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Old 01-26-2014, 10:18 AM  
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Museum Expert Finds Pre-Noah Ark Plans, Unconvinced Ark Existed

Babylonian tablet shows how Noah's ark could have been constructed

British Museum expert says 3,700-year-old instructions describe how to build round boat but he does not believe ark existed


Irving Finkel with the cuneiform clay tablet at the British Museum. Photograph: Sang Tan/AP

Noah's ark was never built, still less crash landed on Mount Ararat, a British Museum expert has declared despite holding in his hand 3,700-year-old instructions on exactly how to construct one.

"I am 107% convinced the ark never existed," Irving Finkel said. His discoveries, since a member of the public brought a battered clay tablet with 60 lines of neat cuneiform text to Finkel one of the few people in the world who could read them are outlined in a new book, The Ark Before Noah.

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.

Its people-and-animal-carrying abilities will soon be put to the test: the production company Blink is making a Channel 4 documentary based on his research, including building a circular ark.

The tablet gives a version of the ark story far older than the biblical accounts, and Finkel believes the explanation of how "holy writ appears on this piece of Weetabix", is that the writers of the Bible drew on ancient accounts encountered by Hebrew scholars during the Babylonian exile.

Texts about a great flood and the order by God to the one just man to build a boat and save himself, his family, and all the animals, clearly older than the Bible story, were first found in the Middle East in the 19th century. They caused both consternation and wild excitement, including an expedition to find the broken part of one tablet in a mountain of shattered clay fragments.

However, the tablet studied by Finkel is unique, the only one with precise instructions on how to build the ark and the crucial detail that it should be circular. He believes the data on its exact dimensions, the two kinds of bitumen, and the precise amount of rope needed, are evidence not that the vessel once existed, but of a storyteller adding convincing details for an audience that knew all about boat-building.

The tablet was brought to him on a museum open day by Douglas Simmons, whose father, Leonard, brought it back to England in a tea-chest full of curios, after wartime service in the Middle East with the RAF.

When the Guardian originally broke the story of its discovery, Simmons said his father had once showed his treasures to some academics, and was bitterly disappointed when they were dismissed as rubbish. He suspects the tablet was either bought for pennies in a bazaar or literally picked up.

Finkel describes the clay tablet as "one of the most important human documents ever discovered", and his conclusions will send ripples into the world of creationism and among ark hunters, where many believe in the literal truth of the Bible account, and innumerable expeditions have been mounted to try to find the remains of the ark.

The clay tablet is going on display at the British Museum, loaned by Simmons, beside a tablet from the museum's collection with the earliest map of the world, as seen from ancient Babylon. The flood tablet helped explain details of the map, which shows islands beyond the river marking the edge of the known world, with the text on the back explaining that on one are the remains of the ark.

Finkel said that not only did the ark never exist, but ark hunters were looking in the wrong place the map shows the ark in the direction of, but far beyond the mountain range later known as Ararat.

The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood, by Irving Finkel, Hodder & Stoughton

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2...british-museum
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:24 AM   #2
Hamwallet Hamwallet is offline
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There are over 75,000 different spiders that we know of right now...
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:31 AM   #3
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There are over 75,000 different spiders that we know of right now...
I like spiders. I am also fond of ants and ladybugs. Yet cockraoches freak me out badly and crickets (of all things) unsettle me. How weird is that?
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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well as long as he's convinced.....
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:00 PM   #5
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There are flood myths from ancient cultures all over the eastern Mediterranean. The reason for this is that in some point in history the Bosphorus was actually a land bridge between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea which was a smaller freshwater lake. That land bridge was broken at some point and it flooded the area leading to the Black Sea we know today. This happened well within the area of time of human habitation on the shores of the Black sea in Anatolia.

People who escaped the flood soon spread the news to other human communities and boom the flood myth is born.

Sorta the same thing happened with the Islamic myth of the city of Ubar. There was a Ubar and it did get swallowed up by the desert sands. Allah had nothing to do with it, it was the fact that the city was built over a limestone cavern filled with water. When the water level of the cavern got low enough, the cavern collapsed inward sinking the city and pulling in the desert sands with it. It happened very quickly and the city disappeared probably within a couple hours.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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We will all find out after we die what the truth about human history really is. Until then there will bean exhausting number of theory's for one side or another.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:43 PM   #7
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We will all find out after we die what the truth about human history really is. Until then there will bean exhausting number of theory's for one side or another.
Words of wisdom right here.

Until then, I'm just trying to be the best husband, father, and human being I can be.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:55 PM   #8
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We will all find out after we die what the truth about human history really is. Until then there will bean exhausting number of theory's for one side or another.
I look at it with just the opposite view. If there is anything I want to learn, I am fortunate to have a brief time in this life to investigate it. I won't get perfect answers, but I'd rather learn as many of the best evidence-based answers that I can than to squash my curiosity. I have one life to live -- there are no dress rehearsals.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:51 PM   #9
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We will all find out after we die what the truth about human history really is. Until then there will bean exhausting number of theory's for one side or another.
Unless our consciousness ceases to exist when our bodies fails. Then we don't find out anything after we die.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:02 AM   #10
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Unless our consciousness ceases to exist when our bodies fails. Then we don't find out anything after we die.
in which case, why am i not killing all these humans who annoy me? we're just animals after all, right? what does it really matter if you return to dirt a few years early.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:54 AM   #11
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in which case, why am i not killing all these humans who annoy me? we're just animals after all, right? what does it really matter if you return to dirt a few years early.
No, not really. You don't need the promise of an afterlife to not act like an asshole. Do you believe that heaven, or the threat of hell, is the only thing keeping you from murdering your neighbors?

Why aren't the prisons filled with atheists?
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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No, not really. You don't need the promise of an afterlife to not act like an asshole. Do you believe that heaven, or the threat of hell, is the only thing keeping you from murdering your neighbors?
You just need empathy to not act like an asshole.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:06 AM   #13
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I for one would have liked to see how polar bears and crocodiles would have interacted, or penguins and hyenas.

And why leave the Dodo Bird behind? What did they ever do wrong? Poor Dodo Birds....
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:47 AM   #14
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No, not really. You don't need the promise of an afterlife to not act like an asshole. Do you believe that heaven, or the threat of hell, is the only thing keeping you from murdering your neighbors?

Why aren't the prisons filled with atheists?
Well personally I believe he might need that.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:50 PM   #15
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We will all find out after we die what the truth about human history really is.
No we won't.

When you die, you'll lose consciousness, and then either be burned or rot in a box. You will cease to exist, and will not learn anything. The End.
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