In 1985, a man named Douglas Simmons brought a bag of antiquities to the British Museum for evaluation. Among the varied objects was one cuneiform tablet. The duty officer at that moment was Irving Finkel, one of the museum’s Assyriologists and now Curator in charge of Cuneiform Inscriptions in the British Museum’s Middle Eastern department.
Finkel picked up the cuneiform tablet and began to translate it. It quickly became clear that it was a 3700 year old Babylonian artifact which exhorted emergency construction of a huge, round reed boat that was meant to hold, and save, many animals.
Here is an entertaining and illuminating lecture from 2016 at the UofC Oriental Institute given by the affable Dr. Finkel, telling the story of the tablet and the building of a (somewhat smaller) replica of the designated vessel. @ 1 hr. and well worth the listening/viewing.
Here’s the 2014 Guardian article coinciding with the release of Finkel’s book “The Ark Before Noah” --
Incidentally, after my dad was forced to retire, he grew a long beard and looked very much like Dr. Finkel, though dad was somewhat older. We used to joke about it.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Cheers for the Winter Season everybody!