In an era marked by accelerating change and destabilisation of many structures and regularities in almost all domains, it becomes crucial to understand the source and nature of the unfolding crises and their relation to social dynamics. In this paper the evolution of social dynamics is investigated not on the basis of observable structures, but the mental model of human agents, that is, how they both perceive and conceive of the world and their relation to it. For this purpose, the paper reaches out to Ancient Mesopotamia, where the oldest written documents provide evidence about the evolution of the mental model as it has been preserved in the form of myths. Some key notions filtered out from some important myths are used to analyse the interaction between the mental model and social dynamics. Finally, some criteria and directions are suggested for the present-day crises. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.