Chapter One

"There, on a windswept plain in England about eighty miles southwest of London, circles of imposing megaliths form the most important prehistoric monument in the whole of Britain.... The multitudes that visit the site find that only some of the megaliths still remain standing, while others have collapsed to the ground or are somehow gone from the site. But scholars and researchers have been able to figure out the configuration of the circles-within-circles (which highlights the still-standing megaliths) and observe the wholes indicating where two other circles - of stones or perhaps wooden pegs - had once existed, in earlier phases of Stonehenge.

"....All the studies conclude that the alignments (of Stonehenge’s construction) served astronomical purposes, they were first oriented circa 2900 B.C., (give or take a century or so) to sunrise on the summer solstice day; and realigned circa 2000 B.C. and then again circa 1550 B.C. toward sunrise on summer solstice day in those times.

"One of the shortest yet most ferocious recent wars in the Middle East was the Six Day War of 1967, when the hemmed-in and besieged Israeli army defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria and captured the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River, and the Golan Heights. In the years that followed Israeli archaeologists conducted extensive archaeological surveys and excavations in all those areas, bringing to light settlements from nearly Neolithic times through biblical times to Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods. Yet nowhere was the surprise greater than on the sparsely inhabited and mostly empty plateau called the Golan Heights.

"....Virtually in the middle of nowhere, on the windswept plain (that had been used by the Israeli army for artillery practice), piles of stones arranged in circles turned out - when viewed from the air - to be a Near Eastern "Stonehenge."

Above: This Photo by permission of
Israeli UFO Research


Left: Byzantine Copper Coins found in the Golan Heights in the excavations

"Apart from its unique shape, this is by far one of the largest single stone structure in western Asia, so large in fact that it can be seen from space by Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

"Engineers who have studied the site estimated that, even in its present condition, it contains more than 125,000 cubic feet of stones weighing an aggregate of close to 45,000 tons. They estimated that it would have taken one hundred workmen at least six years to create this monument - collect the basalt stones, transport them to the site, place them according to a preconceived architectural plan, and raise the walls (undoubtedly taller than the now-visible remains) to form the cohesive complex structure.

"All of which raises the questions, by whom was this structure built, when, and for what?

After more discoveries about the orientation of the structure by the Israeli archaeologists, there were indications:

"....that the place was indeed, as Stonehenge in Britain, built to serve as an astronomical observatory (and primarily to determine the solstices) is reinforced by the existence of such observatories elsewhere - structures that are even more similar to the one on the Golan, for they feature not only concentric circles, but also the radial walls connecting the circles. What is amazing is that those similar structures are at ancient sites all the way on the other side of the world in the Americas.

"One is the Mayan site Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, nicknamed the Caracol ("Snail") on account of the winding stairs inside the observatory’s tower. Another is the circular observatory atop the promontory of Sacsahuaman in Peru that overlooks the Inca capital Cuzco; there as at Chichen Itza, there was probably a lookout tower; its foundations reveal the layout and astronomical alignments of the structure and clearly show the concentric circles and connecting radials.

"Such similarities were reason enough for the Israeli scientists to call in Dr. Anthony Aveni of the USA, an internationally acclaimed authority on ancient astronomies, especially those of the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas. His task was not only to confirm the astronomical orientations underlying the design of the Golan site, but also to help determine its age - and thus, in addition to the For What question, also answer the question When.

Above: El Caracol, Chichen Itza

Right: Sacsahuaman, Cuzco

More studies by Arthur Posnansky and Rolf Muller showed:

"....that in order to determine exactly the angle of Earth’s tilt - which indicates, when elevation and geographic position are taken into account, the structure’s age - it is essential to determine precisely where north is. It is thus undoubtedly significant that in the case of the Golan site, the researchers there found that the dominant and on clear days visible peak of Mount Hermon lies precisely north of the structure’s center. Dr. Aveni and his Israeli colleagues, Yonathan Mizrachi and Mattanyah Zohar, were thus able to determine that the site was so oriented as to enable an observer standing in its center and following a sight line through the center of the northeastern gateway, to see the Sun rise there on solstice day on a June dawn at about 3000 B.C.!

Mount Hermon


"By 2000 B.C., the scientists concluded, the Sun would have appeared to a similar observer noticeably off-center, but probably still within the gateway. Five hundred years later, the structure had lost its value as a precise astronomical observatory. It was, then, sometimes between 1500 and 1200 B.C. - as confirmed by carbon dating on small artifacts recovered there - that the central stone heap was enlarged to form a cairn - a stone mound under which a cavity has been dug out, probably to serve as a burial chamber.

"Uncannily, these phased dates are virtually identical to the dates assigned to the three phases of Stonehenge.

"....There was no coffin and no body, nor any other human or animal remains (in the presumed burial chamber at Golan’s structure) in either the chamber or antechamber. But the archaeologists did find, as a result of meticulous sifting of the soil, a few gold earrings, several beads made of carnelian semiprecious stone, flint blades, bronze arrowheads, and ceramic shards. They therefore concluded that indeed it was a burial chamber, but one that had been looted, probably in antiquity....

"....The finds have been dated to the period known as Late Bronze Age, which extended from about 1500 to 1200 B.C. That was the time frame of the Exodus of the Children of Israel to Egypt under the leadership of Moses, and the conquest of the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. Of the twelve tribes, the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh were alloted parts of Transjordan, from the River Arnon in the south of the foothills of Mount Hermon in the north. Those domains included the mountain range at Gilad east of the Jordan River and the plateau that is now the Golan. It was therefore perhaps unavoidable that Israeli researchers turned to the Bible for an answer to the question: Who?

"According to the books of Numbers and Joshua, the northern part of the Gilead mountains was ruled by a king called Og from his capital of Basham.... Og and all his men took the field against the Children of Israel.... Winning the battle, the Israelites captured sixty towns that were "fortified with high walls and gates and barriers, apart from a great number of unwalled towns." The enigmatic Golan site - was thus within the capabilities of the kingdoms in the time of King Og.

"Og, according to the Bible, was a big and stout man: "His iron bedstead is nine cubits long and four cubits wide" (equivalent to over thirteen feet and six feet, respectively). This giant size, the Bible hints, was due to his being a descendant of the Repha’im, a giant-like race of demigods who had once dwelt in that land. (Other giantlike descendants of the Repha’im including Goliath, are mentioned in the Bible as siding with the Phillistines at the time of David).

David and Goliath

"....The Biblical assertions that the area had once been the domain of the Repha’im and that Og was descended of them are quite intriguing, because we find the Repha’im and their offspring mentioned in Canaanite myths and epic tales. The texts, which clearly place the divine and semidivine actions and events in the area we are dealing with here, were written on clay tablets discovered in the 1930s at a coastal site in northern Syria whose ancient name was Ugarit. The texts describe a group of deities whose father was El ("God, the Lofty One") and whose affairs centered on El’s son Ba’al ("the Lord") and his sister Anat ("She who answers")....

"....Several of the discovered texts deal with such involvement on the part of the trio....

"....Another tale, The Legend of King Keret.... concerns the claim to immortality by Keret because of his divine descent, instead he falls ill, and his sons wonder aloud: "How could an offspring of El, the Merciful One, die? Shall a divine die?" Foreseeing the seemingly incredible death of a demigod, the sons envision not only the Peak of Zaphon, but also the Circuit of Broad Span lamenting for Keret:

For thee, father,
shall weep Zaphon, the Mount of Ba’al.
The sacred circuit, the mighty circuit, the circuit of broad span,
[for thee] shall lament.

"There is here, then, a reference to two highly venerated places that shall mourn the death of the demigod: Mount Zaphon, the Mount of Ba’al - and a renown sacred circular structure - "the sacred circuit, the mighty circuit, the circuit of broad span." If Mount Zaphon, the "Mount of the North," was Mount Hermon, which lies precisely north of the Golan site, was then the Sacred Circuit the enigmatic Golan site?

"....But being only a demigod, Keret in the end did die. Was he then the one buried in the tomb within "the sacred circuit, the mighty circuit, the circuit of broad span"? Though the Canaanite texts give no chronological hint, it is evident that they relate events from the Bronze Age - a time frame that could well fit the date of the artifacts discovered in the Golan site’s tomb.

"Whether or not any of those legendary rulers ended up being buried at the Golan site, we may never know for sure.... archaeologists, they are, however, certain ( based on structural features and various dating techniques) that the construction of the "henge" - concentric walls of what we might dub Star Stones because of the astronomical function - preceded by 1,000 to 1,500 years, the addition of the cairn and its burial chambers.

"As at Stonehenge and other megalithic sites, so too regarding the Golan site, the enigma of who built them is only intensified by establishing their age an determining that an advanced knowledge of astronomy underlay their orientations. Unless they were the divine beings themselves, who was there capable of the feat - circa 3000 B.C. in the case of the Golan site?

"In 3000 B.C. there was in western Asia only one civilization high enough, sophisticated enough, and with an extraordinary astronomical knowledge, capable of planning, orienting astronomically, and carrying out the kind of major structures here considered: the Sumerian civilization.... accounted for virtually all the "firsts" of what we deem essential to a high civilization.... Their calendar, still in use as the Jewish calendar, was inaugurated in a city called Nippur in 3760 B.C. - embracing all the sophisticated knowledge required for the structures we are discussing.

"It was a civilization that preceded that of Egypt.... Indus Valley.... Babylonians.... Assyrians.... Hittites.... Elamites.... Cannanites and Phoenicians....

"Did the Sumerians venture as far as the Golan Heights?  Undoubtedly, for their kings and their merchants went westward toward the Mediterranean Sea.... the Persian Gulf.... When Ur became their capital their merchants were familiar in all parts of the Near East....

Mr. Sitchin at this point recounts the legend of King Gilgamesh, which the reader may view from previous writings HERE

"One of the most recounted episodes in the King’s adventures has been the incident in which he encountered two ferocious lions, fought them off, and killed them with his bare hands.... it was a totally unexpected discovery to find at a site near the concentric circles, a stone slab with such a depiction....

"....While the textual references and the depiction on the stone slab do not constitute conclusive evidence that Gilgamesh reached the site on his journey to the Cedar Mountains of Lebanon, there is one more intriguing clue to be considered. After the site was identified from the air, the Israeli archaeologists discovered that it was marked on (captured) Syrian army maps by the name Rugum el-Hiri - a most puzzling name, for it meant in Arabic "Stone heap of the bobcat."

"The explanation for the puzzling name, we suggest, may well lie in the Epic of Gilgamesh, reflecting a memory of the King Who Fought the Lions.

"And we shall see, that is just the beginning of intricate and intertwined associations.


Chapter Two

"Scholars have long recognized that in the lore of diverse nations the same theme, the same basic tale, appears and reappears though under different guises, names, and localities. It is thus perhaps no wonder that the carved basalt stone on which Gilgamesh is depicted fighting with the lions was discovered near a village bearing the name Eim Samsum - "Samsom’s Spring." For, it will be recalled, Samsom, also fought and killed a lion with his bare hands. That was some two thousand years after Gilgamesh, and certainly not on the Golan Heights. Is the village’s name, then, just a coincidence, or the lingering memory of a visitor called Gilgamesh becoming Samsom?

"Of greater significance is the association with King Keret.... it is presumed by many (e.g. Cyrus H. Gordon Notes on the Legend of Keret) that the combined name for the king and his capital in fact identified the island of Crete. There, according to Cretan and Greek legends.... the god Zeus saw Europa, the beautiful daughter of a king of Phoenicia.... and taking the form of a bull, abducted her.... he had three sons by her, among them Minos.... He (Minos) appealed to Poseidon, god of the seas, to bestow upon him a sign of divine favor.... Poseidon made a Divine Bull.... Minos vowed to offer the beautiful bull as a sacrifice to the god.... but instead he kept it to himself.... the god made the king’s wife fall in love and mate with the bull.... the legendary Minotaur was the offspring.... Minos then commissioned the divine craftsman Daedalus to build in the Cretan capital Knossos an underground maze from which the bull-man would be unable to escape. The maze was called the Labyrinth.

"....It certainly resembles the layout of the Golan site and it calls for going back to the Epic of Gilgamesh for the hero’s encounter with the Bull of Heaven.

The reader may go back to the second book The Stairway to Heaven and read about the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Mr. Sitchin continues:

"What was the Bull of Heaven - GUD.ANNA in Sumerian? Many students of the Epic.... have come to the conclusion that the Epic’s events, taking place on Earth, are but a mirror image of events taking place in Heaven. Utu/Shamash is the Sun, Inanna/Ishtar is what she was later called in Greek and Roman times - Venus. The menacing guardian of the Cedar Mountains with a face of a lion is the constellation of Leo (the Lion), and the Bull of Heaven the celestial group of stars that has been called - since Sumerian times! - the constellation of the Bull (Taurus).

"....The Sumerian zodiacal lists began with Taurus, which was indeed the constellation from which the Sun was observed rising at dawn on the day of spring equinox in the fourth millennium B.C. It was called in sumerian GUD.ANNA ("Bull of Heaven" or "Heavenly Bull") - the very same term used in the Epic of Gilgamesh for the divine creature that Inanna/Ishtar had summoned from the heavens and that the two comrades slew.

"Did the slaying represent or symbolize an actual celestial event, circa 2900 B.C.? While the possibility cannot be ruled out, the historical record indicates that major events and changes did occur on Earth at that time; and the "slaying" of the Bull of Heaven represented an omen, a heavenly omen, predicting or even triggering events on Earth.

"For the better part of the fourth millennium B.C. the Sumerian civilization was not only the greatest on Earth, but also the only one. But circa 3100 B.C. the civilization of the Nile (Egypt and Nubia) joined the one of the Euphrates-Tigris Rivers.... Egyptian celestial-zodiacal depictions indeed associated the beginning of their civilization with the cutting off of the forepart of the constellation of the Bull.

"As we have detailed in The Wars of Gods and Men, Inanna/Ishtar had expected at that time to become mistress of the new civilization, but it was - literally and symbolically - torn away from her. She was partly appeased when a third civilization, that of the Indus Valley, was put under her aegis, circa 2900 B.C.

"....A thousand years after the probable stay of Gilgamesh at the Golan site, it was visited by another ancient VIP who also saw Fate written in the zodiacal constellations. He was Jacob, the grandson of Abraham; and the time, by our calculations, was about 1900 B.C.

"A question that is often ignored regarding the megalithic structures around the globe is, Why have they been constructed where they are....? The great pyramids of Giza, we have suggested in our writings,

served as anchors for a Landing Corridor leading to a spaceport in the Sinai peninsula.... all on the thirtieth parallel north.... Stonehenge.... was erected where it is because it is precisely there that its astronomical functions could combine both solar and lunar observations.... the Golan Circles connected two major international routes, the King’s Highway (click image left) and the Way of the Sea (click image right)

The two routes connected Mesopotamia and Egypt, Asia and Africa. At the Golan site, the crossing could be made on either side of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinnereth); the preferred one - then and now - is the one on the north, where the bridge has retained its ancient name: The Bridge of the Daughters of Jacob.

"Based on biblical and Mesopotamian data, we believe that this was what Jacob had used the site for.

"The story began two centuries earlier, in Sumer, and it began not with Jacob’s grandfather Abraham but with Jacob’s great -grandfather, Terah.... The family’s care to be known as Ibri (Hebrew) people suggests to us that they considered themselves to be Nippurians - people from the city Nippur that in Sumerian was rendered NI.IBRU - "The Beautiful/Pleasant Abode of Crossing."

"....Circa 2100 B.C. Terah was transferred to Ur.... and then to a distant city called Harran. Situated on the Upper Euphrates and its tributaries, the city served as major crossroads and trading post (which its name, meaning the Caravancy, indicated).... And it was there that Terah died when he was 205 years old.

"It was after that that God said unto Abram: "Get thee out of thy country, and out of thy birthplace, and from thy father’s dwelling place, unto the land that I will show thee. And Abram took Sarai his wife.... Lot.... his nephew.... and all the people in their household, and all of their belongings, and went to the land of Canaan....

"Acting on divine instructions, Abram moved quickly in Canaan to establish a base in the Negev.... On a visit to Egypt he was received in the Pharaoh’s court.... when back in Canaan he played a role in an international conflict.... It was after that that God promised Abram a son.... but Sarai remained barren....

"....At her suggestion, her handmaiden, Hagar, bore Abram a son, Ishmael.... After the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah when the couple’s names were changed to Abraham and Sarah, Abraham then aged one hundred, had a son by his wife.... Isaac. Though not the first born, was the Legitimate Heir under the Sumerian succession rules that the Patriarch followed, for he was a son of his father’s half sister, "the daughter of my father but not of my mother," Abraham said of Sarah (Genesis 20:12).

"It was after the death of Sarah.... that Abraham.... (137 years by our calculations) became concerned about his unmarried son Isaac. Fearing that Isaac would end up marrying a Canaanite, he sent the overseer of his household to Harran, to find there a bride for Isaac from among the relatives that had remained there. Arriving at the dwelling village of Nahor, he met at the watering well Rebecca, who turned out to be Nahor’s graddaughter and ended up going to Canaan to become Isaac’s wife.

"Twenty years after they got married Rebecca gave birth to twins, Esau and Jacob.

Rebecca at the Well

"Esau was first to get married, taking two wives right off, both of them Hittite lasses: "They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebecca...." So Isaac called Jacob and instructed him to go to Harran, to his mother’s family, to find there a bride.

"....The Bible reports only one episode (of Jacob’s journey) - though a very significant one. It was the nighttime vision by Jacob.... of a stairway to heaven on which Angels of the Lord were ascending and descending. Awakened, Jacob realized that he had come upon "a place of the Elohim and a gateway to heaven." He marked the place by setting up a commemorative stone, and named the site Beth-El - "The House of El," the Lord. And then, by a route that is not stated, he continued to Harran.

"On the city’s outskirts he saw shepherds gathering with their flocks at a well in the fields.... Jacob met Rachel, Laban’s daughter who invited him to stay and meet his other daughter, the older Leah.... but Jacob fell in love with Rachel and offered to work for seven years in lieu of a dowry.... But on the night of the wedding, after the banquet, Laban substituted Leah for Rachel in the bridal bed.

"When Jacob discovered the bride’s identity.... Laban said, here, we do not marry off the younger daughter before her elder sister, why don’t you work another seven years for me and then marry Rachel too?

Jacob did, he married Rachel and he was very successful in the fields but this attracted the envy of Laban’s sons.

"And so it was, when Laban and his sons were away to sheer their flocks of sheep, that Jacob gathered his wives and children and flocks and fled Harran. "And he crossed the river" - "the Euphrates" - and set his course toward the mount of Gile’ad."

"On the third day it was told to Laban that Jacob had escaped.... after seven days he caught up with him at the mount of Gilead."

"....Gilad - "The Everlasting Stone Heap" in Hebrew - the site of the circular observatory in the Golan!

"The encounter started with bitter exchanges and reciprocal accusations. It ended with a peace treaty.... Jacob selected a stone and erected it to be a Witnessing Pillar, to mark the boundary beyond which Laban would not cross into Jacob’s domains nor would Jacob cross to Laban’s domains. Such boundaries stones, called Kudurru in Akkadian because of their rounded tops, have been discovered at various Near Eastern sites.

"....How certain can we be that the place was that of the Golan circle’s site? Here, we believe, is the convincing final clue: In his oath of treaty, Jacob also described the site as Ha-Mitzpeh - The Observatory!

"The Book of Jubilees, an extrabiblical book that recounted the biblical tales from varied early sources, added a postcript to the recorded event: "And Jacob made here a heap for a witness, wherefore the name for the place is called ’The Heap of Witness’; but before they used to call the land of Gilead the Land of the Repha’im."

"And thus we are back to the enigmatic Golan site and its nickname Gilgal Repha’im.

"The Kudurru boundary stones that have been found in the Near East bore, as a rule, not just the terms of the agreement and the names of the gods invoked as its guarantors, but also the god’s celestial symbols - sometimes of the zodiacal constellations - all twelve of them....

"....While not all the symbols depicting the twelve zodiacal constellations have survived from Sumerian times, or even Babylonian times, they have been found on Egyptian monuments, in identical depictions and names.

"Should any one doubt that Abraham, a son of the astronomer-priest Terah, was aware of the twelve zodiacal-houses when God told him to observe the skies and see therein the future....? When his first son was born by the handmaiden Hagar, God blessed the boy Ishmael ("By God Heard"), by this prophecy:

As for Ishmael:
Indeed I have heard him.
By this do I bless him:
I will make him fruitful
and I will multiply him exceedingly;
Of him twelve chieftans will be born,
his shall be a great nation.
Genesis 17:20

"With that prophetic blessing, linked to the starry heavens as observed by Abraham, does the Bible for the first time record the number twelve and its significance. It then relates (Genesis 25) that Ishmael’s sons - each a chief of a tribal state - indeed numbered twelve.

"....The next time the Bible employs the number twelve is in listing Jacob’s twelve sons at the time when he was back at his father’s estate in Hebron.... Listing them by the names that later became familiar as names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel....

Mr. Sitchin gives more examples from biblical source of the importance of the number twelve and the relationship with the zodiacal symbols, as with Joseph’ s dreams, and the blessing of the twelve sons of Jacob.

"Archaeologists excavating the remains of Jewish synagogues in the Holy Land are sometimes puzzled to find the floors of such synagogues decorated with the zodiacal circle of twelve constellations depicted by their traditional symbols. They tend to view the finds as aberrations from Greek and Roman influences in the centuries before Christianity. Such an attitude, stemming from the belief that the practice was prohibited by the Old Testament, ignores the historical record - the Hebrews’ familiarity with the zodiacal constellations and their association with predictions of the future - with Fate.

"For generations and to this day, one can hear cries of Mazal-tov! Mazal-tov! at Jewish weddings or when a boy is circumcised. Ask anyone what it means, and the answer will be "Good Luck," let the couple or boy have good luck with them.

"Few realize, however, that though that is what is intended, that is not what the phrase means. Mazal-tov literally means "a good /favorable zodiacal constellation."

"....The observation of the heavens for fateful indications, a task performed by a corps of astronomers-priests, assumed a key role in Babylonian times....

"....Today’s horoscopic astrology’s roots go back well beyond the Babylonians, the "Chaldeans" of Greek reports. Coupled with the twelve-month calendar, the notion that Fate and the Zodiac are two aspects of the same course of events undoubtedly began at least when the calendar began - in Nippur, in 3760 B.C. (which is when the count of the Jewish calendar began). That such an association can be gleaned, in our opinion, from one of the Sumerian constellation names, that of ZI.BA.AN.NA. The term, understood to mean "Heavenly Fate" literally means "Life-Decision in the heavens" as well as "The Heavenly Scales of Life...." In the Papyrus of Ani, the god Anubis is shown weighing the heart (Day of Judgment) in a balance and the god Thoth, the Divine Scribe recording the result on a pallet.

"An unsolved puzzle in Jewish traditions is why the biblical Lord had chosen the seventh month, Tishrei, as the month in which the Hebrew New Year was to begin.... We believe that the crucial clue is the calendrical link with the zodiac. At the time of the Exodus (mid-second millennium B.C.) the first constellation, that of the spring equinox, was Aries, not Taurus anymore. And starting with Aries, the constellation of the Heavenly Scales of Life was indeed the seventh. The month in which the Jewish New Year was to begin, the month in which it would be decided in heaven who is to live and who is to die, who is to be healthy or to be sick, to be richer or poorer, happy or unhappy - was the month that paralleled the zodiacal month of the Celestial Scales.

"And in the heavens, Fate had twelve stations."