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Translated cuneiform tablet reveals Noah’s Ark story

Irving Finkel

3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet has been translated that tells a version of the story of Noah’s Ark.

While every child’s toy and biblical illustration – and the latest film version, due for release later this month and starring Russell Crowe as Noah – shows a big pointy-ended wooden boat, the Babylonian tablet gives what Finkel is convinced is the original version of the story.

The ark is a huge circular coracle, 3,600 square metres in dimension or two-thirds the size of a football pitch, made like a giant rope basket strengthened with wooden ribs, and waterproofed with bitumen inside and out. This was a giant version of a craft which the Babylonians knew very well, Finkel pointed out, in daily use up to the late 20th century to transport people and animals across rivers.

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Story: Maev Kennedy, The Guardian | Photo: Sang Tan, AP

One thought on “Translated cuneiform tablet reveals Noah’s Ark story

  1. The Bible’s version of the Ark is more like a modern tanker or cargo ship. It only needed to float and be stable, not to sail. I’d like to know how the ‘pre-Biblical’ accounts were dated. Granted they may have been written before Moses (Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees (a sophisticated city) hundreds of years before Moses lived), but since the flood myths seem universal, maybe it really happened.

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