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At first, Smith was unable to decipher the tablet that would change his life, because a lime-like deposit obscured the text.
Only once this had been painstakingly removed – an agonising wait for the highly strung Smith – could all the words be read.
Opinion by Joel Baden, Special to CNN (CNN) - That faint humming sound you’ve heard recently is the scholarly world of the Bible and archaeology abuzz over the discovery of the oldest known Mesopotamian version of the famous Flood story.
A British scholar has found that a 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablet from what is now Iraq contains a story similar to the biblical account of Noah’s Ark.
Wood is fairly flexible when subjected to large strains - trees caught in torrential floods bend and don't break.
According to the Biblical description, it was a barge roughtly the size that would fit inside of one of our football stadiums!
) built by master shipwrights at the peak of the shipbuilding art required numerous pumps and countermeasures to avoid sinking.
They were robbers; in daytime they marked the houses of the rich with balsam, to find them by means of the odor in the dark (Midrash ha-Gadol, p. 27, 1881; Muss-Arnolt, "The Names of the Assyro-Babylonian Months and Their Regents," in "Journal of Biblical Literature," xi. With J the Flood begins seven days after the announcement by God. This was mentioned and epitomized by Berosus and Abydenus, preserved by Eusebius, "Chronicon," i. 13-15), and is fully known since George Smith's discovery, in 1872, of the cuneiform text, on editions and translations of which see Muss-Arnolt, "Assyrian and Babylonian Literature," pp. Pêr-napishtim, the ancestor of Gilgamesh and the favorite of the gods, relates to Gilgamesh the story of the Flood, in which he and his family and his belongings were alone saved.
The Hebrew year originally began in the fall (see Dillmann's "Ueber das Kalenderwesen der Israeliten vor dem Babylonischen Exil," in "Monatsberichte der Berliner Akademie," Oct. 2) distinctly attributes to Moses the change in the method of reckoning time, he would naturally reckon from Tishri in the period preceding the advent of the Lawgiver. 38), later Marḥeshwan, beginning about the middle of October; so that the twenty-seventh of the month would correspond to the first half of November, the period when the rainy season in Palestine and the neighboring countries usually sets in. The rain then ceases, and after seven days, during which the waters begin to decrease (viii. Of greatest interest and importance for the study of the Old Testament account, among all these legends, is the cuneiform account of the Deluge.
A contemporary observer reported what happened next: “Smith took the tablet and began to read over the lines which…