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The location of Eden 
16 - Extract from an article published by Fernando Cohnen (16/12/2007) on discoveries made in Gobekli Tepe, Turkey.
Despite how controversial the proposals of the British Egyptologist David M. Rohl are, the fact is that some parables of Genesis bear resemblance to actual events that took place thousands of years ago in the fields around the lakes Van and Urmia, nestled in the "Fertile Crescent", a broad region encompassing southern Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Rohl relates Eden with rivers that irrigate the area.
The Egyptologist remembers that the Bible´s Paradise is an idyllic garden full of fountains. Interestingly, in the Taurus Mountains, very close to the site of Göbekli Tepe, more than ten rivers rise. "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four heads," says Genesis.
The four primeval rivers were the Pishon, the Gibbon, the Hiddekel -Hebrew name of the Tigris- and the Euphrates. According to Rohl's theory, the true identity of Gibbon and Pishon rivers was revealed by Reginald Walker, a late British scholar who published his findings in 1986. In that region of the world the Aras River flows. But before the Islamic invasion of the eighth century, as Walker discovered, the Aras River was known as the Gaihun, equivalent to the Hebrew Gibbon. Therefore, the current Tigris -ancient Hideken-, along with the Euphrates, the Pishon and Gibbon, makes the fluvial quartet mentioned in Genesis. The inhabitants of their banks now navigate them in shallow-draft boats.
Meanwhile, David Rohl found Victorian dictionaries that refer to this river as Gibbon-Aras. But does this river exist? In his book, Walker says Pishon is simply a derivation from Hebrew Uizon -similar to Pishon-, name of an aquifer that irrigates the lands of the region.
Walker made another discovery. This is the village of Noqdi, which might be the land of Nod, where Cain was exiled after killing Abel. According to Rohl, Noqdi´s location fits perfectly with what is written in Genesis: "And Cain went out from before the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, which is east of Eden."
Using all sources, not just the Bible, the controversial British Egyptologist says that the inhabitants of Paradise migrated to Mesopotamia in the sixth millennium BC and settled in Sumer, where a great culture flourished that led to the invention of writing and the creation of Uruk, considered the first great city of humanity. According to the Bible, the plain of Sumer, south of the city of Zagros, is where Adam's descendants migrated after the flood.
The so-called "path of ceramics" provides evidence of that migration. The earliest pottery appears in the northern Zagros Mountains and is from the seventh millennium BC. The next generation of earthenware is from the sixth millennium and was found south of the Zagros. The first pieces of "modern" pottery, five thousand years old, have been unearthed in Uruk.
David Rohl remembers that some ancient legends collected the same parables and myths as the Bible. For example, a Sumerian legend mentions a heavenly hill, Du-ku, where agriculture was invented. Also, the "Lady of the Mountain" of the Sumerian tradition was the mother of all living beings, the same consideration as the Old Testament gives Eve.
In the Sumerian creation myth, the god Ninhursak disfigured Enki´s (Adam) behavior for eating the forbidden ground of Paradise, a sin that put him on the brink of death. Ninhursak relented and created a goddess called Ninti -the Lady of the rib-
to heal him. The British Egyptologist believes that this was the origin of the biblical Eve.
Rohl also dares to identify the place where Noah's Ark landed after the flood. In his opinion, the incident did not occur on Mount Ararat, but on a mountain called Judi Dagh, south of Lake Van. According to him, the biblical parable must keep some historical truth, given the variety of Mesopotamian references about the terrible floods that devastated the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates in the late fourth millennium BC
In another twist, the British Egyptologist says that the Sumerians were the leading traders in East Africa, being the founders of Pharaonic Egypt, which has sparked criticism from his colleagues, who reject his boldness to rewrite ancient history using biblical sources.
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Alberto Canen Books
by Alberto Canen
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