Genesis Secret: Further Themes
Princes Islands, the Sea of Marmara, Turkey
These agreeable islands are very much as described in the book: I know because I went there. Here I am, cycling down a little lane in sunny Buyukada. No cars are allowed
Canford School, Dorset
Sorry about that chapter, I got carried away. Anyhow this place is as I describe it – minus the flayed human skin. The stuff about the “Nineveh porch” is all true: you can read about the famous discovery of an Assyrian stele, in the tuckshop of the school, at this site.
This eerie and obscure megalithic complex in the Judean Hills, near Jerusalem, is where I got the inspiration to include the sacrificial elements in the book. Here I am, scowling like a supercilious idiot, in the very same place where the Canaanites interred their living children in small jars.
Nice people, the Canaanites. Good with kids
The French chapter
The biggest site of human sacrifice in France is indeed at Ribemont-sur-Ancre, close to the front line of the Great War. Read about it at the bottom of this Wikipedia page
Some people have speculated that the corpses at Ribemont belonged to noble enemy warriors who were sacrificed – and then exhibited on a kind of scaffold. Hence the odd accumulation of cadavers: the scaffold rotted but the headless skeletons remained. This is an artist’s impression.
The stone circle of Castlerigg is a great place to visit if you are in the English Lake District. Can be a tad windy and cold though.
Several sacrificial legends attach to the circle.
The “Valley of the Shadow of Death”
This is an actual valley, south of Old Jerusalem, adjoining the Kidron Valley, which leads to the Garden of Gethsemane. For the Canaanites, this valley was the entrance to hell: Gehenna. Ancient Israelites used to bring their children down here, to be sacrificed to Moloch, the demon-God: the babies and infants would be roasted alive in a brass bowl, while their screams were drowned out by the pounding of priestly drums.
Despite this incredible and harrowing history, the valley is now a quiet and tranquil spot, speckled in spring with wild flowers. As you can see.