Sumer, the Constellations
and Draco the Dragon

It seems we can thank the ancient Sumerians for our constellations and the zodiac.  Hugh Thurston described three scientific methods by which the date and latitude at which the original 48 constellations were established can be determined, in a book, 'Early Astronomy' (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1994) p. 135-137.   All three methods indicate, independently, that the heavens were divided up into constellations by a people who lived at a latitude of 36 degrees roughly 5000 years ago.  This is summarized in an article by John P. Pratt, 'Scientifically Dating the Constellations':


The most compelling of the three arguments concerns an "empty" part of the sky in the southern hemisphere which is devoid of any of the original 48 constellations.

From Pratt's article:

The Empty Part of the sky.   There is a circle of about 36° radius in the southern part of the sky which does not contain any of the original 48 constellations. That implies that the originators of the constellations lived at about 36° north latitude because at that location, exactly such an area of southern sky would be invisible to them. Moreover, the center of that circle moves very slowly through the sky because of the motion of the earth's axis. The location of the center of the empty part of the sky implies an origin date of about 2900 B.C.

As Pratt points out, 36° is too far north to have been Egypt, and too far south to indicate the Greeks. It is exactly the latitude at which Sumer lied.  Sumer is widely thought to have been one of, if not the, earliest civilizations and the Babylonians inherited much of their science from the Sumerians.

When the ancient Sumerian astronomers looked at the center of the northern night sky, they saw what they decided was a mythical serpent, a dragon, around which the other constellations appeared to revolve.   This is the constellation 'Draco'.

The incredible thing about Draco is that it doesn't appear quite at what would have been the northernmost point in the sky at the time the Sumerian culture was thriving.   It lies at true theoretical north, within a circle traced by the earth's axis over thousands of years as it slowly wobbles.

The North Star is presently Polaris, but a few thousand years ago it was Thuban.  It will change again as the earth's axis slowly continues to shift.   This wobbling of the earth causes what is known as the 'precession of the ages', from the age of Taurus when the Sumerians, Akkadians and Egyptians thrived, to the biblical age of Aries, to Pieces (the age we are in now), and next to the age of Aquarius, which we will enter around the year 2150.  Draco the dragon creates an 'S' shape within a circle traced by earth's axis as it precedes through the zodiac, the entire cycle of which takes around 26,000 years.   Incredibly, the ancient Sumerians apparently understood all of this.

What evolved in Sumer that was so successful and became so ubiquitous was a hierarchical (pyramid-shaped) societal structure whereby a small group of elite priests and kings ruled over the rest of the populace.  These ruling priest-kings claimed descendency from the gods and propogated myths to support their claim, thereby insuring for themselves and their progeny a secure place at the top of society.
Just as the dragon ruled the heavens, these priest-kings adopted the dragon as a mark of their own royal status.  This concept, along with other hallmarks of Sumerian culture, notably the idea of an elite embued with a divine right to rule, spread - to the Indus Valley and from there to China, to Egypt and to the Levant (modern Israel-Lebanon-Syria) and northern Mesopotamia, to places as far flung as Ireland (although Michael Tsarion apparently believes that the Sumerians inherited their dragon-culture from the Irish), and eventually to Anatolia (modern Turkey), Thrace, Greece, and the Black Sea region.  One major branch on this tree appears to have migrated northwest from the Black Sea into Germania and Scandinavia giving us such conquering tribes as the Franks and the Vikings, while another group went east as far as Mongolia (where they were known as the Xiongnu) before turning back and pushing west into Europe as the Huns.  A third branch on this tree appears to have spread from Egypt to Greece and to the Levant, a sub-branch of which being the Israelites.  There is plentiful evidence for all this, the clues are strewn about in all sorts of literature, myths, artifact finds and even in names printed on old maps.

Fleet st. dragon
Dragon statue on Fleet Street
One of the of the most discernable of these clues is the dragon itself.  The Vikings decorated the bows of their ships with dragons.  In Norse mythology Sigund gains knowlege from eating the heart of a dragon.  While the plundering Huns left little evidence of their culture behind, the Xiongnu who appeared along their anscestral line venerated the dragon and a powerful family among them were the Liu, a number of whom show up early in the available genealogy charts of Hunnic kings.  The name Liu meant dragon in the  Xiongnu tongue (which is confirmed by the fact that the word for dragon in Japan is 'Ryu' - 'L' and 'R' being equivalent in Japanese). 

Sigismund, a Holy Roman Emperor and long reigning king of Hungary had his own Order of the Dragon for his most venerated knights, and many European family coats of arms display dragons or griffins.  Dragons fill the Greek myths as well as many Medieval legends, as do sea-serpents and mermaids which are simply a variant on this same theme.  Clovis, the first king of the Merovingian Franks (the subject of 'The D'aVinci Code') claimed descent from a sea-monster.  One of the primary gods in the pantheons of the Amorites and other early pagan civilizations which thrived around Ugarit and Phoenicia thousands of years ago was 'Dagon'.  The Egyptians meanwhile annointed their Pharoahs with the oil of a holy crocodile called the 'messeh', which is probably where our word messiah comes from.  In Asia, the dragon was long the symbol of the Chinese emperial throne, and the mausoleam in Nikko of Tokugawa Ieyasu who united Japan is awash in dragon images.  The red cross featured on the Templar banner and the flag of England is named for St. George the dragon-slayer, the current British Pound coin displays a dragon, and in London's financial center, smack dab in the middle of Fleet Street near the Crown Temple Church (built by the Templar knights) stands a large statue of a dragon.  Dragons are, if you care to look, literally everywhere.

Sumer, the Constellations and Draco the Dragon

Why is any of this relevant??? - part 1,
'Kick-off' 2001

Why is any of this relevant? - part 2,
The heritage of the ruling elite - 5000 Years Old???

Ancestral Roots of the Vikings

The Huns

The Huns: Addendum

The Tribe of Dan

The Franks


Melissena: Addendum