The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood

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National Geographic Books, Mar 17, 2015 - History - 480 pages

When a small, peculiar, palm-sized clay tablet made its way to the desk of Irving Finkel, Assyriologist and Assistant Keeper at the British Museum, Finkel could hardly believe his luck. What he discovered was a missing piece in the story of Noah and the Ark. In this captivating, absorbing work of scholarship, Finkel, a world authority on ancient Mesopotamia, leads the reader on a detective hunt for the prototype of Noah’s Ark—from cuneiform wedges to bundles of reeds, from ancient Babylon to modern Iraq, Finkel reveals new information on the origin of the Babylonian Flood story which pre-dates the biblical deluge, including the surprising size and shape of the boat itself, and even where it came to rest. New to this edition, Finkel puts the “Ark Tablet” to the test in building a modern version of the ship. Throughout, The Ark Before Noah takes us on an adventurous voyage of discovery, opening the door to an enthralling world of ancient voices and historical lore.

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About the author (2015)

Dr. Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper of ancient Mesopotamian script, languages, and cultures at the British Museum. He is the curator in charge of cuneiform inscriptions on tablets of clay from ancient Mesopotamia, of which the Middle East Department has the largest collection of any modern museum.

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