Courtesy Richard B. Carten

The Cradle of Gold (Mahd edh-Dhahab), one of the richest gold mines in Saudi Arabia or Africa, may have been worked as early as 1000 B.C.E., causing some to identify it as King Solomon’s mine (1 Kings 9:26–28). The fissures on the hillside are remnants of ancient mining. Rediscovered in 1932 by American mining engineer Karl Twitchell, the mine currently produces more than 5 tons of gold a year. This quartz-sulfide-gold vein is still mined today.

The river that watered the Garden of Eden split into four rivers, Genesis 2:10–12 relates, including the Pishon, which flowed “around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.” Bible scholars have identified Havilah with the Arabian peninsula because it is rich with bdellium (fragrant resins) and precious stones, but they have been unable to pinpoint the location of the river in this arid region. The recent discovery of the Kuwait River adjacent to the Cradle of Gold, the only Arabian source for such “good gold,” has led James Sauer to suggest that this dry riverbed may be the Pishon.