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Download The Ark before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Ark before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood, by Gareth Armstrong, Irving Finkel Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gareth Armstrong, Irving Finkel Narrator: Irving Finkel, Gareth Armstron Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The recent translation of a Babylonian tablet launches a groundbreaking investigation into one of the most famous stories in the world, challenging the way we look at ancient history.

Since the Victorian period, it has been understood that the story of Noah, iconic in the Book of Genesis, and a central motif in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, derives from a much older story that existed centuries before in ancient Babylon. But the relationship between the Babylonian and biblical traditions was shrouded in mystery.

In 2009, Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum and a world authority on ancient Mesopotamia, found himself playing detective when a member of the public arrived at the museum with an intriguing cuneiform tablet from a family collection. Not only did the tablet reveal a new version of the Babylonian flood story—the ancient poet described the size and completely unexpected shape of the ark and gave detailed boat building specifications. Decoding this ancient message wedge by cuneiform wedge, Dr. Finkel discovered where the Babylonians believed the ark came to rest and developed a new explanation of how the old story ultimately found its way into the Bible.

In The Ark Before Noah, Dr. Finkel takes us on an adventurous voyage of discovery that opens the door to an enthralling world of ancient voices and new meanings.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Engaging and informative…Finkel is an enthusiast and shows evident delight in bringing this find to the wider public.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A gem of a book.”

    New Yorker

  • “A serious book, but rarely a heavy one: in a sprightly good-humoured way, Finkel communicates the thrill of true scholarship…This book does more than change the way we imagine the sources of a Bible story, however. It rescues cuneiform from its dusty place in the museum basement…Fresh and exciting.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “The charged thrill of Finkel’s chase permeates the book—the pages don’t just join dots, they supply new pieces for a beautiful, Bronze-Age jigsaw-puzzle…Consistently scholarly and droll, Finkel’s writing is also eccentrically vivid…It is a joy, at times laugh-out-loud funny…The antediluvian past of the Middle East might seem arcane but this book demonstrates its relevance…Thank God there are still men who can translate [these ancient] messages.”

    Times (London)

  • “[Finkel’s] conclusions will send ripples into the world of creationism and among ark hunters.”

    Guardian (London)

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About the Narrator

Irving Finkel is a British Museum 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. He specializes in ancient Mesopotamian medicine and magic, and he is also interested in literature, religion, and the history of ideas in this part of the world. He is interested in the history of board games throughout the world, especially the preservation of traditional board games in many non-Western societies. Irving is the author of several academic articles and books on ancient Babylon.