In recent years there has been an explosion of books and documentaries that claim that various ancient people from around the world were the Biblical Nephilim. This subject has become so popular that it serves as the foundation for entire media studios and publication companies, and more often than not the Tall Ones from ancient America are cited as evidence. In this post I am going to weigh in on the subject of the Nephilim. In addition to being an “avocational” student of archaeology, I am also a Biblical scholar, and I incorporate the apocrypha and Book of Enoch into my studies. My intention with this entry is to combine these aspects of my intellectual pursuits with archaeology to provide some clarity on this issue for people who actually want the facts.
Based upon the descriptions in the Biblical and extra-Biblical texts, as well as the archaeological information available for the cultures of the ancient East, which would have had the Nephilim among them, there are specific settlement patterns and cultural practices that should be prolific in the archaeological record if an ancient people were associated with the Nephilim as Sumerian or Canaanite colonists:
1. Large cities of the sort that leave permanent (and ugly) footprints in the natural sphere. Think ancient Sumerian tells and northern Mesopotamian walled cities like Jericho.
2. At the very least, Bronze and Iron Age technology, weapons and armor. This should be dramatic and pronounced. There should be hundreds of instances of defensive and offensive metallic Bronze and Iron weapons. One or two possible instances of diminutive importance (even of they were found at some point) still would not represent supportive evidence of a full blown colonization.
3. Permanent subsistence and sedentary patterns of lifestyle. In all likelihood, there should be extensive evidence of farming, including lots of livestock and wheat.
4. Evidence of cannibalism as a recurrent social practice (limited evidence from one or two sites does not equate to sufficient evidence).
5. Palace economies ruled over by specific royal lineages, which record their names and genealogies for posterity.
6. Prolific writing.
Just based upon these six criteria alone, the Late Archaic and Adena-Hopewell cultures of North America are ruled out. Some may dispute this with the claim that the cultural patterns need not be similar. However, a review of the Enochian and Biblical texts actually makes it very clear that indeed, all of the cultural features associated with the Nephilim accompanied both of their major appearances in the earthly sphere (pre and post flood).
The presence of gigantic skeletons in and of themselves does not mean by proxy that the individuals they belonged to were the Nephilim. Using the range mentioned in the scripture, the Biblical Nephilim of Bronze and Iron Age times were between 8.5 and 16 feet tall (See Og, Gloiath). In another instance they were described as "tall as the Cedars of Lebanon". The Tall Ones in North America were usually between 7 and 8 feet, with a very few reaching the 8-9 feet range. All of the reports of fossilized 18 footers and above have been proven frauds. Also, some of the Biblical Nephilim possessed 6 fingers and toes on their hands and feet. There has never been a scientifically documented instance of this skeletal feature from Adena or Hopewell mounds in the Ohio Valley or from the Late Archaic tombs of the Northeast. Although such features have been documented among some populations in other regions of North America, its absence from the Adena population is particularly noteworthy, considering more very large skeletons have been recovered from the mounds of the Adena Culture of the Ohio Valley than the tombs of any other North American group.
It should also be pointed out that the Tall Ones in North American lived and died like human beings. Many of them were under 50 years of age, and several of the large skeletons have been aged to between 20 and 30 years old. Their diet included fish, white tailed deer, squash, some corn, and gourde. Their technology was copper age and until around 700 A.D. they lived like hunter-gatherers. The Mississippian Culture (900—1600 A.D.) represents the first emergence of large permanent settlement patterns in the region and the initial appearance of chiefly lineages. I leave it up to the individual to decide if this sounds like a race of half-human demigods who had the secret of genetic manipulation via advanced technology, as some have inferred.
If there were any type of Canaanite or European colonization, which produced certain cultures, and the Tall ones in North America, then there should be a plethora of genetic markers. Considering the sheer number of large skeletons from the Adena mounds alone, the colonists from the Promised Land would have had to interbreed so extensively with the local population that their genes would be impossible to hide in both ancient and modern North Americans. The genetic evidence would be virtually impossible to conceal.
Some have taken to identifying Native American haplogroup X2 as the evidence that the Nephilim (as Canaanites or Indo-Europeans) colonized North America, since X2 appears in some ancient North American skeletons and also in the Near East and Western Europe, but not in the far Eastern region of Europe. However, the American variant of haplogroup X2 is not the same as the X-type in the Old World regions. It is a distinct mutation that is only found in America. Also, it has been found in human remains dating back as far as 9,000 to 11,000 years ago near the Pacific Coast. This indicates that it certainly did not arrive in the Americas with a colonization of Canaanites or Europeans between 2500 and 1500 BC, as some very popular theories have it.
Finally, the Tall Ones were a part of the ancestry of at least 6 large segments of the North American population, and haplogroup X has not been detected in even half of these.
The cultural, anthropological, and genetic evidence do not support the theory that the North American giants were the Nephilim. Perhaps it is time to look beyond concepts such as the Nephilim and “ancient astronauts” to explain the origins of the large physical types from ancient North America, as well as other mysteries from the ancient world. It is likely that the hyper-sensationalized nature of much of the output on the subject of the Tall Ones has served to increase ignorance of the fascinating reality behind this ancient mystery.
There are several popular myths about the mound builders that are easily dispelled. For example, I was recently approached by a reader who brought my attention to the fact that a popular personality had made the statement that the Newark Earthworks in Ohio were protected by a demonic spell cast by the Nephilim. In reality, the earthworks of the Hopewell Culture (who built Newark) have been destroyed by bulldozers, dynamite, and the spade and trowel since the 1800s. The same source claimed that the ancestors of the Indians did not build sites like the Newark earthworks. Again, this is completely untrue--the Indians were witnessed building mounds and earthwork enclosures first hand following European contact.
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 08-Mar-18 06:35 by Jason Jarrell.
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