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Noah's Ark: New Details On Mesopotamian Clay Tablet


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LONDON (AP) -- It was a vast boat that saved two of each animal and a handful of humans from a catastrophic flood.

 

But forget all those images of a long vessel with a pointy bow - the original Noah's Ark, new research suggests, was round.

 

A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia - modern-day Iraq - reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah. It tells a similar story, complete with detailed instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle - as well as the key instruction that animals should enter "two by two."

 

The tablet went on display at the British Museum on Friday, and soon engineers will follow the ancient instructions to see whether the vessel could actually have sailed.

 

........

 

Elizabeth Stone, an expert on the antiquities of ancient Mesopotamia at New York's Stony Brook University, said it made sense that ancient Mesopotamians would depict their mythological ark as round.

 

"People are going to envision the boat however people envision boats where they are," she said. "Coracles are not unusual things to have had in Mesopotamia."

 

The tablet records a Mesopotamian god's instructions for building a giant vessel - two-thirds the size of a soccer field in area - made of rope, reinforced with wooden ribs and coated in bitumen.

 

Finkel said that on paper (or stone) the boat-building orders appear sound, but he doesn't yet know whether it would have floated. A television documentary due to be broadcast later this year will follow attempts to build the ark according to the ancient manual.

 

The flood story recurs in later Mesopotamian writings including the "Epic of Gilgamesh." These versions lack the technical instructions - cut out, Finkel believes, because they got in the way of the storytelling.

 

 

........

 

Finkel is aware his discovery may cause consternation among believers in the Biblical story. When 19th-century British Museum scholars first learned from cuneiform tablets that the Babylonians had a flood myth, they were disturbed by its striking similarities to the story of Noah.

 

"Already in 1872 people were writing about it in a worried way - What does it mean that Holy Writ appears on this piece of Weetabix?" he joked, referring to a cereal similar in shape to the tablet.

 

Finkel has no doubts.

 

"I'm sure the story of the flood and a boat to rescue life is a Babylonian invention," he said.

 

He believes the tale was likely passed on to the Jews during their exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C. And he doesn't think the tablet provides evidence the ark described in the Bible existed. He said it's more likely that a devastating real flood made its way into folk memory, and has remained there ever since.

 

"I don't think the ark existed - but a lot of people do," he said. "It doesn't really matter. The Biblical version is a thing of itself and it has a vitality forever.

 

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_BRITAIN_ANCIENT_ARK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-01-24-14-58-33

 

 

Edit:

 

I also did not know that the Jewish account had Noah using precious stones to illuminate the Ark.  I put a thread on that here:

 

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/62672-book-of-mormon-hit-noah-used-precious-stones-to-illuminate-the-ark/

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Although it wouldn't be Noah's ark, it would be Atrahasis' ark, or Utnapishtim's ark, depending on which version of the story they're referring to. Either way, it's gods trying to wipe out humanity - created as garden laborers - because they're just too @#$% noisy. Utnapishtim/Atrahsis fortunately got one of the gods on his side to warn him, and instruct him how to allow humanity to survive. After outwitting the gods' destruction, he was eventually granted immortality, and was sought out generations later by the royal Gilgamesh in an ill-fated journey to learn the secrets of Eternal Life.

 

I've been re-reading through mesopotamian myths lately, actually, as helpful backstory to the the OT - many of the OT narratives and prophetic language are crafted as direct responses to and "reboots" of these then-popular and well-known stories.

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I've been re-reading through mesopotamian myths lately, actually, as helpful backstory to the the OT - many of the OT narratives and prophetic language are crafted as direct responses to and "reboots" of these then-popular and well-known stories.

 

The Jews certainly did have their Babylonian period.

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"A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia - modern-day Iraq - reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah."

 

I hope someone will provide a KingJamesVersion of these ancient words so we kin try it out as scripshur.

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People often think because other cultures hqve the flood story it invalidates Noah's ark. That is incorrect it actually reinforces t. People spread out after tge flood and the story was passed down through generations.

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People often think because other cultures hqve the flood story it invalidates Noah's ark. That is incorrect it actually reinforces t. People spread out after tge flood and the story was passed down through generations.

 

 

I don't know of a single culture that hasn't at some point in their history had at least one massive albeit regional flood.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html

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I don't know of a single culture that hasn't at some point in their history had at least one massive albeit regional flood.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html

True.

But that has always been used to argue against Noah's ark ever existing. And simply culture's copying the flood story from eachother.when in fact every culture would have a flood story because it occured and people continued to tell flowing generations aboit

it.

My concern for sometime had always been the degree of the flood. Did it flood all of earth or jist the known earth at the time where people were located.

I mean there was no point in flooding all the way down to Australia where people had not even settled yet.

That would also explain why we have some unique animals not found anywhere else in the world.

Becaise if indeed Australian animals were on board the ark, no fossilized koalas or kangaroos have popped up in the surronding areas where Noah's ark took place.

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True.

But that has always been used to argue against Noah's ark ever existing. And simply culture's copying the flood story from eachother.when in fact every culture would have a flood story because it occured and people continued to tell flowing generations aboit

it.

My concern for sometime had always been the degree of the flood. Did it flood all of earth or jist the known earth at the time where people were located.

I mean there was no point in flooding all the way down to Australia where people had not even settled yet.

That would also explain why we have some unique animals not found anywhere else in the world.

Becaise if indeed Australian animals were on board the ark, no fossilized koalas or kangaroos have popped up in the surronding areas where Noah's ark took place.

 

That is just the beginnings of the problems with a Global Flood. But I'm am content with the idea that Noah was a Prophet of God and faithfully recorded exactly what he saw. A limited albeit gigantic regional flood. IE; Where did the dove get that olive twig?

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Edit:

 

I also did not know that the Jewish account had Noah using precious stones to illuminate the Ark.  I put a thread on that here:

 

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/62672-book-of-mormon-hit-noah-used-precious-stones-to-illuminate-the-ark/

Cool article...but it was two of every unclean and seven of every clean animal. I am amazed at how many scholars get this one point wrong. The difficult thing is no boat could ever be that big, and we actually know the dimensions of Noah's Ark.
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