Historical Genesis

From Adam To Abraham

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Chapter 5 - Pottery Tales

Knowledge of fire and stone tools goes back to Homo erectus. Paleontologists have uncovered evidence that ancient peoples harvested wild wheat by 9000 BC. It took a genetic crossing of goat grass and "emmer" to produce wheat bread. The earliest evidence of wheat cultivation was found in the ancient oasis of Jericho dated at 8000 BC. Beside remains of wheat and barley, ovens were found at Eridu for baking bread and firing mud bricks.

Genesis 3:19, 23: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread ...," and, "... the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."

We can only speculate what distance lay between the Garden of Eden where Adam was cast out and the settlement of Eridu where, it appears, he arrived. The garden may have been located in the city itself, or on the outskirts, or even within some small distance.

In 1940-41, the Iraqi government undertook the excavation of Eridu:

Pottery found at the lowest of 19 levels of occupation just above virgin soil was so unique that the excavators dubbed it "Eridu ware." It was described as an "extremely fine quality monochrome-painted ware, often with a buff or cream slip." Fuad Safer, who headed the excavation for the Iraqi government, described Eridu ware and commented that is was "extremely clear that the new pre-‘Ubaid painted ware corresponds to a well-defined epoch in the history of the prehistoric temple." In addition to pottery shards a rudimentary temple also was unearthed at the lowest level.

Genesis tells us the garden was planted after a provision had been made for water. And we can infer a canal from the Euphrates was the provision. It was only after the site was provided with water and a garden was planted that God placed Adam. If those responsible for Eridu ware initially dug the canal, it may also be that a special family was introduced to help them enjoy the fruits of their labors. It is at this location, Eridu, and at this time, roughly 4800 BC from archaeological dating, that we should look for the Garden of Eden and Adam.