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 Noahs Ark myth. A world authority on the period, Dr Finkels 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 Finkels pioneering work didnt 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.