Garden of Eden Site Being Restored

A marsh in Iraq drained by Saddam Hussein and believed by some to be the site of the Garden of Eden is being restored -- despite dangerous risks.

Azzam Alwash, joint citizen of the U.S. and Iraq and a hydraulic engineer, is leading the effort to restore water and life to the drained marshland.

"Of course, this isn't just any old marsh. Alwash is fighting for a marsh which Biblical scholars believe is the site of the Garden of Eden, and which some describe as the cradle of civilization. The Mesopotamians settled in the fertile region in the fifth century B.C., and within a few centuries it had become the site of an advanced Sumerian civilization. Scholars believe that cuneiform was invented in the region, as were literature, mathematics, metallurgy, ceramics and the sailboat.

Only 20 years ago, an amazing aquatic world thrived in the area, which is in the middle of the desert. Larger than the Everglades, it extended across the southern end of Iraq, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers divide into hundreds of channels before they come together again near Basra and flow into the Persian Gulf. For environmentalists, this marshland was a unique oasis of life, until the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, had it drained in the early 1990s after a Shiite uprising."

Full Story: Restoring the Paradise that Saddam Destroyed

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Comments

Mesopotamian History

"The Mesopotamians settled in the fertile region in the fifth century B.C., and within a few centuries it had become the site of an advanced Sumerian civilization. Scholars believe that cuneiform was invented in the region, as were literature, mathematics, metallurgy, ceramics and the sailboat."

Something is wrong with this history. Mesopotamian civilization flourished long before the fifth century BC: cuneiform was invented around the 34th century BC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuneiform_script

Maybe someone told the reporter that the region was settled in the 35th century BC, and the reporter heard incorrectly.

At any rate, I am very glad to hear that this region is being restored. Its destruction was a great loss to the world.

Charles Siegel

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