The project stems from some reflections on the history of humanity and the reading of the book The Million, written by Marco Polo. Marco Polo, who had been the ambassador of the Great Khan, wrote of the relics of Adam held in the Palace of the King of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.
They were not the relics of Adam, but they were probably relics of Buddha, perhaps the same tooth now preserved in the Temple of the royal palace of Kandy. Marco Polo himself didn’t believe that they were the relics of Adam, the mythical father of humanity descended from the garden of Eden, but for us this was the beginning of an extraordinary search for historical and literary sources and a cultural and scientific path.
Many tropical countries are called “Garden of Eden”, but Sri Lanka is the only country in the world that can legitimately boast this title, because it is very likely that the myth of the garden of Eden was born in this part of the world. The Arab merchants, who called Serendippo the island of Ceylon, were the first to support and disseminate this idea.
Five hundred years ago, the philosopher Campanella had placed in the island of Ceylon his utopian city of the sun. The writer Arthur Clarke instead spent the last part of his life and the island inspired his novel The Fountains of Paradise. The writer Aldous Huxley also used the scenario of Sri Lanka as the backdrop of his novel The Island, and mentioned it as a possible garden of Eden. Many places and things connect Sri Lanka with the myth of the Garden of Eden.
The submerged thin isthmus that connects Sri Lanka with India is called “Adam’s Bridge”. “Adam’s Peak” is the name of the most important sacred mountain of the island from which four sacred rivers are born. In support of the thesis of Sri Lanka-origin of the Garden of Eden we can also mention a fact: the climatology tells us that 20,000 years ago, during the last glacial maximum, when Europe and Asia were covered by hundreds of meters of ice and Africa was a desert uninhabitable, Sri Lanka was instead a paradise for the few people who lived on the central plateau of the country.
THE ADAM’S BRIDGE: MYTH AND HISTORY
For a long time it was considered that this strip of land was only a natural formation. However, satellite imagery taken by NASA at the beginning of 2003, has ignited a fierce debate, since, according to some, the structure also seems to be of artificial origin.
The photos, in fact, show that the curious conformation in the Strait of Palk is much more like a long destroyed bridge, now submerged by the ocean. Some parts of the “bridge” have still emerged, others are flooded with water. According to some historical sources, around the fifteenth century the strip of land was still practicable on foot, at least until 1480 when it was definitively destroyed by a cyclone.
There is still a considerable diversity of views on the geological origin of the structure. Some say it is the result of a process of raising the Earth’s crust, others that formed after the separation of Sri Lanka from the Indian continent. The perplexity is represented by the large rectangular limestone blocks present at the base of the structure, which would suggest an artificial origin.