Friday, December 10, 2010

Was Persian Gulf a Drowned Garden of Eden?

Dienekes is a blog on paleontology and genetics and archeology and human diversity and a source of diversion and many interesting blogs. Here a new study speculates about a lost civilization udner the Persian Gulf rumors about which I ran across during my four years on the Arabian Peninsula.

I lived in the region and speak/read Arabic and have long been fascinated by Dilmun, which the present island of Bahrain is part of. There are around 40,000 unexcavated grave mounds on Bahrain which have excited much interest by archeologists put off by the climate and politics of the region.

The Sumerian civilization always said that it originated 'from the sea' which fits nicely into this thesis. Indeed, the geologists at ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia explained to me while I was at the Embassy there that the drowned mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates had once had a delta near the Straits of Hormuz between Iran and Oman, with the entire Garden of Eden, according to local Arab lore, once existing in the region. Indeed, in Jeddah, the burial place of Eve was venerated and in Arabic language, Yemen is a word meaning "right" and Shammal meaning left, perhaps a reference to eastward facing sun worshipers at dawn in the millennia long before the Christian era.

More about the article in Current Anthropology here from the University of Chicago.

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