I couldn’t help it. I was listening to an interview with Dr. Jeffrey Rose, archaeologist in Southern Arabia for 18 years, and I got super excited. I had to share!
Dr. Rose was being interviewed by the Youtube channel “Sentinel Apologetics”‘s Robert Rowe in a two part interview from 2019 and 2020. Each one is over three hours long, so there’s a ton of content!
As I’ve discussed in a previous post during my “Image of God and Human Origins” series, I knew about Dr. Rose’s 2010 paper “New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis.” In it, he describes the finding that beneath the current Persian Gulf, there was a massive oasis during the last Ice Age that perfectly fits the location of the garden of Eden described in Genesis 2, mists, four rivers, and all!
Ten years later, Dr. Rose and his team have done a lot more work in the region. The current scholarship is pointing to a civilization on the southern end of Arabia (he calls it the “Southern Crescent”) similar to the Fertile Crescent that developed independently of the civilizations of the Levant. This makes a kind of civilization circle around the land of Arabia which included the Levant.
His work, along with others stationed in Southern Arabia, shows that the people group in the Southern Crescent descended from early homo sapiens sapiens migrants out of Africa headed for Australia. There were seafarers who traded with people groups that traveled all over the Pacific since at least 30,000 years ago (see, for example, Geoffrey Irwin, The Prehistoric Exploration and Colonisation of the Pacific, 1994).
The interesting thing to me in all of this is the implications for Adam, Eve, and the garden of Eden. Up until the early 2000s, it appeared that civilization and agriculture just appeared suddenly, fully formed, in the Levant, around 10,000 years ago (Steve Olsen, Mapping Human History, pp. 92-97). Olsen published this book in 2002, and since then there’s been an expansion on the understanding of how civilization arose… it’s no longer all about the Levant; the story has widened to the Persian Gulf.
From Rose’s paper, in Current Anthropology, Volume 51, Number 6, December 2010, p. 868:
There was a virtual explosion of settlement around the shoreline of the Gulf in the Middle Holocene, coinciding with the final phase of marine incursion into the basin. More than just the sheer number of sites that were established within a single millennium (n = 65), the characteristics of these sites have profound implications for social evolution in the Gulf Oasis. By the time that indigenous groups became archaeologically visible during the ‘Ubaid 3 phase around 7500 cal BP, these communities had already undergone a complete Neolithic demographic transition and were, in fact, on the cusp of the Urban Revolution. this is exemplified in the suite of features found at ‘Ubaid-related sites, including permanent stone structures, pottery, date palm cultivation, animal husbandry, fishing, extensive trade networks, and advanced boat-building.Rose, p. 868, paragraph 3
What Rose is saying here is that the Ubaid 3 civilization that suddenly shows up on the shores of the Gulf is already similarly advanced compared to places like Jericho… but they come from “nowhere” whereas Jericho is a clear outgrowth of the Natufian culture. In other words, genetically and culturally, these people came from the South, not the North.
Furthermore, on the same page, Rose reminds his readers that “the link between flood mythology and marine incursion into the Arabo-Persian Gulf basin has already been explored by a number of authors” and then he lists several. The “Eridu genesis” account, the oldest flood myth in the region, came from the inhabitants around the Gulf. The timing of this corresponds to the inundation of the Gulf Oasis with the Indian Ocean around “8000 years ago.” (paragraph 5)
In 2015 and 2016, Rose and others published several papers that support this idea. In these articles, the hypothesis that the people groups in southern Arabia were local and independent from the people groups in the Levant was bolstered. These people had developed their own style in tool-making, had unique genetic mutations, and were probably there since around 13,000 years ago or earlier. 
There have also been some amazing work on the Paleolithic climate in the region around the Gulf Oasis that demonstrate uncanny similarities flood myths in the Middle East. In the video, Rose and Rowe discuss at length the possibility of a massive cyclone, spawned by the rapid rise in sudden global temperatures at the end of the Ice Age, making it through the Straight of Hormuz from the Indian Ocean into the depression that housed the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis. This is also bolstered by Bastawesy’s 2014 paper indicating a massive flood took place in the Arabian peninsula some time between 13,000 and 8,500 years ago. This would fit the description of Noah’s flood very well.
This whole line of inquiry and discovery has demonstrated incredible confirmation of the early Holocene context that birthed the oral traditions found in Genesis. In 2021, Dr. Rose will release his new book “Introduction to Human Prehistory in Arabia: The Lost World of the Southern Crescent,” and I can’t wait to pore through it.
If you’re intrigued by all this, stay tuned. Exciting things are popping up in recent archaeology that are shedding light on many questions that Christians have surrounding the Genesis accounts.
Can’t wait to share more!
I sincerely hope you are aware that the HGP finally put to rest any notion of an original breeding pair a la Genesis and Adam and Eve?
Ah, that’s coming soon, Ark. I’ve been working on that one for a couple months; I want to get it right before I post it. 🙂
For now, I do believe there was a literal pair in a garden in a place called Eden (probably around 10,000 BC), but I don’t think they were the first humans. I fully accept the humanity of Homo sapiens 10-50,000 years ago, and that it’s possible that Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis also “imaged” God on Earth.
I highly recommend Joshua Swamidass’ book “The Genealogical Adam and Eve”… I don’t agree with everything in his book, but he brings up some really fascinating stuff regarding what is possible when it comes to genetics and genealogical descent.
There never was an original pair because it was impossible for such a bottleneck to have occurred.
The human genome project has established this as fact.
Have you been hiding under a rock?
Why haven’t you read the science on this instead of focusing on idiotic fundamental evangelistic clap trap?
And Swamidass is a Christian . for goodness’ sake! We aren’t going to get very far if all you ever reference are your biased Christian ”pals”.
So here’s a heads up for any future topics we may discuss.
I will not</strong entertain for a second these people:
William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, NT Wright, CS Lewis, Baukman, Mike Licona.
On the Exodus. Please don’t mention – James Hoffmeier, Kenneth Kitchen, Bryant Wood.
Nobody from the Discovery Institute or its affiliates, Biologos, or anyone touting Intelligent Design.
Also: Don’t quote scripture unless it can be supported with hard evidence .
Don’t mention any of the fraudulent texts attributed to Paul.
There may be other things but those should be enough Red Flags for now.
To be clear: I am only interested in demonstrable evidence.
LikeLiked by 1 person
1) Ark… read my comment, man! 🙂 I said I *don’t* think Adam and Eve were an “original pair.” They show up, by my estimation, around 10,000 BC, long after humanity is established.
2) I only hide under boulders. Rocks just won’t do.
3) I do spend a lot of time reading scientific papers on this subject. In fact, this very blog is focused on several.
4) Also… if you’re going to dismiss anything a Christian says because they’re Christian, why even dialogue with *me*? I’m a Christian. Can I not overcome my biases and have an open mind?
5) Are you going to interact with the “hard evidence” presented by Jeffrey Rose in this post?
C’mon Ark, you write a good blog! I know you can argue better than this! 🙂
I apologize and stand corrected.
There is no evidence for any Adam and Eve. It is regarded as myth.
I don’t know if you can overcome your biases?
We can find out easily enough.
Do you accept the archaeological evidence regarding the internal settlement pattern of Israel?
LikeLiked by 1 person
– The main reason modern people dismiss “myth” as fictional is because of the focus on supernatural phenomena in the genre. The people whose oral traditions were passed down over generations rarely did. Cosmogonies were (and are) serious business (the Big Bang Theory, technically, is a cosmogony). Genealogies, in particular, were very important to establish kingship and property rights. They even skip generations occasionally to preserve important figures or to make a theological point (ie, lining up different families genealogies to get a significant number of ancestors, etc.). The fact that most every genealogy in the Old Testament terminates back to Adam indicates *they* certainly believed there was a flesh and blood human at the terminus.
I know that these individuals’ name was probably not “Adam” or “Eve” since those names are Hebrew and the Hebrew language didn’t exist yet, but that doesn’t diminish the reality of the individuals who bear those monikers.
– I’m trying! Part of the reason I engage in these kinds of debates, like I’ve shared with you before, is to learn and grow. For instance, based on our conversations and Gary’s challenges, I’ve actually learned quite a bit about questions concerning the historicity of Acts and the Gospels. I’m looking into those.
I’m not familiar with the “internal settlement pattern of Israel.” What do you mean? Do you have an article I could read on that?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Israel Finkelstein. Google him and watch a video.
LikeLiked by 1 person
After studying Plate Tectonics and reading on the Dead Sea Scrolls, my interest has been piqued concerning any civilization beneath the Persian Gulf. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was also a civilization beneath the Red Sea at an earlier Geologic Period. My opinion is that Abraham walked out of the Persian Gulf and from there the Old Testament Truly begins. And eventually Christianity. I am not a Christian but I walk in the footsteps of Jesus; if you can believe all the red writings in the Bible. kww
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thanks for your comment, sir, and more importantly thank you for your service! I enjoyed your thoughts; with claims of discoveries of large megalithic structures off the coasts of countries like India, Italy, Japan, etc. (I say “claims” because it’s Graham Hancock…), I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they found an ancient civilization under the Red Sea. It might be of interest to you that Dr. Steven Collins has done years of digs at what he calls Sodom (Tall el Hammam in Jordan… https://tallelhammam.com), and the date of the airburst that destroyed the cities of the “kikkar”/disc was around 1751 BC (3.7 kya BP). If this was Abraham’s Sodom event described in Genesis, he would’ve lived long after the Persian Gulf was filled. Hope to see you on here again!
LikeLiked by 1 person