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The Rise of Man in the Gardens of Sumeria
A Biography of L. A. Waddell
Christine Preston
Sussex Academic Press 2011


Christine Preston is a Researcher in the Classics and Ancient History Department, University of Swansea. She is a translator and the author of Scramble for Katanga – an historical review on the colonisation of the Congo. In the process of researching the origin of Indo-European languages she came across L.A. Waddell's The British Edda, which led her to write this biography. Her current research focuses on the Archaeology of the Indus Valley civilization; Aryan and Sumerian controversies; and decipherment of Indus Script.


In the Medieval Ages, there existed an oral tradition that already circulated in the British Isles and Scandinavia before the Christian era. It was the origin of the Arthurian legends as the latter was re-written in the 12th century. Many parchments existed after it was put in writing but they were destroyed by Christian missionaries between the 6th and 8th centuries AD. One that belonged to people who journeyed to Iceland was rediscovered in 1643. It is called "Codex Regius" and scholars have named it the "Elder Edda", to distinguish it from Snorri Sturluson's prose Edda. L. A. Waddell theorised that the sibyls who recited this tradition in the Medieval Ages had forgotten that the stories of this tradition were about the creation of civilization in Cappadocia, and had originated from the land that is now suspected to have been the cradle of the Sumerian civilization and the "Garden of Eden" of Genesis, as it is where the oldest temple in the world (that is presently excavated at Göbekli Tepe, near Urfa in Turkey) has been discovered. Waddell contended that the fort at Boghazkoy (Hattusha) had been built by Aryan architects of the first civilization who eradicated a Serpent-Dragon cult in this region c. 3,000 BC, and that King Arthur (who, on the basis of the Arthurian legends, is associated with idealist concepts of civilization) was the Her-Thor of the Codex and Scandinavian mythology. The tradition could have been brought to Europe by Phoenicians in 2,400 BC or Trojan Greeks of Hittite origin in 1,000 BC on the basis of Geoffrey of Monmouth records about the kings of Britain. Chapter 5 of Waddell's biography discusses his discovery of geographical place-names in the Codex. They support the view that the Scenes of the Edda are about events taking place in Cappadocia.

…Lieut.-Col. Laurence Austine Waddell (1854-1938) was a British Army officer with an established reputation mainly due to a work on the 'Buddhism' of Tibet, his explorations of the Himalayas, and a biography which included records of the 1903-4 military expedition to Lhasa (Lhasa and its Mysteries). Waddell was also in the limelight due to his acquisition of Tibetan manuscripts which he donated to the British Museum. His overriding interest was in 'Aryan origins'. After learning Sanskrit and Tibetan, and in between military expeditions together with Col. Younghusband, and gathering intelligence from the borders of Tibet in the Great Game, Waddell researched Lamaism. He extended his activities to Archaeology, Philology and Ethnology, and was credited with discoveries in relation to Buddha. His personal ambition was to locate records of ancient civilization in Tibetan lamaseries.

… Waddell is little known as an archaeologist and scholar, in contrast with his fame in the Oriental field, due to the controversial nature of his published works dealing with 'Aryan themes'. Waddell studied Sumerian and presented evidence that an Aryan migration flee- ing Sargon II carried Sumerian records to India. He interrupted his comparative studies of Sumerian and Indian king-lists to publish a work on Phoenician origins and decipherment of Indus Valley seals, the inscriptions of which he claimed were similar to Sumerian pictogram signs cited from G. A. Barton's plates, which are reproduced in this volume.

… Waddell's life is reconstructed from primary sources, such as letters from Marc Aurel Stein at the British Museum and Theophilus G. Pinches, held in the Special Collections at the University of Glasgow Library. Special attention is paid to the contemporary reception of his theories, with the objective of re-evaluating his contribution; they are contrasted to past and present academic views, in addition to an overview of relevant discoveries in Archaeology.


List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Controversial Scholar

Part I The Aryan Quest
1 Quest and Career – A Tour of the Himalayas
2 Excavations in Pataliputra, 1895–1903
3 Quest for Manuscripts in Lhasa, 1903–1904

Part II The Rise of Man
4 Sumerian, Decipherment, and 'Shinar'
5 Decoding the Dragon and Rise of Man (The British Edda)
6 The Phoenician Origin of the Britons
7 Identification of the first Sumerian Dynasty
8 Ur-Nina, Ruler of the Gardens of Sumeria
9 Menes was Sumerian

Part III The Second Garden of Sumeria
10 Archaeology of the Indus Valley Civilization
11 Indo-Sumerian Seals Deciphered
12 Findings about the 'Second Edin'
13 Decipherment of the Seals
Epilogue: The Forgotten Scholar

I Introduction by Professor S. Langdon to G.R. Hunter's Abstract
II Waddell's letter re Shinar
III Waddell in the Special Collections
IV Undated draft by Waddell in response to Julian S. Huxley and A.C. Haddon's commentary in We Europeans (1935)
V Full titles of works by Waddell with a common Aryan theme



"Brings alive the strange world of the Edda, and its eerie parallels in the book of Genesis, while at the same time vindicating the work of its greatest interpreter, the British explorer Laurence A. Waddell. In this book, Christine Preston persuasively demonstrates that Norse myths that have always been placed in the north, the assumed land of the gods, were in fact echoes of very real events that took place in the land of Eden, modern day eastern Turkey, in some distant epoch. She argues also that this same region of the globe was also the place of origin of the Sumerian race, a nagging suspicion that has always existed but has never been so convincingly argued." Andrew Collins, author of The Cygnus Mystery, Ashes of Angels and Gods of Eden

"Preston's doctoral research into ancient India led her to Waddell (1845–1938), the first European to publish research on Tibetan Lamaism and Buddhism. She reconstructs his life and career as a British Army officer, and sheds light on the ideologies he expressed in works that have long since been sidelined by the media and scholars. Among his claims were that the writing of Indus Valley (still undeciphered) was Sumerian, and that the Icelandic Elder Edda reveals the ancient Aryan makers of civilization. The history he told recounts the Aryan quest, the rise of man, and the second garden of Sumeria." Reference & Research Book News


Hardback ISBN:978-1-84519-315-7
Page Extent / Format:272 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:July 2009
Hardback Price:£55.00 / $85.00