Mining is one of the oldest activities practised by man, the oldest traces of the activity dating back more than 40 000 years.
The exact origin of the occupation, in terms of when and where mining started, is not known and it is this uncertainty that has led to a number of theories on the origins of the activity flourishing.
While most theories are fairly educated assumptions based on archaeological evidence, there are a number of more fascinating theories that border on the realms of science fiction.
One of the most popular alternative theories suggests that mining was first undertaken some 400 000 years ago by the Anunnaki, a race of alien miners who hailed from the planet Nibiru and who, incidentally, are also credited with the creation of the human species on earth.
This theory has largely been expounded by Azerbaijani-born American author and self-proclaimed scholar of ancient languages Zecharia Sitchin, who wrote a number of controversial books proposing an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts.
The most popular of these books, which deals extensively with the subject of the origins of mining and the creation of mankind, is The 12th Planet, first published in 1976. Sitchin’s theory on the origins of mining and of mankind itself, which he states is based on ancient Sumerian texts, largely goes as follows:
according to the ancient Sumerian texts, a twelfth member of our solar system (if one is to include the sun, the moon and the dwarf planet Pluto, as well as the eight planets) exists – a planet called Nibiru, or ‘Planet of the Crossing’. This planet has an independent elongated elliptical orbit which passes through the planets Mars and Jupiter every 3 600 years.
It was from this planet that the advanced civilisation of the Anunnaki, a term that literally means ‘those who from heaven to earth came’, came to earth some 445 000 years ago.
Their visit to earth was no tourist expedition: the Anunnaki came specifically to exploit the planet’s extensive gold resource.
Sitchin states: “On their planet Nibiru, the Anunnaki were facing a situation we on earth may also soon face – ecological deterioration was making life increasingly impossible. “There was a need to protect their dwindling atmosphere, and the only solution seemed to suspend gold particles above it, as a shield.”
However, gold was an exceptionally rare metal on Nibiru and so it was decided to exploit the earth’s more abundant gold resource. Thus, the Anunnaki “launched Mission Earth to obtain it”.
Sitchin goes on to explain that at first the Anunnaki tried to obtain the precious metal effortlessly from the waters of the Persian Gulf. But, as is well known, the extraction of the earth’s natural resources cannot be achieved without significant time and effort. Thus, when Operation Persian Gulf failed, the Anunnaki embarked on toilsome mining operations in Southern Africa, a region that was known to be host to extensive gold deposits.
For many thousands of years, the Anunnaki exploited the rich gold deposits in what is today South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.
However, some 300 000 years ago, the Anunnaki assigned to the African mines mutinied over their dissatisfaction with their working conditions (Sound familiar?).
The Anunnaki were still in desperate need of gold so, in order to circumvent the dissatisfaction of the miners, it was decided to create a breed of miners who would effectively be slave workers on the Southern African gold mines. Sitchin states: “It was then that the chief scientist (Enki) and the chief medical officer (Ninhursag) of the Anunnaki used genetic manipulation and in vitro fertilisation techniques to create ‘primitive workers’ – the first Homo Sapiens – to take over the back-breaking toil in the gold mines.”
According to Sitchin, Homo sapiens were made in the image or likeness of the Anunnaki, although it was not an achievement that resulted overnight. Working in a creation chamber, the ‘essence’ of the blood of a young Anunnaki male was mixed with the egg of an earth-born female hominid. The fertilised egg was then implanted into the womb of a female Anunnaki in a process similar to modern day in vitro fertilisation. Through trial and error, Enki’s desired result was reached. Once perfected, the mass production of Homo sapiens took off.
However, ‘production’ of Homo sapiens could not continue indefinitely and this new breed of primitive man was given the ability to procreate. Eventually, this new breed became so numerous that some were expelled from the Anunnaki city centres and gradually spread over the planet.
According to Sitchin, the Anunnaki eventually decided to leave the earth some 6 000 years ago. He states that ancient Sumerian inscriptions report that the human civilisation in Sumer, Mesopotamia, was set up under the guidance of the Annunaki ‘gods’, and human kingship was inaugurated to provide intermediaries between mankind and the Anunnaki.
While Sitchin’s theories may be considered incredibly far-fetched and one may scoff at the idea that Homo sapiens were genetically engineered by aliens to mine gold to support the atmosphere of a far distant planet, his books have nevertheless sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.
I have come across increasing numbers of people who subscribe to this alternative theory and it need only be said that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
(The quotes used above have been taken from Sitchin’s book, Genesis Revisited.)