Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998
A book that completetly changes the established and conventional view of prehistory by relocating the Lost Eden – the world’s 1st civilisation – to SouthEast Asia. At the end of the Ice Age, SouthEast Asia formed a continent twice the size of India, which included Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo. The South China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and the Java sea, which were all dry, formed the connecting parts of the continent. Geologically, this half sunken continent is the Shunda shelf or Sundaland. In the Eden in the East Stephen Oppenheimer puts forward the astonishing argument that here in southeast Asia – rather than in Mesopotamia where it is usually placed – was the lost civilisation that fertilised the Great cultures of the Middle East 6 thousand years ago. He produces evidence from ethnography, archaeology, oceanography, from creation stories, myths and sag as and from linguistics and DNA analysis, to argue that this founder civilisation was destroyed by a catastrophic flood, caused by a rapid rise in the sea level at the end of the last ice age.