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I am a British Druze and independent researcher in fields of archaeology and sumerology, specialising in the coverage of European and Ancient Near Eastern archaeology, particularly the Archaeology of Lebanon. In 2009 I visited an untested archaeological site north of Mount Hermon in the Aaiha plain, Lebanon. The inter-montane basin is suggested to be the capital site of the agricultural or Neolithic Revolution and possible location of the emmer wheat domestication event. I suggest a connection of the site with the nearby aceramic Heavy Neolithic Qaraoun culture of Lebanon and have made coverage of this archaeology a primary focus of my work. This culture is suggested to have deforested Lebanon with Heavy Neolithic axes and tools, making way for cultivation of the Neolithic founder crops evidenced with orange slice sickle blades and White Ware proto-pottery silos, paleo-climate information, and the best guesses of archaeologists who have been unable to conduct satisfactory surveys of the north Hermon basins, Temples of Mount Hermon, Temples of the Beqaa Valley and Tells of the Beqaa Valley for various reasons. Evidence was found on site of a reservoir and irrigation channels suggested to have been used in advanced prehistoric, stormwater control and irrigation from the source of the Jordan river, cut through solid limestone bedrock like the trench at Jericho.
The location was first suggested by British scholar Christian O'Brien CBE (former chariman of Anglo-Iranian Oil) to have been described in stories of the Garden of the gods (Sumerian paradise) in Sumerian literature and the Garden of Eden in Hebraic literature.
The Aaiha hypothesis in my sandbox has put together details of core areas of research into the Aaiha plain and Qaraoun culture. A presentation about the 2009 survey of the site was prepared for Assaad Seif at the Directorate General of Antiquities and Gaby Layoun, the Lebanese Minister of Culture is available for download in Microsoft PowerPoint format here . A French translation has also been sent to Maya Haidar-Boustani and Leila Badre suggesting an academic or UNESCO archaeological survey and government protection of the Aaiha plain. Copies have also been sent to Danielle Stordeur, Frederic Abbes Avi Gopher, Ofer Bar-Yosef, Nigel Goring-Morris and Graeme Barker. UNESCO, National Geographic, Royal Geographical Society, the Council for British Research in the Levant and the Palestine Exploration Fund have all been informed. I have recently formed a facebook group called Save Beqaa Heritage! in order to lobby for increased research and conservation in this woefully understudied area. You are most welcome to follow me there. Save Beqaa Heritage! Facebook Group Also now trying to fund excavation of the remains of the watercourse or River of Eden here.