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- History & Archaeology
Noah's Ark was ROUND!
I think just about everybody is aware of the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark, saving the animals two by two.
For centuries now many people have searched for remains of the Ark. Most concentrate their searches in the area of Mt. Ararat, where the Ark is said to have come to rest.
When conjuring up thoughts of this boat, people will usually think of some sea going vessel, with pointed front and rear. This is the shape that archeologists have looked for in the past.
Then though, in that region of the world and even today in parts of Iraq and Iran, people use circular boats made of reeds to ferry their livestock across rivers or at times of floods.
Whilst serving in the Middle East with the RAF between 1945 and 1948 Leonard Simmons found a battered tablet with ancient writings on it. A mainly self taught Londoner, Simmons had a passion for history and so took this and some other finds back to London on his return.
These items were passed on to his son Douglas who decided to take the tablet to the British Museum for analysis and perhaps deciphering.
Irving Finkel, an expert at the museum, reported that the tablet was about 3700 years old. He deciphered the 60 lines of neatly written script that were written in Ancient Babylonian
The tablet tells of God deciding that one man should survive the flood, the Sumerian King, Altram Hasis.
God commands Hasis to build a raft made of reeds, equal in both length and breadth. It tells of how Hasis is to make the reeds waterproof by means of Bitumen before building the cabins and decks for family and animals. It also tells of when Hasis has boarded the Ark, how he is to tell the unfortunate boat builder to seal the door from the outside.
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Lost in Translation
It has long been known that the Jews based the story of Noah, on an ancient Mesopotamian story of the floods.
Does this now mean that we see the true account of the flood, instead of one that has gone through several translations and perhaps a little exaggeration?
This account of a story from the Bible stayed hidden for centuries and may have be lost for good as Simmons Sr. had no intention of having it deciphered and Douglas nearly threw it out.
How will this affect the searches for the lost Ark?
Can archeologists really expect to find remnants of an ancient reed boat?
How does this change our understanding of the Bible?
Are all the stories in the Bible subject to translation errors or exaggerations?
Like this one, will other stories ever come to light?
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No matter what the religion, there will always be fanatics that want to force it on others. Surely religion should be a personal thing, between you and God.