Wouldn’t it be nice to find the actual location of the real Garden of Eden? In theological circles it would be a discovery that could equal that of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Well guess what? Archaeologist David Rohl claims to have found the site described in Genesis as “Eden” in a lush valley beneath an extinct volcano in northern Iran.
The Jerusalem Report (February 1, 1999) broke the story in the article – “Paradise Found.”
In order to make the journey to this most remote location, one must travel from western Iran, north through the Zagros Mountains of Iranian Kurdistan, down Mt. Sahand, and into the fertile Adji Chay valley. You quickly discover just how remote this location is when you try to find it on modern maps. The Jerusalem Report article gives a number of geographical locations. However, I did not find a single map that contained them all. I ended up with about five or six maps, each containing one or two of the places I was trying to find.
What made Rohl look in this location in the first place? One factor was that he read about it in ancient Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets held by the Museum of the Orient in Istanbul. The other factor was the work of the late, little-known British scholar Reginald Walker. The ancient tablets described a 5,000 year-old route to Eden. He has been researching the location since the late 1980’s through academic documents.
In April 1997 Rohl did something very remarkable to prove his point. He set out from the Iranian town of Ahwaz, near the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, with only his jeep driver for company. According to the article:
The Garden described in the Bible places the headwaters of four rivers in it: the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Gihon, and the Pishon. Obviously, the Tigris and Euphrates are well-known rivers, but the other two have been real problems in the past. Rohl has identified them as the Araxes and Uizhun which puts the headwaters of all four rivers in his Eden. Interestingly, the Uizhun, Rohl's equivalent to the Pishon which the Bibles identifies with gold, is known locally as the Golden River, and meanders between ancient gold mines and lodes of lapis lazuli.
Making his case even stronger, Rohl says that he has found the "Land of Nod" which the Bible describes as "East of Eden." Nod was Cain's place of exile after the murder of his brother Abel. Today the area is called "Noqdi."
But it doesn't end there because a few kilometers south of Rohl's Nod, at the head of a mountain pass, lies the sleepy town of Helabad. Formerly it was known as "Kheruabad," which means "settlement of the Kheru people." He believes that this could be a permutation of the Hebrew word keruvim that is translated as "Cherubs." These people were a tribe of fearsome warriors whose token was an eagle or falcon.
And if this isn't enough to get your attention yet, he has also found what he believes to be the biblical "Land of Cush." No, it's not located down in Egypt as scholars have declared for centuries. It's just north of the Adji Chay river valley and over the Kusheh Daugh - the Mountain of Kush. One of the four rivers described above winds through it.
Modern scholars have argued that the Genesis stories were just myths and should be looked upon in an allegorical sense. Rohl's discovery is now essentially seeking to push back the start of history all the way to the beginning of the Book of Genesis. Since the Bible scrupulously documents the specifics of the garden's location and its surroundings, says Rohl, why shouldn't we take those descriptions at face value? "I consider the Bible a historical document just like the writings of Herodotus or a text of Rameses II," says Rohl. "It's ridiculous to throw it in the dustbin just because it's a religious text. If so strong a tradition evolves out of the past, it is likely to have a genuine geographical setting."
Dr. Rohl is returning to Iran this spring, but this time he is taking TV crews from the Discovery Channel and BBC. He plans to also start digging there at that time. His new book - Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation - provides a detail account of his discovery. It is not available yet in the USA. If you don't want to wait for it to be published here and would like order a copy today, go toFor more information or to order David Rohl's Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation Today!
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