The Library of Congress

General Gordon. A renowned British military hero, Charles George Gordon fought in the Crimean War, in China and in Egypt. When he arrived in Jerusalem in 1883, one of his first actions was to combine his religious fervor with a general’s skill and confidence in interpreting terrain. After making sketches for a short report, he announced that the hill in which the Garden Tomb cave was hewn was Golgotha (“skull” in Aramaic), the site of Jesus’ crucifixion (see drawing).

In the same report, Gordon assigned a location for the Garden of Eden. He picked a true tropical paradise of giant trees and lush vegetation—the Seychelles island of Praslin in the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles from the East African coast.