Did the Garden of Eden Really Exist?
Everyone who is the least bit familiar with the biblical story of the creation is aware of the idyllic setting in which the first man and woman found themselves. By all accounts the Garden of Eden must have been a wonderful place filled with beauty and lush vegetation.
If the Garden of Eden ever existed trying to find its actual location has been no easy feat. According to the Bible a river flowed out of the garden and branched into four rivers. Those four rivers were named as the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates. The location of the Pishon and Gihon have been a problem in determining the location of the Garden of Eden. The flood of Noah's time changed the geography of the world making it very difficult to pinpoint the location of the garden. Some speculate that the river referred to as the Pishon may have been the Nile. There are numerous theories as to the location of the Garden of Eden.
There are many locations that have been considered for such a coveted spot as the Garden of Eden. Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel are among those locations thought to be the original home of the garden. Some believe that the Garden of Eden was located in Turkey because the Euphrates and Tigris rivers originate there. Others believe Saudi Arabia to be the actual location since it has been associated with the biblical land referred to as Havilah. Then there are those who believe that the Garden of Eden lies beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf. The Garden of Eden has even been believed to be the lost continent of Atlantis. There are also people who believe that the Garden of Eden never had an earthly existence at all and was simply viewed as an earthly reference to a heavenly paradise.
The word Eden seems to have its roots in a Sumerian word meaning plains. According to the Talmud, Eden refers to the territory where the garden was located rather than the garden itself. In the late 1990's an archaeologist named David Rohl claimed to find the Garden of Eden 10 miles from the Iranian city of Tabriz in a valley walled by towering mountains. He identified the Gihon and Pishon rivers as the Araxes and Uizhun. He was also supposed to have located the biblical Land of Nod and Cush.
Is this the actual location of the Garden of Eden? Did it really exist there at one time? One thing is certain, deep down inside somewhere within the collective conscious of humanity there is a desire to return to the idyllic state of existence as it was before Adam and Eve fell from grace. The Garden of Eden will always represent that desire for such an existence