A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia — modern-day Iraq — reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah. It tells a similar story, complete with detailed instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle — as well as the key instruction that animals should enter “two by two.”
The tablet went on display in the British Museum on Friday, and soon engineers will follow the ancient instructions to see whether the vessel could possibly have sailed.
It's the subject of a new book, “The Ark Before Noah,” by Irving Finkel, the museum's assistant keeper of the Middle East and the man who translated the tablet.
Finkel got hold of it a few years ago, when a man brought in a damaged tablet his father had acquired in the Middle East at the end of World War II. It was light brown, about the size of a mobile phone and covered in the jagged cuneiform script of the ancient Mesopotamians.
It turned out, Finkel said, to be “one of the most important human documents ever discovered.”
“It was really a heart-stopping moment — the discovery that the boat was to be a round boat,” said Finkel. “That was a real surprise.”
And yet, Finkel said, a round boat makes sense. Coracles were widely used as river taxis in ancient Iraq and are perfectly designed to bob along on raging floodwaters.
The tablet records a Mesopotamian god's instructions for building a giant vessel — two-thirds the size of a soccer field in area — made of rope, reinforced with wooden ribs and coated in bitumen.
Finkel said that on paper (or stone) the boat-building orders appear sound, but he doesn't yet know whether it would have floated. A television documentary to be broadcast later this year will follow attempts to build the ark according to the ancient manual.
The flood story recurs in later Mesopotamian writings including “Epic of Gilgamesh.” These versions lack the technical instructions — cut out, Finkel believes, because they got in the way of the storytelling.
Finkel is aware his discovery may cause consternation among believers in the biblical story. When 19th-century British Museum scholars first learned from cuneiform tablets that the Babylonians had a flood myth, they were disturbed by its striking similarities to the story of Noah.
“Already in 1872 people were writing about it in a worried way — what does it mean that holy writ appears on this piece of Weetabix?” he joked, referring to a cereal similar in shape to the tablet.
Finkel has no doubts.
“I'm sure the story of the flood and a boat to rescue life is a Babylonian invention,” he said.
He believes the tale was likely passed on to the Jews during their exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C.
And he doesn't think the tablet provides evidence the ark described in the Bible existed. He said it's more likely that a devastating real flood made its way into folk memory, and has remained there ever since.
“I don't think the ark existed — but a lot of people do,” he said. “It doesn't really matter. The Biblical version is a thing of itself and it has a vitality forever.
“The idea that floods are caused by sin is happily still alive among us,” he added, pointing out a local councilor in England who made headlines recently for saying Britain's recent storms were caused by the legalization of gay marriage.
Amazingly, there is a cultural and prophetic context for the arising of this Feminine-based planetary transformation that is underway.
The Mayan 2012 prophecies foretold of this shift of planetary stewardship into the hands of the Feminine.
The Solstice on December 21, 2012—precisely at 11:11 AM Universal Time—marks the completion of the 5,125 year Great Cycle of the Ancient Maya Long Count Calendar.
Rather than being a linear end-point, this cycle that is closing is naturally followed by the start of a new cycle. What this new cycle has in store for humanity is a mystery that has yet to unfold…
2012 is also considered the completion of the 26,000 year Precession of the Equinoxes cycle, and some say it also signifies the end of a 104,000 year cycle.
The image above depicts an Ancient Mayan Glyph showing the transfer of the Staff of Power to the Spirit of the Feminine.
The Ancient Paths, released tomorrow, suggests that the Druids possessed map-making skills that historians believed were discovered centuries later and created the “earliest accurate map of the world”.
But their scientific and mathematical achievements have been long forgotten as there is no written evidence and their history has been replaced the stereotypes of them as wood-dwelling wildmen.
“Anything to do with the Celts and the Druids seems very implausible and that is why I spent five years on this, I thought it can’t be true, I have to disprove it,” Mr Robb said. “But they were a very advanced civilisation.
“There is an underlying sense that the civilisation that won must have been superior and that clearly isn’t the case.
“There is a lot of admiring what the Romans did, but they didn’t do it in a void, and it might be nice if there was a more nuanced view of the almighty Romans.”
Of all the world's ancient calendar systems, the Maya and other Mesoamerican systems are the most complex, intricate and accurate. Calculations of the congruence of the 260-day and the 365-day Maya cycles is almost exactly equal to the actual solar year in the tropics, with only a 19-minute margin of error.
Maya astronomer-priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or "codices". From these observations, the Maya developed calendars to keep track of celestial movements and the passage of time. The Maya also kept detailed records of the moon, although these do not seem to constitute a formal lunar calendar.
With the aid of a forked stick, astronomer-priests used only the naked eye to take observations that allowed them to calculate the path of Venus and other celestial bodies. From the records of their observations they could calculate with precision events such as solar eclipses.
It is certain, too, that the principal Giza monuments form an accurate terrestrial 'map' of the three stars of Orion's belt as these constellations appeared in 10,500 BC. (see below) Who could have been observing the skies over Giza in 10,500 BC and who, at that date, could have had the technical capacity to realize such monumental works as the Sphinx and the pyramids?
Egyptologists assert there was no civilization on Earth at that time, let alone one capable of planning and building such immense, well engineered structures. If they are right, why do the alignments of Giza so plainly and repetitively mirror the skies of the 11th millennium BC.
Very interesting theory about ancient canals. While I explore it as certainly being possible, I still won't donate $$ to the website you linked to which shows the 2 (and only 2) pictures you've shared and expects us to believe.
Have any artifacts been recovered lending credence to these ports and canals existing?edit on 8-3-2014 by TXRabbit because: removed verbage that unintentionally sounded harsh
Canals courtesy of Army Corp of Engineers. They are dredged regularly because they fill in naturally.
"Harbors" also the result of modern dredging.
Good idea, not donating money to a fraud.
Could the undeniably geometric ruins in India’s Gulf of Cambay be the lost city of Lord Krishna? Many Indians believe so, designating Dwarka as an important site for Hindu pilgrimage. The ruins are located just off the coast of modern-day Dwarka, one of the seven oldest cities in India. The ancient Dwarka was a planned city built on the banks of the Gomati river but was eventually deserted and submerged into the sea, as documented in texts like the Mahabharata and Purana, though some experts maintain that it was mythological.
As the story goes, Lord Krishna had a beautiful and prosperous city built, with 70,000 palaces made of gold, silver and other precious metals. It was his death that supposedly sent Dwarka sinking into the sea.
The ruins, discovered in 2000 and investigated with acoustic techniques, are known as the Gulf of Khambat Cultural Complex. They’re 131 feet beneath the surface. One of the artifacts dredged up by scientists was dated around 7500 BCE, which could support the theories that it is, in fact, the ancient Dwarka.
ay what? Are they *still* in a sealed chamber or not? Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities don't let unqualified guys, without academic credentials or backing, loose in any pyramids and certainly not the GP. Is he saying he discovered a sealed chamber and took the contents home?
In my recent work on British Origins, I proved by a mass of new historical evidence that the "Sumerians "-those foremost civilized and civilizing ancient people whose monuments and high art of five thousand years ago are the wonder of the modern world-were the long lost Early Aryans; that the Phoenicians were not Semites, as has been hitherto supposed, but Aryans and the chief colonizing branch of the Sumerians; and that the people, who colonized and civilized India, as well as those who colonized and civilized the Mediterranean, North-western Europe and Britain and who were the ancestors of the Britons, were likewise Aryan and belonged predominantly to the Phoenician branch of that race.
These results are now dramatically confirmed, both as regards India and the British Isles, by the discovery in the Indus Valley, a few weeks after the publication of my book, of two large series of ancient seals inscribed with Sumerian writing, unearthed from beneath the foundations of old Buddhist buildings of the third century B.C., to the second century A.D., at widely different sites on the Indus, and associated with the ancient buildings and tombs of the owners of the seals, and cultural objects of ancient Sumerian and Phoenician type. - L. A. Waddell,
Origin of Britons
Scots & Anglo-Saxons
DISCOVERED BY PHOENICIAN & SUMERIAN
INSCRIPTIONS IN BRITAIN, BY PRE-
ROMAN BRITON COINS & A MASS
OF NEW HISTORY
L. A. Waddell
[Lawrence Austine Waddell]
LL.D., C.B., C.I.E.
Fellow of Royal Anthropological Institute, Linnean & Folk-Lore
Societies, Hon. Correspondt. Indian Archaeological
Survey, Ex-Professor of Tibetan,
WITH OVER ONE HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS AND PLATES
Orig. pub. by Williams & Norgate, 1924
2nd ed., 1925
laboriously scanned by JR
and proofread by Dr. Samar Abbas, Aligarh, India (July, 2003)
Tecún Umán and the K’iche:
The K’iche had been warned against the Spanish by Aztec Emperor Montezuma in the waning days of his rule and flatly rejected Spanish offers to surrender and pay tribute, although they were proud and independent and would most likely have fought in any event. They selected young Tecún Umán as their war chief, and he sent out feelers to neighboring kingdoms, who refused to unite against the Spanish. All in all, he was able to round up about 10,000 warriors to fight the invaders.
Uriel's Machine: The Prehistoric Technology That Survived the Flood is a bestselling book published in 1999 by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas. The book's name is derived from a character of the same name in the Book of Enoch. In Knight and Lomas's interpretation of the Book of Enoch, Uriel warns Enoch about the impending flood, giving him instructions for building a form of solar observatory for the purpose of preserving advanced knowledge into a time of global disaster by teaching him the movement of the Sun against the horizon over a period of time, which Enoch then records in detail in the Book of the Courses of the Heavenly Luminaries.