The Ark Before Noah

  • by Irving Finkel
  • Narrated by Irving Finkel
  • 9 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In The Ark Before Noah, British Museum expert Dr Irving Finkel reveals how decoding the symbols on a 4,000 year old piece of clay enable a radical new interpretation of the Noah's Ark myth.
A world authority on the period, Dr Finkel's enthralling real-life detective story began with a most remarkable event at the British Museum -  the arrival one day in 2008 of a single, modest-sized Babylonian cuneiform tablet - the palm-sized clay rectangles on which our ancestors created the first documents.
It had been brought in by a member of the public and this particular tablet proved to be of quite extraordinary importance. Not only does it date from about 1850 BC, but it is a copy of the Babylonian Story of the Flood, a myth from ancient Mesopotamia revealing, among other things, instructions for building a large boat to survive a flood.
But Dr Finkel's pioneering work didn't stop there. Through another series of enthralling discoveries he has been able to decode the story of the Flood in ways which offer unanticipated revelations to listeners of The Ark Before Noah.

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What the Critics Say

"The charged thrill of Finkel's chase permeates the book - the pages don't just join dots, they supply new pieces for a beautiful, Bronze-Age jigsaw-puzzle... Scholarly and droll, Finkel's writing is also eccentrically vivid... it is a joy." (The Times)
"One of the most important human documents ever discovered... his conclusions will send ripples into the world of creationism and among ark hunters." (The Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating for the ancient civilizations lover

What did you like best about this story?

The book is not only about the story of the Flood, but encompasses all the facets of the three millenniums old Mesopotamian civilization, and the legacies it left to Jews and even Muslims. The author’s technical expertise is impressive, sometimes a bit too much: I confess been drowsing while listening to the finest details of how the ancient Sumerians built boats using reeds and ropes. But it’s a minor drawback, I really enjoyed the book, not least because it is read by the author himself, who manages to convey his enthusiasm for the subject. Lastly, good news for the not native English speakers like me, he speaks quite clearly and cleanly.


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- AG

Fascinating archaeological insights

The story of the flood and the 'ark', and how it relates to the Biblical accounts is, by itself, quite interesting for those who are interested. But the book does more than that, it provided great insights into the the dimensions of the cultures in that part of the world. This is really helpful as all I learnt about the Mesopotamian civilization in school can be summarized in a side-bar… which means very little.

But what makes this book unique is the author. Irving Finkel is clearly passionate about his subject, and his enthusiasm comes through both the book and his narration. The content of the book is very approachable to the general public.

The only thing I have to pick about the book is the recording… the recorded volume tends to fluctuates, making it necessary to constantly adjust the volume dial in my car.

But beyond that, I throughly enjoyed the book. It is engaging and it is informative. What else can one ask for in a non-fiction? 5-stars overall!
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- Paul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-07-2014
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton