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Where is the Garden of Eden?

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Although researchers have proposed many sites for the location of the Garden of Eden described in the book of Genesis in the Bible, including Mongolia, India, Ethiopia and Israel, most historians and theologians place it in modern-day Iraq, somewhere along the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. The main clue in Genesis is the description of the confluence of four rivers, three of which have ancient names.

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The second chapter of Genesis says that the Garden of Eden was east of the author's location. A river that separated into four parts flowed through the garden. The river Pison encompassed the land of Havilah, where there was gold, bdellium and onyx stones. The river Gihon encompassed the land of Ethiopia. The river Hiddekel was east of Assyria, and the fourth river was the Euphrates. Only the river Euphrates retains the same name. Most researchers presume the Hiddekel is the river Tigris, which flows from Turkey into Iraq. They hypothesize that the Gihon is the Karun River in Iran, and that Ethiopia was translated as Gush or Kush. Satellite photos support the theory that the river Pison is a fossil river, now known as the Wadi Batin, which used to flow through the Arabian Peninsula and empty into the Persian Gulf.

Some researchers propose that the Garden of Eden was at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now Turkey or Azerbaijan. Others claim it was at the point where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers run into the sea. A recent theory claims that it was at an ancient confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that is now covered by the waters of the Persian Gulf.

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