The Seven Sages or Apkallu were of human descent, created by the god Ea (Enki) to instil wisdom, social conventions, and craftsmanship in society. They were especially known to be the authors of texts on omens, magic, and ancient wisdom. They were considered the protectors of mankind against demons and disease. The legendary Seven Sages purportedly existed before the Flood and were entrusted with antediluvian (pre-Flood) wisdom; they were responsible for laying the foundations of the seven ancient cities of Eridu, Ur, Nippur, Kullab, Kesh, Lagash, and Shuruppak.
Uanna of Eridu was the first of the seven apakulla and was associated with Adapa and Oannes; they were in later traditions and were assimilated to Uanna. These were credited with giving mankind knowledge of letters, science, and craftsmanship. The Apkallu passed on their antediluvian, esoteric (special knowledge limited to a small group of people) wisdom to the Ummanu, who were post-diluvian sages. Umu-Apkallu, Fish Apkallu, and Bird Apkallu figurines were used in a variety of rituals in the ancient world.
The Seven Sages are also known as the Apkallu or the Abgal of Summer. They are demigods who have been created by the deity Enki, to bring culture, moral codes, and establish citizen to man. Visually, the Seven Sages are mermaid-like. They are half men and half fish, with the lower body similar to the lower half of a fish.