Now that I’ve posed the question as to the authenticity of Necronomicon gatewalking in terms of the ancient Mesopotamians, it’s time to move toward an answer.
My research skills have gotten better over the years, and one surprising find I made recently was Wayne Horowitz’s Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, published in 1998 by Eisenbrauns. I highly recommend this work on the cosmology of the Mesopotamians, with new translations of key texts describing the worldview of these ancient civilizations.
What makes Horowitz’s book so useful for our purposes is its devotion of an entire chapter to a possible seven-layered Mesopotamian heaven and earth. A key passage:
A tradition of seven heavens and seven earths was popular in the Near East during the later part of the first millennium B.C.E. and the first millennium C.E. …. There is, however, no evidence to prove a direct connection between these later Hebrew and Arabic cosmographies and a possible Sumerian tradition of seven heavens and earths.
In the rest of the book, Horowitz does an excellent job, by examining such classic works as the Enuma Elish and the Myth of Etana, of showing the various visions of the Mesopotamian cosmos. These often vary in some particulars, but all of them contradict the vision of a cosmos with seven layers.
So, where might this cosmology be found? We’ll look at that next time.