Seton-Karr, the distinguished English Explorer, declares he has found the Garden Of Eden
This story was first published in the December 26, 1897 issue of The New York Journal and Advertiser, and the original title was “The Garden Of Eden Found In Africa And Photographed”
Garden of Eden: Where Adam and Eve lived as told in the Bible and where Adam made stone implements which Mr. Seton-Karr had brought home to civilization
The Explore’s First Sight of the Garden of Eden
To the Editor of the Journal:
MY First approach to the Garden of Eden was from the west while tracking a lion. The east and north sides are guarded by high plateaus with impassable cliffs and can be approached only by the long narrow Gorge of the Issutugan, walled in by tremendous precipices. Genesis, iii., 24: “He drove out the man and placed at the East of the Garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword.” The geographical features are, therefore, in correspondence with the description by Moses.
At an elevation of about three thousand feet, at the place named, on a long, low hill, on a once fertile plain, watered by four rivers, I discovered thousands of perfect stone implements, used by Adam himself, and at first thought, and now confirmed, as of the Paleolithic epoch.
There is no fact that has during the last decade been more surely established than this, that primeval man used implements made of stone only. Adam lived for nine hundred and thirty years and was the father of the primeval races, and must, therefore, have used stone Implements only until the invention by Tubal Cain of the use of metals, seven generations later. As the father’s average age at the birth of the firstborn was about 110 years, Adam would hardly have lived long enough to have seen Tubal Cain’s invention perfected. Specimens have lately been sent to some of the chief museums of the world, including Philadelphia and Washington.
H. W. SETON-KARR.
H. W. SETON-KARR, the eminent English scientist and explorer, is a brother of Henry Seton-Karr, the well-known member of Parliament for St. Helens. He is indefatigable in exploring unknown parts Of
Egypt, and previous to his crowning achievement in discovering the site of the Garden of Eden, which in the columns of the Sunday Journal he has now for the first time described, he has made many, valuable contributions to our knowledge of the ancient civilizations of that country. Mr. Seton-Karr has chosen Somaliland for his expeditions of recent years. It is one of the most mysterious and little-known parts of Africa.
Mr. Seton-Karr’s Story of how he Found the Garden of Eden in the Wilds of Somaliland, East Africa.
I HAVE discovered in Somaliland what I believe to be the original site of the Garden of Eden. Here it was, in my opinion, that the human race originated. Here are all the landmarks described in Genesis as the features of Paradise. Here is to be found at the present day the identical climate which we are told was that known to our first parents.
We know that Adam and Eve went match. Here is a place where that would have been possible and comfortable at all times of the year and where clothing was never necessary. Here I have found stone implements older than any hitherto known, and some of which have been acquired by the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. I believe these implements were made by Adam himself.
It was not until I accidentally stumbled upon a group of rivers so exactly answering the description given in Genesis of the rivers of the Garden of Eden that I was convinced that this was the identical spot where Adam and Eve had lived. I am now assured that this is the Paradise referred to in the Bible.
What are the statements as to the Garden of Eden in the Bible? They are as follows:
Genesis ii., 8: “And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden.”
Genesis ii., 10: “And a river ran out of Eden to water the garden. And thence it was parted and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison, which encompasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The name of the second is Gihan, which encompasseth the whole land of Ethiopia, * * * and the name of the third Is Hiddekel * * * and the name of the fourth is Euphrates.”
Now for the commentators: Havilah was the second son of Cush, and his name is supposed to be used instead of that of the district which he chose to colonize. It has been found impossible to prove that any particular river was Pisan—Josephus. Gotha, Calmet, and Reland say it was the modern Phasis; Rochart, Brown, and others say it was a channel among islands at the mouth of the Euphrates, where they place Eden; Eusebius and Gerome say it was the Ganges in India. Solomon, the commentator, says it was the Nile.
Now as to Gihon, compassing the whole land of Ethiopia. Many commentators have perhaps rightly conjectured this to be the Nile, and there are new reasons why Eden and its Garden should have been connected with this yet wonderful river. Nevertheless, Calmet and Reland say it was the Araxes, Calvin and Scaliger say one of the western channels of the Euphrates; Bochart and Wells choose an eastern one, while the Karun River is favored by many wise and learned men.
As to Hiddekel, it is allowed by all that this was the Tigris. We are not asked to believe that the four rivers which watered the Garden pursued abnormal or unnatural courses, or flowed in any unusual manner. As with the four rivers, so with the Garden itself: in Calmet’s Dictionary of the Bible, revised by Robinson, we read: “There is hardly any part of the world in which it has not been sought.” Tartary, the banks of the Ganges, China, Ceylon, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Persia, Arabia, Ethiopia, the Mountains of the Moon, Damascus, Egypt, and even France. Enough has been said to show how uncertain all evidence has been till now.
I now pass to the second part of my statement. In Genesis ii., 8: we have: “And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden.” I have found the Garden of Eden in about latitude 8 degrees north and near the meridian, passing through Aden and the center of Arabia, about eighty-two miles in a straight line southwest of Berbera (on the Somali Coast) and on the east of the fertile country at the headwaters of the Nile and Abyssinia.
It may be inferred from the text that Eden was a large country and that on the east of it lay the Garden, the home of primitive man. In Genesis ii., 10, we read: “And a river ran out of Eden to water the garden, and thence (that is from Eden) It was parted and became into four heads.”
In all the texts of Scripture, there is a double meaning. This means, firstly and literally, that the river commenced in four heads which subsequently joined. These I have Identified, completely enclosing the hill on which the settlement stood, a good map of this district has been made, but the accompanying sketch shows it well enough.
The second meaning of the text Is a larger one and is that the four streams were but a subdivision of four other and much greater rivers which encompassed the whole known world with which at that epoch Adam and his descendants had to do, and they were connected with each other by the ocean.
By the four rivers then are to be understood, not only the four sources which watered the Garden but also four great rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates, which drained that much larger garden, namely, that part of the world which the Almighty had decreed should be man’s first home and which he was to colonize, going, we are told, first eastward to Babylon (and India) and afterward in other directions.
Pison “which compasseth the whole land of Havilah” (Havilah being, according to commentators, Arabia), we may take to have drained that valley, which is now the Red Sea, at that time dry land; in Genesis xxv., 18: “They (the sons of Ishmael) dwelt from Havilah unto Shur that is before Egypt.”.
What in the secondary and wider meaning and Interpretation of the text is meant by the River Gihon is not of importance so far as the mere position of the comparatively small Garden is concerned. Inasmuch as for the purpose of irrigating the Garden the amount of water furnished by four great rivers would be immensely disproportionate. It is clear that this second and larger reading is necessary. If we take the Ethiopia named as the modern Ethiopia (Abyssinia), the Gihon we may take as the Nile.
At an elevation of about 3,000 feet, at the place named, on a long, low hill, on a once fertile plain watered by the four rivers named. I discovered thousands of perfect stone implements, used by Adam himself, and at first thought and now confirmed as of the Paleolithic epoch.
This is the only actual settlement or village known of the primal race, who made and used Paleolithic implements not only here, where such things have never previously been found, but anywhere.
Not only are they the oldest that exists of human craftsmanship, but they are the only certain vestiges we have of those primeval races from whom we trace our origin.
Here, then, just west and south of the great gorge of the Tssutigan, Tay the Garden, close to the crest of the watershed. North lie the mountains of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), at Africa including the land of Eden lies to the west. The people of Eden traded, we are told, with Tare (by way of the Nile).
The implements are all beautifully made and most perfect, and lay in thousands upon the surface of the hill and comprised about ten camel loads when transported to Berbera. The material was flint and quartzite. They included sizes from chipped lanceheads of an inch in length up to heavy pointed digging tools eight inches long and very heavy, tongue-shaped, ovate create; axes with one end pointed, scrapers for preparing skins as clothing, knives for cutting meat and food and pounding stones for grain. H. W. SETON-KARR.
By Sir John Evans, of the Royal Society.
To the Editor of the Journal:
THAT the cradle of the human family must have been situated in some part of the world where the climate was genial and the means of subsistence readily obtained seems almost self-evident, and that these discoveries in Somaliland may serve to elucidate the course by which human civilization, such as it was, if not indeed the human race, proceeded westward from its early home in the East, is a fair subject for speculation.
But under any circumstances this discovery aids in bridging over the interval between Paleolithic man in Britain and in India, and adds another link to the chain of evidence by which the original cradle of the human family may eventually be identified, and it tends to prove the unity of race between the inhabitants of Asia, Africa, and Europe in Paleolithic times.
The discoveries of Mr. Seton-Karr in Somaliland seem to me to possess a very wide interest and an important bearing on the question of the original home of the human race.
JOHN EVANS, K. C. B., D. C. L.,
Treasurer and Vice-President Royal Society
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