It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


3,700 Year Old Babylonian Relic Reveals Noah's Ark Was Circular

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 4 2010 @ 04:48 AM
Ancient Babylonian Relic tells story of Noah and his 'giant reed raft' -

3,700 year old relic reveals Noah's ark was circular

According to newly translated instructions inscribed in ancient Babylonian on a clay tablet telling the story of the ark, the vessel that saved one virtuous man, his family and the animals from god's watery wrath was not the pointy-prowed craft of popular imagination but rather a giant circular reed raft.

This relic was found by an amateur historian in 1948 and was only recently translated, when it's discoverer's son took it to the British Museum. Its about 3,700 years old. The cuneiform text reveal instructions on how to build the "ark".

"In all the images ever made people assumed the ark was, in effect, an ocean-going boat, with a pointed stem and stern for riding the waves – so that is how they portrayed it," said Finkel. "But the ark didn't have to go anywhere, it just had to float, and the instructions are for a type of craft which they knew very well. It's still sometimes used in Iran and Iraq today, a type of round coracle which they would have known exactly how to use to transport animals across a river or floods." - Irving Finkel.

This translated version shows its roots in Sumer;

Finkel's research throws light on the familiar Mesopotamian story, which became the account in Genesis, in the Old Testament, of Noah and the ark that saved his menagerie from the waters which drowned every other living thing on earth.

In his translation, the god who has decided to spare one just man speaks to Atram-Hasis, a Sumerian king who lived before the flood and who is the Noah figure in earlier versions of the ark story. "Wall, wall! Reed wall, reed wall! Atram-Hasis, pay heed to my advice, that you may live forever! Destroy your house, build a boat; despise possessions And save life! Draw out the boat that you will built with a circular design; Let its length and breadth be the same."

The tablet goes on to command the use of plaited palm fibre, waterproofed with bitumen, before the construction of cabins for the people and wild animals.

It ends with the dramatic command of Atram-Hasis to the unfortunate boat builder whom he leaves behind to meet his fate, about sealing up the door once everyone else is safely inside: "When I shall have gone into the boat, Caulk the frame of the door!"

In the Sumerian version the king's name is Ziusudra. Sumerian Mythology by Samuel Noah Kramer covers the Sumerian version (Ch. 4) at

posted on Jan, 5 2010 @ 03:25 PM
I wonder how this affects the dogmatic view of the traditional wooden ark, when much older tales talk of it being a reed raft, and hardly able to last more than a few decades, let alone centuries. Just more proof Abraham carried the tale with him out of Ur.

posted on Jan, 6 2010 @ 11:21 AM

Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
Just more proof Abraham carried the tale with him out of Ur.

Or possibly more likely more proof that the Jews grafted this story, and others, into their own mythology during or after the Babylonian exile.

new topics

log in