The Sumerians were among the earliest civilization of the world. They lived in the southern of Mesopotamia. Also, the Sumer was among the early civilization with Egypt and Indus Valley Civilization. The Sumerians were famous for their advances in ancient technology, writing, art, architecture, and math. Like the Egyptian, the Sumerians worshiped many gods. According to the Sumerian belief, the human lived along with the gods and humans were the servants of gods.
“When in the height heaven was not named”
The world creation of the Sumerian came from a tablet in Nippur, an ancient Mesopotamian city. It was the creation of Earth (Enuma Elish). The beginning of the Sumerian belief read like this:
When in the height heaven was not named,
And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
And the primeval Apsu, who begat them,
Chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both
Their waters mingled together,
And no field formed, no marsh was to be seen;
When of the gods none had been called into being,
And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained;
Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven,
Lahmu and Lahamu were called into being…
Like many mythologies and tales about world creation, in the beginning, the world was nothing but a mess without a trace of living. The human-like gods ruled over the land that we call Earth now. They came to Earth and started to fertilize this plot of land. There was abundance of work that they should do to create world of their preference. The gods toiled and dug the land, making it habitable.
The text even mentioned the hardship of this world creation process:
When the gods like men
Bore the work and suffered the toll
The toil of the gods was great,
The work was heavy, the distress was much.
“You have slaughtered a god together”
Anu the highest god or the supreme god agreed that there was too much of the work for gods. Enki, his son, proposed to create the man to share the burden with gods. And he did manage to create the men. A god sacrificed his death to mix with clay. From the blood, flesh, and clay, the first human came to life. They resembled the appearance of god.
You have slaughtered a god together
With his personality
I have removed your heavy work
I have imposed your toil on man.
In the clay, god and man
Shall be bound,
To a unity brought together;
So that to the end of days
The Flesh and the Soul
Which in a god have ripened –
That soul in a blood-kinship be bound.
So the first man came into life in Eden which was a Sumerian word for “flat terrain”. In ancient text, Edan was the garden of gods and it lay somewhere Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Right from the start, the human couldn’t produce their offspring. But with the help of Enki and Ninki the Goddess, they could. Accordingly, Adapa was the next generation with full function and as an independant human. However, the brother of Enki, Enlil didn’t agree with this modification. Then there came the conflict between gods. Then Enlil became the haters of human. The Sumerian belief said that human had to serve the gods and they suffered a lot of difficulties.