Al-Qurnah

Al-Qurnah

Al-Qurnah (Kurnah or Qurna, meaning connection/joint in Arabic) is a town in southern Iraq about 74 km northwest of Basra, that lies within the conglomeration of Nahairat. Qurna is located at the confluence point of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to form the Shatt al-Arab waterway.[2] Local folklore holds Qurnah to have been the original site of biblical paradise, the Garden of Eden, and location of the Tree of Knowledge. Local folklore holds Qurnah to have been the site of the Garden of Eden and the location of a city built by general Seleucus Nicator I.[3][4] An ancient tree is celebrated locally and shown to the tourists as the actual Tree of Knowledge of the Bible.[5] The tree died some time ago and replacement trees were planted. The tomb of Ezra is also described to be nearby and found further upstream on the river Tigris.[6][7] In 1855, Al Qurnah was the site of the Qurnah Disaster, in which local tribes attacked and sank a convoy of a ship and rafts carrying 240 cases of antiquities discovered by Victor Place's mission to Khorsabad, Rawlinson's to Kuyunjik and Fresnel's to Babylon.[8][9] The loss of priceless antiquities was a notable disaster for those researching the antiquities of the region.[8] Subsequent efforts to recover antiquities lost in the Qurnah Disaster, including a Japanese expedition in 1971-2, were largely unsuccessful.[10][11]