term or what its real meaning was. The answer is, from the Sumerian KI or GI.

How did the Cleaved Planet look in the aftermath of the Celestial Battle, now orbiting as Gaia/Earth? On one side there were the firm lands that had formed the crust of Tiamat; on the other side there was a hollow, an immense cleft into which the waters of the erstwhile Tiamat must have poured. As Hesiod put it, Gaia (the half equivalent to Heaven) on one side “brought forth long hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs”; and on the other side “she bare Pontus, the fruitless deep with its raging swell.”

This is the same picture of the cleaved planet provided by the Book of Genesis:

And Elohim said,
“Let the waters under the heaven
be gathered together into one place,
and let the dry land appear.”
And it was so.
And Elohim called the dry land “Earth”
and the gathered-together water He called “Seas.”


Earth, the new Gaia, was taking shape.

Three thousand years separated Hesiod from the time when the Sumerian civilization had blossomed out; and it is clear that through those millennia ancient peoples, including the authors or compilers of the Book of Genesis, accepted the Sumerian cosmogony. Called nowadays “myth,” “legend,” or “religious beliefs,” in those previous millennia it was science—knowledge, the Sumerian asserted, bestowed by the Anunnaki.

Mr. Sitchin at this point explains what modern science has to say today. Then he continues:

Ever since the extensive probes of the Moon and Mars in the 1960s and 1970s, geophysicists have been puzzled by the paucity of the Earth’s crust. The crusts of the Moon and of Mars comprise 10 percent of their masses, but the Earth’s crust comprises less than one half or 1 percent of the Earth’s land mass. “…By analyzing shockwaves from earthquakes, they concluded that material that belongs in the crust has sunk down and lies some 250 miles below the Earth’s surface. There is enough crustal material there, these scientists estimated, to increase the thickness of the Earth’s crust tenfold. But even so, it would have given Earth a crust comprising no more than about 4 percent of its landmass… The theory still leaves unanswered the question of what force caused the crustal material, which is lighter than the mantle’s material, to “dive”—in the words of the report—hundreds of miles into the Earth’s interior…

Another abnormality of the Earth’s crust is that it is not uniform…

There are other differences between the Earth’s crust where the continents are and where the oceans are… (These queries are explained in Mr. Sitchin’s book).

He then continues:

Scientists are still hard put to explain the gap of about 500 million years between the age of the Earth (which meteor fragments, such as those found at Meteor Crater in Arizona, show to be 4.6 billion years) and the age of the oldest rocks thus far found; but no matter what the explanation, the fact that Earth had its continental crust at least 4 billion years ago is by now undisputed. On the other hand, no part of the oceanic crust has been found to be more than 200 million years old. …This is a tremendous difference that no amount of speculation about rising and sinking continents, forming and vanishing seas can explain.

Meteor Crater, Arizona, USA.

Meteor Crater, Arizona, USA.

The differences between the continental and oceanic crusts must have been even greater in earlier times, because the continental crust is constantly eroded by the forces of nature, and a good deal of the eroded solids are carried into the oceanic basins, increasing the thickness of the oceanic crust. Further more, the oceanic crust is constantly enhanced by the upwelling of molten basaltic rocks and silicates that flow up from the mantle through faults in the sea floor. This process, which puts down ever-new layers of oceanic crust, has been going on for 200 million years, giving the oceanic crust its present form. What was there at the bottom of the seas before then? Was there no crust at all, just a gaping “wound” in the Earth’s surface? And is the ongoing oceanic crust formation akin to the process of blood clotting, where the skin is pierced and wounded?

Is Gaia—a living planet—trying to heal her wounds?

The most obvious place of the surface of the Earth where it was so “wounded” is the Pacific Ocean…

What can be said with certainty is that the extent of the gouging was more extensive, affecting a vastly greater part of the planet’s surface. The Pacific Ocean at present occupies about a third of Earth’s surface; but (as far as can be ascertained for the past 200 millions years) it has been shrinking. The reason for the shrinkage is that the continents flanking it—the Americas on the east, Asia and Australia on the west—are moving closer to each other, squeezing out the Pacific slowly but relentlessly, reducing its size inch by inch year by year.

The science and explanations dealing with this process have come to be known as the Theory of Plate Tectonics…

The new science of plate tectonics, it is now generally recognized, owes its beginning to Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist… [1915]… Wegener came up with the notion of Pangaea—a supercontinent, a single huge landmass into which he could fit all the present continental masses like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Pangaea, which covered about one half of the globe, Wegener suggested, was surrounded by the primeval Pacific Ocean…

Mr. Sitchin explains the theories of the drift of the landmass, and then he continues:

How long has continental drift been going on? Was there a Pangaea?

…whether a superocean surrounded a single mass of dry land or bodies of water first stretched between several dry lands, is, in the words of Moorbath, like the chicken-and-the-egg argument: “Which came first, the continents or the oceans?”

Modern science thus confirms the scientific notions that were expressed in the ancient texts, but it cannot see far enough back to resolve the landmass/ocean sequence. If every modern scientific discovery seems to have corroborated this or that aspect of ancient knowledge, why not also accept the ancient answer in this instance: that the waters covered the face of the Earth and—on the third “day,” or phase—were “gathered into” one side of the Earth to reveal the dry land. Was the uncovered dry land made up of isolated continents or one supercontinent, a Pangaea? Although it really matters not as far as the corroboration of ancient knowledge is concerned, it is interesting to note that Greek notions of Earth, although they led to a belief that the Earth was disc-like rather than a globe, envisioned it as a landmass with a solid foundation surrounded by waters. This notion must have drawn on earlier and more accurate knowledge, as most of Greek science did…

In addition to the term Eretz which means both planet “Earth” and “earth, ground,” the narrative in Genesis employs the term Yabashah—literally, “the dried-out landmass”—when it states that the waters “were gathered together into one place” to let the Yabashah appear. But throughout the Old Testament another term, Tebel, is frequently used to denote that part of Earth that is habitable, arable, and useful to Mankind (including being a source of ores). The term Tebel—usually translated as either “the earth” or “the world”—is mostly employed to indicate the part of Earth distinct from its watery portions; the “foundations” of this Tebel were in juxtaposition to the sea basins. This was best expressed in the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:16 and Psalm 18:16).

With what we know today about the “foundations of the Earth,” the word Tebel clearly conveys the concept of continents whose foundations—tectonic plates—are laid in the midst of the waters. What a thrill to discover the latest geophysical theories echoed in a 3,000-year-old psalm!

Why is the crustal evidence that can be found not older than about 4 billion years, rather than the 4.6 billion years that is the presumed age of the Earth and the Solar System?… In the discussion of the origins of Earth’s atmosphere, the consensus was that it did not result from a “continuous outgassing” through volcanic activity but was (in the words of Raymond Siever of Harvard University) the result of “a rather early and rather large outgassing episode … a great big belch of the gases that are now characteristic of the Earth’s atmosphere and sediments.” This “big belch” was also dated to the same time as the catastrophe recorded by the rocks.

…the findings of modern science have corroborated the ancient knowledge. They have also led scientists from all disciplines to conclude that the only explanation of the way in which Earth’s landmasses, oceans and atmosphere have evolved is to assume a cataclysm occurring about four billion years ago—about half a billion years after the initial formation or Earth as part of the Solar System.

What was that cataclysm? Mankind has possessed the Sumerian answer for six thousand years: the Celestial Battle between Nibiru/Marduk and Tiamat.

In that Sumerian cosmogony, the members of the Solar System were depicted as celestial gods, male and female, whose creation was compared to birth, whose existence was that of living creatures.

"Mother Earth" viewed from space.

“Mother Earth” viewed from space.

For a long time this view of the planets, and especially of Tiamat, as living entities that could be born and could die has been dismissed as primitive paganism. But the exploration of the planetary system in recent decades has, in fact, revealed words for which the word “alive” has been repeatedly used. That Earth itself is a living planet  was forcefully put forth as the Gaia Hypothesis by James E. Lovelock in the 1970s (Gaia—A New Look at Life on Earth) and was most reinforced by him in The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth. It is a hypothesis that views the Earth and the life that has evolved upon it as a single organism; Earth is not just an inanimate globe upon which there is life; it is a coherent if complex body that is itself alive through its mass and land surface, its oceans and atmosphere, and through the flora and fauna which it sustains and in which turn sustain Earth. “The largest living creature on Earth,” Lovelock wrote, “is the Earth itself.” And in that he admitted, he was revisiting the ancient “concept of Mother Earth, or as the Greeks called her long ago, Gaia.”

But in fact he had gone back to Sumerian times, to their ancient knowledge of the planet that was cleaved apart.

Continue to Chapter 6: Witness to Genesis