My name's Paul and I'm on an important mission to show the world where the real Garden of Eden is after finding it in Rashaya, Lebanon in November 2009.
The Garden of Eden was a real place, and the centre of the Neolithic Revolution at about 9,500BC. It is located at the heads of the Dan, Banias, Hasbani and Upper Jordan rivers (that's 4 heads, as per the Genesis story AND in the Biblical lands), for more info please visit edentourism.cokm or The Golden Age Project.
This conclusion was comprehensively mapped out by Christian O'Brien in his 1985 book, "The Genius of The Few" where he identified it through descriptions given in the earliest Nippur Tablets (The Barton Cylinder, etc), Atrahasis and The Book of Enoch, along with the Bible and The Koran. The Sumerians who were first recorded to have written about it called it "Kharsag".
Eden was located on Google Earth by Edmund Marriage in 2006, who discovered a mile long Great Watercourse in place as per O'Brien's map. I led the field walk recently in an initial survey which has provided the first video (unreleased) and photographic evidence of the site for peer review. Please see these maps for both Google Earth and Christian O'Brien's placement of the remains of structures at this REAL place.
O'Brien identified this site as the starting point of the Neolithic (Agricultural) Revolution at around 9,500BC, soon after the Younger Dryas. Inescapable evidence includes the the development of Jericho soon after this date, along with cultivated figs dug up on the other side of Mount Hermon and cultivated crops starting at Tel Abu Huera, not very far to the North by 9,050BC.
You can also see the ruins of a man-made reservoir, great watercourse and irrigation channels on Google Earth, along with other structures. The Garden was known as "Kharsag" in the Sumerian Nippur Tablets which means means "head enclosure".
The entire Rashaya basin floods every 5-10 years with millions of cubic gallons of water, forming a huge lake that can still be partially seen on Google Earth from the last one in 2005-2006. We found out from the Lebanese Red Cross that they had put dye down a sinkhole in the Garden that drains the entire basin. The dye came out in the Hasbani. After seeing all this, I now strongly suspect that the people who built Kharsag's reservoir, dam and watercourse did so to control the Lebanese and Anti-Lebanese mountain run off waters and direct them out into the lowlands of "Eden", the area around and likely to the South of Kharsag, which links into the Jordan river and associated famous valley possibly onward to Jericho, etc.
The four headwaters I place as the Dan, Banias, Hasbani and Upper Jordan River rising out of the area around Eden / Kharsag and flowing into the Jordan. The final shape of the Book of Genesis is generally regarded to have taken place around 5-600 B.C. and most of the names have been changed from the actual places and people the stories are about. Mount Hermon for instance is recorded to have been known as Mount Sion in Deuteronomy 4:48. A name presumably somewhat pilfered by King David for Jerusalem's Mount Zion. The Rashaya Basin is 8 miles south of Mount Hermon, 25 miles East of Damascus.
The centre of cultural diffusion at the time was the Garden, Kharsag, a bounded area in the mountains, sending out water and knowledge to the grassland/steppe area around, known as Eden.
The theories about Eden being a central site of the agricultural revolution between the Tigris and Euphrates are disproven archaeologically as there would have been ice-flows in this area as agriculture started in the North Western bend of the fertile crescent, not the South East... and that Sumerian civilization didn't move to Eridu, their first city until around 5,500BC.
The Garden of Eden is a central feature in Christianity, Islam and Judaism - showing it's natural origins and archaeological source will in my opinion have the maximum potential as a weapon to destroy those religions and the fantastic voodoo they have spread in billions of people's minds.
I'm looking to promote Eden, as I can see the benefits of archaeology catching up with religion and showing it's source as scientifically as possible. It's a search for human origins and the starting point of the agricultural revolution which is currently best guessed at by Colin Renfrew's "Anatolian Hypothesis", which anyone knowledgeable on finds at Jericho, Tel Abu-Huera and around Mount Hermon may well speculate misses the facts by being a few hundred kilometres too North and a few hundred years too late.
I've spent a lot of last year working on Wikipedia, figuring out where I stand academically on this. It's been a fierce battle with hardcore sceptics, armed with little peer reviewed material as ammunition. It has resulted in the creation of pages (often after massive heated debates you can read about in the discussions) on "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kharsag">Kharsag, Christian O'Brien>, George Aaron Barton and The Barton Cylinder - mankind's oldest written story, supposedly pre-dating even the Pyramid Texts.
There are various accounts of the Garden of Eden outside the Bible, including the Koran. Eden itself comes from the Sumerian word "Edin" meaning "plain" or "steppe".
The Nippur Tablets, including the Barton Cylinder are most important source documents describing the location of the Garden of Eden, and it's inhabitants, the first Sumerian Pantheon (An, Ninkharsag, Enlil & Enki). These were dug up in the foundations of the temple and library at Nippur by John Henry Haynes in 1898 and translated by George Aaron Barton. These are the oldest religious/story texts in the world, pre-dating the pyramid texts by at least half a century.
Another is the Slavonic Book of Enoch 2 produced around the 2nd century BC from materials with a much older tradition, discovered by Canon Charles and translated by his friend Dr Morfill, the Professor of Slavonic Studies at Oxford. It is from Morfill's work that we have the clearest accounts of the Garden of Eden.
Also we have an Akkadian work, Atra-hasis, Tablet 1 which was copied by a scribe called Ku-aya, in the reign of Ammi-saduqa about 1635 B.C., from non-existant, earlier material. It is indicated that Ku-aya translated an earlier Sumerian tablet into Akkadian. Translations of the Akkadian text have been made by Lambert and Millard, two Oxford scholars following in the footsteps of Canon Charles.
Atra-hasis tells the story of a rebellion of the workers building the Great Watercourse in The Garden of Eden and of them surrounding Enlil's Great House in a mob with tools raised. It then tells the story of the Annunaki council creating "salaried man" and causing a massive rift in our development from utalitarian to capitalist objectives as a race.
From this we get various legends of "fallen angels".
The starting point of the agricultural revolution is thought by many to be 'Eden', which is currently best guessed at by Colin Renfrew's "Anatolian Hypothesis", which anyone knowledgeable on finds at Jericho, Tel Abu-Huera and around Mount Hermon may well speculate misses the facts by being a few hundred kilometres too North and a few hundred years too late.
Inescapable evidence that Anatolia being a bit too North include the the development of agriculture at Jericho before this, cultivated crops are also found starting at Tel Abu Huera, not very far to the North by 9,050BC. Cicer arietinum L. (chickpea) and Vicia faba L. (faba bean, broad bean or horse bean) were found in late 10th millennium b.p. levels at Tell el-Kerkh. Cultivated figs were also dug up on the other side of Mount Hermon at Ohalo II, dated to 9,500-9,300 by Kislev et al not far from Kharsag / Eden.
Sir Colin Renfrew's Anatolian Hypothesis is the currently most widely accepted among academics. This dates the start of the agricultural revolution to c. 7,000 B.C.
My biggest problem with the Northern Theory, is Dame Kathleen Kenyon's excavations of Jericho, which shows organised agriculture long before that date to the South of both Anatolia (Turkey) and Lebanon:
Kathleen Kenyon's conclusions:
Kenyon's excavations demonstrated that Jericho was originally founded by sedentary foragers/collectors in the Natufian Period (12,800–10,500 b.p.), living in large semisubterranean oval stone structures, although it is unclear how extensive this occupation was. With the introduction of domesticated plants in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period (PPNA) (ca. 10,500/10,300–9300 b.p.), Jericho mushroomed into a large regional agricultural community covering an area of some 300 square yards (25,000 sq m). Villagers, like those of the nearby sites of Netiv Hagdud and Gilgal I, lived year-round in roofed, oval semisubterranean dwellings.
a href="http://www.jrank.org/history/pages/6211/Jericho.html#ixzz1Cp9a9gik">Read more: Jericho - Digging Up Jericho, The Neolithic of the Near East - Neolithic, Bronze, Age, Kenyon, Excavations, and Period
Pictured below is the ruin of a similar, oval, semisubterranean dwelling we found in the Rashaya basin (Eden / Kharsag) with a limestone plaster floor typical of other Neolithic finds dating to the time in question around this area:
Also of interesst at Jericho is the 600 metre x 9 metre x 3 metre rock cut ditch radio-carbon dated to a re-calibrated date c. 8,800 - 9,000 B.C.
The Great Watercourse in Eden looks to have been approximately the same specification - 9 metres deep by 3 metres wide and extends over a mile, the sinkhole section is pictured below. I have added another image, as if you look carefully, you can see a rock cut bridge extending over this section, with a groove alligned to Mount Hermon, from which I speculate hung a giant Cedar sluice (water control) gate.
What you can do to help? Well, click on the links, do some reading and if you're interested and support the promotion of this knowledge, spread it around other web-boards, friends and family. The Golden Age Project has some fascinating stuff on it, which you might have to wade through to find, but it's all in there somewhere and the site is looking a lot better than it did 18 months back. "The Genius of The Few" is probably the best book with the best info about O'Brien's location of Eden in Rashaya if you can't be bothered trawling the website for it and want a nice collectors edition.
If anyone can assist to get a review of the above book into a major newspaper or peer reviewed journal - positive or negative - I can then go walkabout on Wikipedia again with a really big gun against the sceptics. ;-)
Also, if anyone wants to visit, I have the contacts to arrange a mind-blowing visit to the area in comparative safety and comfort, funding for pollen core analysis and geo-phys surveys surveys is required, along with further peer reviewable material and the attention of UNESCO and the Lebanese Ministry of Culture.
More on that to come in my posts. Let me know if you have any questions as I claim to be the one of the few foremost experts on Eden / Kharsag site currently alive.
Sir. Colin Renfrew was the Director of the Mcdonald Institue for Archaeological Research in Cambridge, setup by Scott McDonald to locate the origins of agriculture. I have been in touch with his successor, Professor Graeme Barker at the Institute who has previously expressed his interest in the Kharsag Research Project. As one of the foremost experts in irrigation systems of the Middle East, I sent him our initial survey last weekend, along with Christian O'Brien's original map and am still awaiting a reply. He is not in an easy position on this.Further explanation in slide format