The Bible is venerated by billions of people as the true testament of God’s word and the life of Jesus Christ. Although many consider the Bible to be a work of fiction, there are some who believe there is archaeological evidence to back it up. According to Professor Tom Meyer, a scripture expert known as The Bible Memory Man, there are two artefacts, in particular, that could shed light on the Biblical story of creation.
Professor Meyer said: “Two archaeological objects possibly illuminate the opening chapters of the book of Genesis.
“One perhaps points to the location of Eden and the other to the historicity of the Original Sin narrative.”
The first artefact is the so-called Sumerian King List, a stone prism dated to the Middle Bronze Age – a period between 2100 BC and 1650 BC.
The stone prism was uncovered by English archaeologist Herbert Weld and is on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Professor Meyer said: “In addition to enumerating the long reigns of pre-flood rulers, this prism lists Eridu – an ancient site in southern Iraq – as the first city ever built.
“The ancient site of the Garden of Eden – Hebrew for ‘delight’ or ‘pleasure’ – is thought by some to be located at Eridu under a cluster of tels.
“A tel is a man-made mound that arises as a result of civilisations building on top of each other; it consists of the civilisation’s mudbricks and odds and ends left behind and buried with time.”
The ruins of Eridu were originally excavated in 1855 by English archaeologist John George Taylor and then between 1918 and 1919 by HR Hall and Campbell Thompson.
Archaeological digs in the regions suggest the site used to be densely populated in the time of antiquity.
Professor Meyer said: “The site of Eridu is in close proximity to other cities made famous from the earliest Biblical records.
The artefact, also known as the Temptation Seal, depicts two seated figures, a tree and a serpent.
The seal is presently held at the British Museum in London and is believed by some to depict the Biblical Adam and Eve.
Professor Meyer said: “It was found buried among ancient cuneiform tablets in the ruins of Babylon and is now on display at the British Museum – object #89326.
“It is thought by some to reflect the acceptance of the people in the region of ancient Mesopotamia concerning the remembrance of the Garden of Eden account.
“The small cylinder seal dates to the time of the birth of Abraham – about 2000 BC – which was 2000 years after the account of the Garden of Eden according to the Irish theologian James Usher.”
However, some historians are sceptical about the seal’s link to the Book of Genesis.
According to David L. Petersen of Emory University in the US, the scene depicted on the seal is likely not biblical but an Akkadian scene.
In the book Method Matters: Essays on the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David L. Petersen, he analysed the symbolism of the two figures, the tree and the serpent.
He wrote: “First, there is a long tradition in Mesopotamian art of representing figures facing a central plant, here a date palm.
“Also, the horns of the seated figure on the right indicate divine status, in accordance with long-held iconographic conventions.
“The identity of the figure on the left is probably a worshiper, and not a woman at all, as Fradenburgh assumed.”
And the serpent could be a representation of an ancient deity such as Nirah.
Whatever the case may be, Professor Meyer said there is ample archaeological evidence to show the impact the biblical tale of creation has had on humanity.
He said: “This ancient record, discovered in the cradle of civilization and brought to light by the spade of English archaeologists, is evidence enough for some that the Biblical narrative of the Garden of Eden became deeply fixed in the thought of man from the beginning of time.”
Professor Meyer is a college lecturer and author who has memorised more than 20 books from the Bible.