The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, November 28, 2014


New book decodes the symbols on a 4,000 year old tablet to reinterpret Noah's Ark
The Ark Before Noah by Irving Finkel. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, 2014. Photo: © Dale Cherry.
LONDON.- The Ark Before Noah is a compelling investigation of one of the most famous myths in the world - and how the re-discovery of an ancient tablet challenges our view of ancient history in a new and exciting way.

British Museum expert Irving Finkel reveals how decoding the symbols on a 4,000 year old piece of clay enables a radical new interpretation of the Noah’s Ark myth. A world authority on the period, Dr Finkel’s enthralling real-life detective story began with a most remarkable event at the British Museum – the arrival one day in 2008 of a single, modest-sized Babylonian cuneiform tablet –the palm-sized clay rectangles on which our ancestors created the first documents. It had been brought in by a member of the public and this particular tablet proved to be of quite extraordinary importance. Not only does it date from about 1850BC but it is a copy of the Babylonian Story of the Flood, a myth from ancient Mesopotamia revealing among other things, instructions for building a large boat to survive a flood. But Dr Finkel’s pioneering work didn’t stop there. Through another series of enthralling discoveries he has been able to decode the story of the Flood in ways which offer unanticipated revelations to readers of The Ark Before Noah.

Dr Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper of the Ancient Mesopotamian (ie. Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian) script, languages and cultures Department: Middle East 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 – some 130,000 pieces – of any modern museum. This work involves reading and translating all sorts of inscriptions, sometimes working on ancient archives to identify manuscripts that belong together or even join to one another.





Today's News

January 28, 2014

The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí acquires surrealist painting "Phantom Cart" from 1933

Colombian artist Fernando Botero escapes unhurt after fire at his holiday home

Four works recovered by the Monuments Men in Sotheby's Old Master Paintings Sale

New book decodes the symbols on a 4,000 year old tablet to reinterpret Noah's Ark

Works by Damien Hirst and Banksy take the lead in 'A Contemporary Edge', a new sale format at Bonhams

Save Photo discover the earliest surviving original photographs of Sir Winston Churchill

Exhibition of recent sculpture and works on paper by Rachel Whiteread opens at Gagosian Geneva

"Gridiron Greats: Vintage Football Cards from the Jefferson R. Burdick Collection" on view at the Metropolitan

First snowfall at Bonhams: Works in white adorn Impressionist & Modern Art Sale

Travelling exhibition organized by International Arts & Artists reveals the captivating world of art forgeries

Ambassador's treasured collection of Russian icons to grace Bonhams New York

Nate D. Sanders features Abraham Lincoln's personal rocking chairs and glass decanter

2013 Robert De Niro Sr. Painting Prize awarded to Catherine Murphy for achievements in painting

Bonhams Jewelry Auction to offer Cartier, David Webb in San Francisco

Skinner offers tremendous selection of paintings, sculpture, prints & photography during February auctions

Taymour Grahne Gallery presents Hassan Hajjaj: 'Kesh Angels'

Philippines to file United States suit to retrieve Marcos' Monet

The Olympic Museum presents a major exhibition 'The Russian Avant-Garde and Sport'

United States Artists names Carolina Garcia Jayaram new Chief Executive Officer

McMichael acquires three new works by leading contemporary Inuit artists

New artwork by artists Robert Irwin and Philipp Scholz Rittermann installed as part of Murals of La Jolla

Exhibition of works by 17th-century European printmakers on view at The La Salle University Art Museum

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