Given some new evidence about Noah’s ark, I wonder if anyone (Jew or non-Jew) now will dispute the so-called evidence that the ark’s remains lie on a mountain in Turkey. Despite the fact that most say the ark looked like a typical boat with a pointed-prow, new research seems to have at least one man convinced that instead it was shaped more like a huge round raft.
I also wonder if anyone will dispute that Noah even existed, let alone his raft, since this new evidence also seems to have this same man convinced that the whole story of the animals entering the boat two-by-two has its origins in an earlier time and culture.
According to Irving Finkel, an expert in ancient Mesopotamia (now Iraq) at London’s British Museum, the ark actually was round. A guardian.co.uk article on January 1 reports that Finkel spotted a reference to the ark’s “circular design” while he was translating a 3,700-year-old clay tablet inscribed with Babylonian cuneiform script. The story says the information on the tablets led Finkel to believe the ark was conceived as a giant coracle, which would have had steep sides and a rounded bottom. These highly stable boats were used to float goods and animals from one side of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers to the other and are still sometimes used in Iraq today.
The so-called remains of Noah’s ark were first discovered around 1959 on Mt. Ararat. The “ark” actually looks like a geological formation. However, scientists have claimed the formation is not of natural origins. They assert the formation was created by something man-made lying there—Noah’s ark. (You can see a pretty interesting video trying to prove the validity of this find here.) Most photographs of this site show this formation looking rather long and narrow and pointed at the ends.
It should be noted that the tablet contains a story similar to that contained in the Torah about Noah and the ark. However, the main character of the newly translated tablet is not Noah, but a possible historical predecessor named Atram-Hasi. Finkel believes that ancient Jews may have transformed this tale into their own epic story.
It seems that as far as Finkel is concerned, not only may the ark not have been a ship, but Noah may not have even existed.
For Jews who believe the events in the Torah really happened, the latter part of Finkel’s assumption seems like blasphemy. Also, for anyone who believes that formation on Mt. Ararat is, indeed, Noah’s ark, there’s no way Finkel’s assumption that the ark was round could be true. Just see for yourself…Look up some photos on Google or watch the video I mentioned earlier. That formation looks like a long, pointy-ended ship to me.
I can see where a raft bobbing around on top of the ocean actually might have been a bit more stable than a ship, especially with all those animals on board shifting their weight around, but we have no way to prove that the information or the story on Finkel’s ancient and tiny tablet refers to the same one as that written in the Torah. We also have no way to prove that what happened in the Torah is true, I admit. Yet, we have found the tombs of some of those biblical “characters.” We know they existed. Why wouldn’t Noah have existed as well? And if he existed, I, at least, figure he probably built an ark. Now, are its remains there on Mt. Ararat? Possibly. Probably, but I’m no scientist. I am, however, willing to believe.