Original Garden of Eden? U.N. Recognizes Wetlands in Iraq As World Heritage Site

Iraqi wetlandsIRAQ – A vast complex of wetlands and marshes in the Middle East, believed by some to be the original Garden of Eden in Genesis, has been designated a world heritage site by the United Nations.

Last week the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the addition of eight new sites to its world heritage list. One of the sites is the Ahwar of Southern Iraq—a place described by UNESCO as a “refuge of biodiversity” in southern Iraq.

“The Ahwar is made up of seven sites: three archaeological sites and four wetland marsh areas in southern Iraq,” UNESCO said in a statement last Sunday. “…The Ahwar of Southern Iraq—also known as the Iraqi Marshlands—are unique, as one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, in an extremely hot and arid environment.”

Although the Iraqi marshlands were severely damaged in the 1990s by Saddam Hussein, aggressive restoration efforts have revitalized the area.

Not only is the Ahwar of Southern Iraq important as a natural refuge, but it is significant historically and biblically as well. As part of the Fertile Crescent, also known as the cradle of civilization, many of the world’s oldest cities are located nearby. The Tower of Babel was likely constructed in the Fertile Crescent area, many scholars believe. The ancient city of Ur, birthplace of Abraham (Genesis 11:31), is located there. Furthermore, many believe that the original Garden of Eden was located in the Ahwar.

Although the Bible does not state exactly where the Garden of Eden was located, Genesis 2 mentions that a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden. The river then divided and became four rivers, two of which were the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Today, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers converge in southeastern Iraq, which is why many believe the Garden of Eden was once located there.

However, others suggest that the Great Flood of Noah’s day would have completely reshaped the landscape, meaning the world looks very different today than it did prior to the Flood. In an article titled, “Where Was the Garden of Eden Located?” Dr. John Morris of the Institute for Creation Research considers how the Great Flood affected the Middle East.

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“The key is in recognizing that through the Flood of Noah’s day, ‘the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished’ (II Peter 3:6),” Morris wrote. “As described in Genesis 6-9, the Flood would have totally restructured the surface of the globe. … No place on Earth could have survived untouched.”

Why then are the Tigris and Euphrates rivers still around today? Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis believes these modern rivers are different than the pre-Flood ones but were named after the originals.

“In my native country of Australia, one will recognize many names that are also used in England (e.g., Newcastle). The reason is that when the settlers came out from England to Australia, they used names they were familiar with in England to name new places/towns in Australia,” Ham wrote in “The New Answers Book 3.” “Another example is the names given to many rivers in the United States. There is the Thames River in Connecticut, the Severn River in Maryland, and the Trent River in North Carolina—all named for prominent rivers in the UK.”

“In a similar way, when Noah and his family came out of the ark after it landed in the area we today call the Middle East (the region of the Mountains of Ararat), it would not have been surprising for them to use names they were familiar with from the pre-Flood world (e.g., Tigris and Euphrates), to name places and rivers, etc., in the world after the Flood,” he stated.

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  • Amos Moses

    Yeah ……….. not buying it ………. scripture does not say this ………….

  • The original garden of Eden, along with its original rivers, is most likely buried at the bottom of the Pacific ocean.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Mankind should read the Holy Bible to find about Eden and the way to get back to God. We are all Noah’s descendants, but the Hebrews have been the best record keepers on the entire planet. Eden vanished permanently because of mankind’s Fall and the Flood, but the Lord Jesus will restore Eden and do something much more wonderful; God will bring down His New Jerusalem on earth from Heaven. Those who trust in Jesus will be saved. (Revelation chapters 2,3,20-22) “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I(Jesus) will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation ch.2)

  • Royal Rican Prince

    It’s in THAT region. Not specifically in that said place BUT in that region. One of the reasons satan has decimated it with warfare & political strife!

  • axelbeingcivil

    It’s a beautiful place. I’m glad it’s being restored. The history of bloodshed might not be washed away for a long time, but hopefully some peace can return to the area. Birthplace of humanity or not, we can all appreciate its uniqueness and wonder.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    I love Genesis.