The British Museum houses an enormous collection of artifacts from around the world. It recently received a 4000-year-old clay tablet that was deciphered lately, and it has the striking details regarding Noah’s Ark from the Old Testament.
George Smith joined the British Museum as an assistant. It was he, who bewildered the world by discovering that the story of flood written in the cuneiform tablet is similar to that written in the Book of Genesis. The cuneiform tablet is a clay tablet that was excavated from Nineveh (modern day Iraq). It is written in the Bible that misbehavior of humans made the God wipe out all humans from the world by flood, while Noah was found righteous and he survived th flood along with his family.
This discovery was overwhelming for George Smith as it raised him to fame. He really had a humble beginning and it was his hard work and scholarly efforts, which helped Smith to reach this amazing triumph. He spent a number of months staring at the glass cases containing the inscriptions in the gallery, which led him being noticed and being hired as a repairer in the museum in 1863.
Smith had an exceptional talent in finding the joins between the broken shards of tablets and he was able to understand the cuneiform inscriptions. He was not able to decrypt the tablet at first as it was obstructed by a lime-like deposit. Yet Smith was able to read the text only after this was removed.
An observer reported on what happened after that: “Smith took the tablet and began to read over the lines which had [been] brought to light; and when he saw that they contained the portion of the legend he had hoped to find there, he said, ‘I am the first man to read that after more than two thousand years of oblivion.’ Setting the tablet on the table, he jumped up and rushed about the room in a great state of excitement, and, to the astonishment of those present, began to undress himself!”
On December 03, 1872, Smith announced his discovery during the conference of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, which was held in London. Many prominent dignitaries, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, were present at the meeting. The news had an electrifying effect on the audience. The announcement that the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark was present in the clay tablet in the British Museum and that it was dug far by in the East was too complicated to understand.
The Story of the Great Flood
The story from Bible of the flood that destroyed all humans and animals except those present in Noah’s Ark is a universal story that is present in the of world’s reserve of traditional writings. The flood details were found in the documents of Europe, North America, Australia, India, Syria, Central America, New Guinea, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and South America.
The story of Noah, which is found in the Book of Genesis, is a central theme that can be seen repeated in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. This is what invites a lot of attention to this story. In all of the three scriptures, you would be able to see the “Great Flood” as a punishment for the offenses against God. You could see a direct flood continuum from the Old Testament (Hebrew) to the New Testament (Greek). It could also be seen in Arabic Quran texts.
By the discovery of George Smith, it was understood that the Hebrew version derived directly from the Babylonian cuneiform, which was much older than the other was. People were anxious for a long time whether there was actually a flood and have been in search of evidence that supported this story.
Dating back to 1928 and 1929, in the sites Iraq was found some important breakthroughs that supported the Biblical story. At Ur quarry underneath the Royal Cemetery, they discovered the former settlement materials after they cleared 10 ft. of mud. A discovery similar to this was found in the site of Kish located in southern Iraq. To both the groups, the proof of Biblical flood seemed to be unavoidable.
Another big question is where the Ark went. A team of Christian explorers stated that they discovered the remnants of Noah’s Ark under the snow and volcanic residue on Mount Ararat located in Turkey by 2007-2008. They say that they unearthed seven huge compartments made of wood that was buried 4,000 meters above sea level, close to the Mount Ararat’s peak. Many Christians believe that it was Mount Ararat, where the Noah’s Ark came to rest, protecting Noah, his family, and every animal species, that was in the ark.