At the end of the Ice Age, Southeast Asia formed a continent twice the size of India. The South China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and the Java Sea, which were all dry, formed the connecting parts of the continent. Geologically, this half-sunken continent is the Sunda shelf of Sundaland. In Eden in the East Stephen Oppenheimer puts forward the astonishing argument that here in Southeast Asia was the cradle of civilisation that fertilised the great cultures of China, India, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Crete six thousand years ago. He produces evidence from ethnography, archaeology, oceanography, from Creation stories, myths and sagas, and from linguistics and DNA analysis, to argue that this founder-civilisation was destroyed by the catastrophic flood, caused by a rapid rise in sea level at the end of the last Ice Age.