A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia is putting a new spin on the biblical tale of the flood and Noah’s Ark — and that’s causing consternation among some Christian fundamentalists.
The Book of Genesis includes detailed specifications for the giant boat on which all kinds of animals were placed, two by two, to shelter from 40 days and 40 nights of rain. The wooden ark was to measure about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 30 feet high (300 by 50 by 30 cubits, or 137 by 23 by 13 meters).
All well and good: But the specifications listed on the Babylonian “Ark Tablet,” which is now on display at the British Museum, are totally different. The Babylonian boat was supposed to be made of braided rope, stiffened by wooden spars and sealed with bitumen. And it was supposed to have a round base, measuring 230 feet wide (70 meters wide).
“It was really a heart-stopping moment — the discovery that the boat was to be a round boat,” Irving Finkel, a curator at the museum, told The Associated Press. “That was a real surprise.”
“Because the Bible is God’s inspired Word, it gives us the true account,” Ham wrote. “The other flood legends are man’s changed versions of the event called Noah’s Flood, which occurred close to 4,400 years ago!”
Fans of Ham’s Facebook page took up the argument and rejected Finkel’s claims. “This is just another clever attempt from Satan to try to disprove or distort the existence of the ark,” one said. Another wrote, “A round ark would have sunk.”