Noah - CSI

“Mitin Obrero” El primer mural que Siqueiros pintó en 1932 en Los Ángeles

“Mitin Obrero” El primer mural que Siqueiros pintó en 1932 en Los Ángeles

April 7, 2014

The last time I visited the British Museum, I was petrified by a piece of mud 15 centimeters long and 13 centimeters wide. It is known as the Diluvium Tablet, it comes from Mesopotamia and was baked about 2,700 years ago. He tells how the Babylonian god Ea alerts Utnapishtim of Shuruppak that the world is going to suffer a great flood and tells him that in order to save himself he must build a boat in which to preserve life. I knew the history of my student days, but when I saw that small sample of cuneiform writing in a display case, I was dazzled as many years before had made the Rosetta stone. This Babylonian tablet is one of the proofs that in the seventh century before Christ (BC), Old Testament authors used their own and others' traditions to invent the past of Israel.

Alejandro marré art
What surprised me most was the support of several people, who simply helped to develop the activity in several ways. The show was made up of magical characters who protected nature, from crocodiles to tatas and ancestral nanas.

As soon as he came upon the Tablet of the Deluge, Smith began to look for more fragments in the museum's warehouses and discovered that the text corresponded to the eleventh part of an epic poem. He presented his discovery on December 3, 1872, at the British Society of Biblical Archeology, where he ventured that there must be more fragments of biblical episodes buried in the sands of Ninivé. So it was, and not only in Ninivé. Now we know that the Tablet of the Flood was in the library of King Asurbanipal and that is the Babylonian version of a Sumerian narration known as the Poem of Atrahasis. In that story, whose oldest remains go back to the first half of the second millennium BC, the god Enki warns Atrahasis of Shuruppak that the god Enlil is going to destroy the world with a flood and gives him instructions for him to build an ark in which to save his family and all the animals. It is the epic of Utnapishtim and Noah with all its elements, from divine wrath to the sending of the dove, passing through the days and nights of incessant rain. A tale that has not yet come to an end, as shown by the recent findings of the British Assyriologist Irving Finkel, who presented in January a tablet with instructions for the construction of the ark that destroys the popular image of the same created by tradition and reflected in Noah , the overproduction of Darren Aronofsky who has just arrived in theaters.

A circular ark

Finkel is a specialist in cuneiform writing. Like Smith, he works at the British Museum, where he is responsible for the preservation of the texts of ancient Mesopotamia, the land between rivers where History began. In 1985, a man named Douglas Simmonds brought him several tablets he had inherited from his father, a soldier who had been stationed in the Middle East during World War II. "I was more surprised than I can say to discover that one of its cuneiform tablets was a copy of the Babylonian story of the Flood," the archaeologist recalled a few months ago in The Daily Telegraph. The owner of the piece, dating from between 1900 and 1700 BC, was not left for study, and Finkel lost sight of it for years, until the two men met again on the occasion of an exhibition on Babylon that housed the museum London in 2009. Simmonds then agreed to leave the historian the piece of mud, the size of a modern mobile, and what the expert discovered was that it contained the instructions to build the Ark. "The most remarkable feature provided by the Ark Tablet is that the lifeboat built by Atrahasis-the hero of Noah's style who receives his instructions from the god Enki- is, of course, circular. "Draw the boat you are going to make," he instructs, "on a circular plant," says Finkel. This particularity is shocking today, when even a child knows that the Ark of Noah was a large ship with a kind of deckhouse on the deck. An image that corresponds to that of the ship that they have been looking for for some decades on Mount Ararat, based on the vague description of Genesis . But the most striking thing for the Assyriologist is that, for the first time, the instructions to save animals include the idea of ​​doing so in pairs, as in the very later biblical account.