Bahrain, Dilmun and the biblical Garden of Eden

One of the things that had me excited when I first moved here was not to find the best place to buy meat or to buy cereal, but that the little island I am now calling home is in some places referenced as the biblical Garden of Eden.

The Garden of Eden is a location described in the Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. It`s a paradise where all creatures lived in harmony and life was eternity.

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There have been a number of claims as to the actual geographic location of the Garden of Eden, though many of these have little or no connection to the text of Genesis. Over a 12 year period from 1953, British Archeologist Geoffrey Bibby conducted extensive archaeological investigations along the southwest coast of the Arabian Gulf which he first published in his book “Looking for Dilmun” in 1969. He was one of the first explorers of Bahrain and the first modern archaeologist to dig here discovering the remains of a Sumerian civilisation.

Thousands of years ago, in ancient Mesopotamia, Bahrain used to be known as ‘Dilmun’. Dilmun was the “land of immortality” and a meeting place for the gods.

“The land of Dilmun is holy, the land of Dilmun is pure” is how Dilmun was described in one of the world’s oldest poems written down some 4,000 years ago in the ancient Sumerian city of Nippur near the Euphrates:

The poem tells about the doings of the gods at the dawn of time in a sacred island paradise called Dilmun, a place closely resembling the Garden of Eden, where death and sickness did not exist and sweet waters flowed.

So, how is this for a dinner conversation?


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