The book of Genesis in the Bible tells the story of Noah and the ark he built to protect his family during God's first destruction of Earth. Now, an ancient clay tablet found in Mesopotamia reveals a new details of the ark Noah built in ancient times.
The tablet, which is dated to 4,000 years explains the basics of the ark that include the summoning of two of every animal for the flood and the building of a "round vessel." The round shape of the ark is a new discovery that has come to a surprise to many.
"It was really a heart-stopping moment," said author Irving Finkel of the book "The Ark Before Noah." "...the discovery that the boat was to be a round boat, that was a real surprise." The round shape of the ark lead many to answers to the question of whether the device could have really caused the ark to withstand raging floods or float. With this new evidence, scholars such as Finkel can determine that a round ark can withstand a flood.
The discovery of the ark being round silences the myth that the ark-despite popular belief-was rectangular. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, the ark was "geometrically" proven by Johannes Buteo and Athanasius Kircher that the ark took "the common [form of] cubit....and was sufficient for all the animals supposed to be lodged in it." The clay tablet describes that the ark measure up to 3,600 square meters and had six-meter high walls, and goes against any previous evidence that the ark was rectangular or cubic sized.
This new piece of evidence can now give scholars and teachers of the Bible a precise insight on the physical model of the ark. The structure of the ark can answer questions of the story of Noah since there are no remains of the ark from the ancient of days and prove the actual existence of the ark to non-believers.
The story of Noah's ark varies depending on religion. For the Christian religion, the story of Noah and his ark was a true event that represented God's wrath in Biblical times and a new beginning to earth. Whereas certain faiths, such as the Bahá'í belief, see the story as symbolic, where Noah's "ark" represented his teachings and people were "spiritually" dead. The tablet, for those who do not believe in the story of Noah and his ark can prove the truth of the story from the Bible.
The ancient tablet, which Irving considers""one of the most important human documents ever discovered," was placed on display on Friday, January 24 at the British Museum.