Irving Finkel | The Ark Before Noah: A Great Adventure


Well, thank you, Gil. It’s customary
for people in this miserable position to say how glad I am to be here. And in my
case, it’s literally true, because I haven’t been here since 1979, and I’m
extremely glad to be here. It’s wonderful to discover that this thing, which has
lived in my mind as a kind of lingering fantasy, is still, in fact, standing.
Because, when you go to England, it’s more miraculous if things are still
standing. But that’s neither here nor there. So I’m going to talk to you about
this topic, the Ark before Noah, which has been a big adventure, which is converting
my life from the dull, tedious, dusty, and un-exciting life of a normal curator
into just the opposite, with hard, endangering consequences. So, one of the
things that happens if you are a curator in the British Museum is, because the
public have the mistaken idea that we are experts, is to identify things which
people bring in. And they always make a lot of fuss about how interested they
are when you tell them it’s Middle Bronze Age, or Late Iron Age, or something
of this sort of technical side. But, what they really want to know is how
much they are worth. And, we are forbidden by the trustees from ever referring to this
matter, so we are experienced in dealing with all sorts of drama. And it happened
to me once when I was on duty that a person called Douglas Simmons came in, in about 1985, with a bag full of antiquities, small antiquities, which he
poured onto the desk, and I was the duty officer. And it contained some coins, a
couple of lamps, a bit of Chinese stuff, a couple of shabtis, and a cuneiform
tablet. Well, it might not surprise you to know that I picked up the cuneiform
tablet first. And, I picked it up, and at first sight I
assumed it was going to be an old Babylonian letter, I’m sure you would
have the same conclusion. In terms of size–size, shape, dimension,
grammatical form, semantic parallels, and so forth. But, I lifted it up and started
to read it. And this is what came out. I’m not going to read the whole of this book out. I
should tell you if you want to read it yourself, this is easily arranged,
it’s very easily arranged–afterwards. “Wall, wall, read wall, read wall. Atra-hasis, pay heed to my advice that you may live forever. Destroy your house, build a
boat, spurn property, and save life.” Well, not many letters begin that way. And,
in point of fact, I was able to read it at sight, because I had a very demanding
teacher who used to hit people and thrash them with barbed wire until they
learnt their signs, and so recognizing the beginning of the Flood Story in the
Babylonian epic was a doddle for someone who graduated from that classroom. So I
realized I had in my hands a piece of the Old Babylonian version of the Flood
Story, which is a piece of gold in the world, because everyone is interested in
the Flood Story, and nobody ever gets their hands on an unpublished piece
which has never been seen by any other Assyriologist. So I was rather excited
about it, and what happened was, he took it away, picked up the lamp, and said, “And
what about this?” And, when I had gone through the rest of the material,
trembling with excitement, and thinking, “Can I borrow this for a while and read
it?” He went, and I didn’t see him for the best part of a decade. So I knew that
this thing was in circulation and this was before the trustees of the British
Museum had produced this handbook about how to knock people to the floor and take
over their property for the trustees, so I just let him escape. But I knew that
sooner or later it would come back to the British Museum, because all important
things do. Some of them, for example, are temporarily in the Louvre, but sooner or
later they come to us. So, the thing is, when I finally got this
thing into my control, I had the–let–the luxury, to say, of reading it properly, in
privacy, with a good light, and, and so forth, to get the guts of it out. And it
became apparent that the thing was of sixty lines in length, and although the
beginning was exactly the same as is attested in the other sporadic examples,
the rest of it was very startling. Now, knowledge of the Flood, itself, on
cuneiform tablets, has been in the public domain since 1872, when George Smith, the character on the left, for the first time. was a modern human being who read a
piece of this dog biscuit kind of material from his barbaric background
and discovered that he was reading Holy Writ, virtually, in this peculiar format.
And the story goes, in our department record, I’m sure it’s true, that he
dropped the tablet on the table, and in his anxiety, and started to run around
the room, holding his head and making funny, squeaking noises, and, eventually,
attempting to remove his clothing. And this has gone down in history as a
laughable matter, but it’s almost certain that what actually happened was he had
an epileptic fit, because the impact of discovering for the first time that the
text of Genesis, which everybody in 19th century London knew by heart, existed in
this peculiar rival form. So, George Smith, then, in 1872 discovered this for
the first time, there was a huge furor about it, all sorts of discussion by all
sorts of people. I’d just like to draw your attention to the image of Smith on your
left. He has the broad, intelligent forehead, leadership kind of profile, fine
beard, lucid, intelligent eyes, and so forth. It’s always been this range of
characteristics that the trustees have looked for in their Assyriological employees. [Laughter] So, the thing is, that when Smith published this, he wrote very lucidly about it and its implications for the biblical
story, because it contained not only the approximate parallel, but a much more
specific one. For example, the fact that when the Flood was abated, and then
things were quiet, a series of three birds was released, and the only the
third one came back. I mean, didn’t come back, so he knew that something had
appeared above dry land, which is, of course, what Noah did in the more popular
version of the story, as they wrote it in Hollywood, and the really good one, which
you have to read in the original in Babylonian. So, um, one of the interesting
things about the version which he discovered, that 1872 tablet, it came from
the Library of Assurbanipal in the seventh century B.C. It was one of the king’s own personal copies of his standard literature. And although they didn’t know
that, securely at the time. And when Smith made his very quick and very accurate
translation, it included a description of what the Ark that this, Utnapishtim,
the equivalent of Noah in his version of the story, had built. And the description
comes out as a cube. That’s to say, an object which is the same height,
width, and length in all dimensions. So the clergymen, who were extremely worried
about the way that the Bible had been undermined and what this might mean for
the end of civilization, came back in full, saying, “Well, this is rubbish,
this is nothing like the Ark in the Bible. I mean, it’s a cube. I mean, whoever had a boat that was a cube, which is mad anyway.” They had to take notice of this, and so they were compelled and felt encouraged to dismiss
evidence which was unwelcome to them. Of course, they were operating on the
assumption that the real Noah’s Ark, so to speak, looked like this. I was rather
fortunate to find this contemporary photograph, which, it’s what we call research in the British Museum, it’s called Google, generally. And, here it is, exactly as it was, reconstructed in this image according to
the text of the Bible. So, the situation was that in 1872 and a half, there were
people who believed in the Assyrian version, there were people who stuck fast
to the Bible, so you had a cube or a coffin. But, of course, at the same time
everybody really knew what Noah’s Ark looked like. It’s one of these things, there’s
usually a giraffe looking out the window, just to complete it. So, in fact, Ark fanciers, so to speak, had these three alternatives at their
disposal. So it made it even more astonishing when I had the letter to
read this tablet, when it turned out the following thing. Because the god, Enki, who had discovered that the world was going to be destroyed, he decided it wasn’t a good
matter, and that he picked on some human being to build this lifeboat to rescue
all life-forms against the waters that would come. And it’s always been a
mystery, actually, why he picked on this Atra-hasis whose name means “extremely
intelligent,” because however intelligent he might have been, it is clear that Anki
didn’t trust his knowledge of boat building at all. Because in this tablet,
he tells him all the information you need to know in order to build this boat.
In other words, it’s one of those like one of those boxes from Ikea, which has
all the information on a mimeograph panel on the side, so when you take it
home, you can build it on your own. So the first piece of information that came out
of reading this tablet was that the boat was round. And I’m fairly secure about
most words beginning with “K,” because I worked on the “K” volume, so I felt that
the word [kipartu] was under my belt, but I thought I’d make absolutely sure that I
hadn’t misremembered it, because round boats are not something you tend to encounter in your normal life. You remember, of course, that
River Rhine communities all over the world have used round boats, which we
called “coracles,” and which in Arabic are called “kuffar,” and that in ancient
Mesopotamia they certainly had boats like this, and it suddenly became a rather
intelligible picture that for an old Babylonian poet, who lived when he wrote
that tablet in about 1800 B.C., so it’s a thousand years older than the Assyrian
version, in writing about the story, conceived of the ark question, the
boat to save lives, as a round coracle boat, as people built on the sides of the
river. And this makes a lot of sense, because the thing about a coracle, if
you’ve never been in one, you have to take my word for it. I’ve been in one
once. The reason is I’m the president of the British Coracle Association. It’s not a funny thing at all, I don’t see why you are sniggering, this is a major, major tribute
to me as a person. I am, I haven’t got a gold chain, it’s a bit annoying, but they
promised me one. And I had to go in one, so I’ve been in one, so I can talk about this
with a great deal of familiarity. And the thing about these boats, I know from
many years of experience, is that they don’t sink. And if you’ve got the job of
collecting up all these male and females and putting them in a boat, it doesn’t
have to go from Portsmouth to New York. All it has to do is float. And the
coracle doesn’t have a front or a back, it just floats. And they float
beautifully. So that is why the poet who wrote this story, trying to visualize the
thing in a realistic way, decided it was going to be a giant coracle. It
certainly was going to be a giant coracle. The surface area of the plan is
given. It’s 3,600 square meters. So, bigger than this room. And in this IKEA list
of instructions, he tells him of the materials he will need. That’s to say, the
the rope, which is wrapped around to build the body of the boat, the ribs made
of wood, and the bitumen to coat the inside and out to make it waterproof.
He not only tells him he will need these materials but, he actually tells him how
much of them he will need in order to complete the job. So this is where it
becomes something very remarkable. So, this is what, of course, Iraqi coracles look like, or used to look like. The one at the top, on your left, is
a fairly modern one, one of the last ones ever made, probably. And the one below
that is the runner-up to the Guinness Book of Records award for the most males
ever stuffed in a single coracle with success. And in fact they were
disqualified, because one of them was a boy and they thought that with cheating.
So that’s them, and then in the middle is a horn from a lantern slide, which was
given to us in the museum by an old lady from her father’s collection. And we had
it blown up, and you can’t see very clearly on this screen but you’ve got
two women who are doing the Grand Tour and have clearly been persuaded by some
slick organizer of holiday activities to go in one of these boats
and sample life in real, and they all look terrified. So the thing is that the
coracle in Iraq is known in ancient times. It’s on the sculptures, for example.
But, also, from many anecdotal and photographic pieces of evidence from the
19th and 20th century, as well, even though I think it’s now disappeared. So
the other photograph, which I will now show you, is… This, which is from a pair of
lantern slide pictures and part of a sequence of someone who photographed the construction of a coracle on the banks of the river in Iraq in about 1920. And
here you can see in principle how this boat is built. And what you do, is you
have to have all this great quantity of rope and you have a pith, the pith which
comes from the trunk of a palm tree which is twisted and twisted and twisted,
until it becomes a thick rope and it is exceptionally strong. And the basic way
in which the coracle is to be made is you draw it out on the ground, in a great
circle, and as it comes back to the beginning, the next bit is laid on top of
the previous one and it is stitched north to south, and go round and stitch
north to south, and then the third on top of the second and you end up with a
great floppy basket. And when you’ve done that, you have to have ribs which fit
round the frame, which is laced to the hole, and then the bitumen is applied. So,
something very interesting happened to me, probably unique situation. The central
portion of this tablet is full of numbers and very technical, and I’m
frantically enumerate. So I got a bit of help with dealing with the numbers, and I
never built any boats at all in London, so I wasn’t really on top of it, but I
discovered in the library of the Ethnographical Institute in our museum
that a man called Hornell wrote in 1920 an account of how these coracles are
built, for which this is an illustration by somebody else. So this Hornell was
a very worthy person, a great folk historian, and he was from Scotland, and
he was a man of very small number of words. His sentences are extremely terse
and very difficult to understand. And the Babylonian, which is more or less
preserved, is very terse and difficult to understand in different areas. So I had
this unique situation, that I use Hornell’s description from 1920 A.D. to
understand the narrative written in the 18th century B.C. about how to build these
boats. And at the same time use the Babylonian to understand what he meant
in English. And eventually, both things became mutually intelligible, and the whole sequence emerged. So I’m not going to go through
all this in laborious detail, it was tempting to do this and then perhaps
suggest over wine there might be a short paper of test questions for you all to
fill out, but there is one thing I want you to retain from this experience, drab
though it may be, for many years to come. The measurements of the materials are,
of course, given in Babylonian measurements, it’s not in English, they
weren’t that advanced. So when it came to the rope, needed to wind round to make
this boat, this god, Enki, explained Atra- Hassis that he would need fourteen
thousand four hundred and thirty su- tu measures of rope in order to build
this boat. I thought this supposed to be the Oriental Institute. Someone’s
supposed to go [whistle] or something like that. I’m rather disappointed. Okay, let me tell
you another amazing fact. I decided I couldn’t cope with the maths on this
tablet, so I did what people in my position normally do, which is look in
the Yellow Pages for a cheap Nobel Prize-winner in mathematics. And I got
this fellow to come over, and I explained that we had these measurements, that the
rope length was given at fourteen thousand four hundred thirty sutu. And we
knew that the area of the boat was three thousand six hundred square meters, and that the walls were seven meters high. And we also knew that traditionally, to build
these boats, the rope is about a finger thick, powerful finger thick. So we have,
in other words, all the dimensions available for a mathematical genius to
work out, if we were going to build this boat of this size using this material,
how much we would really need. Are you with me? Superb. I’ll just refresh your memory. The divine instructions specify fourteen
thousand four hundred and thirty sutu. And this mathematician–thanks. Extra
wine afterwards. So, this mathematician–and he did it
several times, I used to do it several times and get it wrong each time, but
this guy got it right each time, it’s rather interesting. When he calculated
what we would actually need using a whole bunch of mathematical theorems,
which are incredibly bewildering to me, it came out that fourteen thousand six
hundred and twenty-four sutu. In other words, five hundred and twenty seven
kilometers. So if this were England, I would say this rope goes exactly from
London to Edinburgh. And the difference between the specified
measure from heaven and the calculated measure worked out by a mathematician is
less than the distance from London to Watford. Or to put it in American terms,
Chicago to Minnesota, and Chicago to Minnesota minus about 32 sutu. You can
work that out for yourselves. But the point about it is that the difference is A,
minimal, given the length, and secondly, cannot be coincidence. So one is fought
demure–forced to accept that, embedded in this poetic narrative, the data, which was
given, as it were, from heaven, as it were, to man to use was realistic and
predicated on real boat building. This is a very remarkable thing and it’s also
remarkable to note that people who made these boats by the side of the river did
the same thing from 1800 B.C. to the middle of the 20th century A.D., meaning
that the coracle is a perfect construction. It never needed improvement,
it never needed adjustment. Once it had come into being, it just went on in the
world. Also interesting. So something funny happened to me. I’m sitting on top
of this stuff, it’s full of amazing excitement, it turns out there’s no
narrative, it’s just speeches one person to another, like–unlike any other
Mesopotamian texts. It turns out that the animals went in two by two, which we knew
from the Bible, not from cuneiform. And a million other really
marvelous things, so I’m having a lot of excitement about this. And a lady comes
in who works for the Guardian newspaper, about three weeks before Christmas, and
says to me, “Anything new in the tabs business?” Which is the way journalists
talk in Britain. “Eh, nothing special, except that time I’ve got the blueprint for how
the Babylonians built their Ark in the Old Babylonian period. So she asked me all sorts of questions, and just before Christmas, this came out
in the newspaper. Well this had other consequences than
mere laughter, I can tell you. I had a large number of phone calls, mostly from
this country, from television producers, who said, “We got to make a movie!” Like
that. And sometimes they called it a documentary, if they knew the full word,
I’m not sure. Anyway, this Trustees’ Manual I explained to you about before
has taught all curators to have nothing to do with documentary makers, because the
documentary makers all tell lies. And it’s always been our policy to sup
with a very long spoon when it comes to anything to do with being in a
documentary film, especially if it’s something to do with the Bible, because
what happens is they make a recording and they go away and in the editing
process, they miss out certain words. Like “not.” And so you find yourself on stage
talking stuff which is diametrically opposed to what you either said or what
you believe. So we’re all a bit skeptical about these things. But, turned out in the
end, a rather interesting person approached me and said, “We’ve got to do a documentary about this.” He was an Englishman, which helped. And um, I said,
“I’m prepared to do this, would be an adventure.” Because what he wanted to
do was to build this boat on the basis of the doctor, because the doctor made
everybody think, “Well, you could build this boat.” So they thought, “Why don’t they do it?” They’re all clever in that kind of way. So all they had to do was raise a
hundred million dollars, and we would do it. So I said, “I’m happy to do this. Only,
I’d like this to be one of those documentaries, unusual documentary, where we tell the truth about everything. We tell the truth.” Kind of long silence. “Hallo,
what, what, I don’t think any of my colleagues have ever had that idea before, an interesting conception to work with.” And I wanted to be all over this film and to
run it. I wanted to do the score, the lyrics, not to mention the film anglings. Everything about it, I had this
documentary in my head, it would have been a masterpiece. But, actually, when we started, they kept me down in the most depressing way. So they got the money together. And
they decided, we couldn’t build it in Iraq for obvious reasons, and after a lot
of time and investigation, they settled on builting it in India, in southwest
India, in the state of Kerala. And they found a lake, and a shipyard they could
hire, and the palm trees that provided the rope were there, and all other sorts
of materials were there, and it was Iraqish in appearance, so to speak, you
know, it had that kind of look about it. So, they got together a very serious
team of the three ancient boat builders, and a team of workmen, and for
four or five months in India, they built this boat. So, what actually happened
was this. That, when I realized that my translation, which was all done in the
humility of being a normal Assyriologist, and nobody’s head is on the block
or anything like this, I suddenly wake up one day to discover there’s going to be
this multi-multi-million dollar operation the other side of the world
with people following my every word as if it’s gospel. So of course I would run
everything a hundred-hundred times. Woke up in the middle of the night
thinking that actually, I got it wrong, it’s actually designed for a
double-decker bus, or something terrible like that. And it was a very
nerve-wracking thing, especially when I send the translation with the dimensions
to India, and and the guy in charge of it had to be hospitalized when he read how
big the thing was. And we had a long interlude before it was agreed the
following thing: if they couldn’t build it full size, they would build it as big
as they possibly could in accordance with the dimensions given by the
original measurements. And, as you will see, in the second part of this lecture,
sometime after 10 o’clock, that the the impossibility of building it full
size was, in fact, perfectly reasonable. So that was the compromise. It was reached.
And I also said–actually, they sent an email, it was rather, rather smart. This email came, saying, “Would you mind terribly if, y’know, we’ve done this on the computer, and the
wood, it wouldn’t sustain itself. We can’t, would you mind if we–Instead of being like a normal person, who wishes to write back and say, “Chaps, you
know, it’s marvelous that you’re doing this, and whatever you have to do is fine,
you know, you know, how could I ever–” I let the thing go for
four or five days. And then I sort of sent was a little note, “Okay, if you must.” Like that, you know, just kind of “Okay.” “Just this once, we’re building a boat.
Just this once, you want to make it small. Okay, fine.” And I discovered afterwards that was a brilliant piece of strategy. Remember this if you’re ever in the process of
making a documentary film with other people, that’s the way to do it, go out of
your way to be a bastard. So, I’ve got marvelous, marvelous images which were
taken when this boat was being built. Really fantastic photographs. And I
brought you only a few to give you an idea. But here, you can see the chaps who
are starting to coil the material, which is already in this very thick, snake-like rope. At the very beginning of the process of making the bottom, which they
were then go round and round and round until they’ve got the whole boat. And
then. This is a view from the very bottom,
underneath, when they first started it. And the thing is, they calculated very
rapidly that the thing, when it was finished, would be exceptionally heavy. And
they could, once it was completed, and the bottom was finished, they could never
drag it along the ground as you would with a lifeboat, because the structure
wouldn’t withstand it. So the whole thing had to be built on a
cradle above the ground so that the whole thing could be bodily brought into
the water when it came to the time for the launch. So this gives you an idea,
from the bottom, how it looks. The tight structure, laced together and tied. And
everything was done with, with ropes and things, without any glue or nails or
anything. Everything was tightened and tightened. It
was the most extraordinary construction. And, this was a very important
member of the team. Actually, I wanted to bring this elephant back to
London, because something happened to me once when I was a young curator. I
came out of the doors of my department into the gallery, and there were two
middle-aged American tourists, and one of them said, “Oh, do you work here?” And I said, “Yes.” And he said, “My wife and I, we were asking ourselves, how can it be that the,
the doors here are so tall?” Because the doors to my department are about the whole size of this wooden paneling. Double doors. And all the museum doors are built on
the escape. And some devil came into my mind, I don’t know what made me say this,
but I just said, “Oh, well, this goes back to the time of the British Raj, because
in those days, the keepers of the departments used to come to work on
elephants.” And the guy said, “Oh, that’s really
interesting.” And I had to run after them, up the gallery, and say, “No, it’s not true
at all.” So, I thought– So these are the chaps at work, and they
had these primitive tools, so to speak, and they sang when they were working, and
it was a, it was marvelous. And eventually, as the boat took shape, this was a view
of the inside. And it was very beautiful inside, it was extraordinary, it was sort
of handcrafted, and it smelled of wood. And you can see, perhaps, that these are the
the great ribs which come down and meet in the middle to make the floor, and they
go all the way up here to the top. And these are the walls made of the rope,
which is lashed to the ribs on the inside. And then on these struts coming
down, off the ribs, into the middle, they laid these big circular woods, with these
stanchions, which supported the upper deck. Because in the tablet, it’s
described. How many there are of something and how long they are. These
stanchions were posed so that the upper deck could be installed, because
the human beings were going to be upstairs and all the animals downstairs.
And they explained in the text that the house is to be built on the upper deck for Atra-Hassis and his immediate family. And it was made by the verb of “tying,” so it
wasn’t made of wood, it was made out of reeds, as I will show you in a moment. So
this is what the inside of it looked like, and you know, people who find out
about this have the two very interesting questions. The most burning question
that I’ve ever been asked, because I had to talk about this for periodically at
literary festivals and other rooms full of unknown individuals. And then usually
somebody asked me at the afterwards, “What do they do with the dung?” And it doesn’t
say in the tablet what they did with the dung. So if anybody’s anxious about it, I’m really sorry, but I don’t know either.
But the interesting thing is that the, this is built literally like a
wedding cake from a recipe. And this structure is how the Babylonian tablet
conveyed the idea of it. And theoretically, the stanchions could have
had partitions between them, in which species could have been kept separate, if,
for example, you’re going to do that. If you write a book about Noah’s Ark–this
is another health warning I should impart to you–you do get into hot
water, because lots of people believe in it, of course. And lots of
people have very serious questions, like, “Wouldn’t it sink with all the animals?”
And, it’s an interesting thing, this. Lots of discussions of this on the internet,
which are absolutely insane in every other particular, discuss how difficult
it would be to have a boat with all these heavy animals in. But the point is that
when the Babylonian said all the animals, they meant all the animals that they knew.
They didn’t mean all the animals they’d seen on television. They meant the animals
that they knew. And it’s the same in the Bible, they meant the animals that were
familiar to them. There were wild animals and domestic animals, and in fact, the
list isn’t so great. I worked out what the list was, it isn’t so huge, and it’s
not so mad as if you have all the heavy things, and all the gnats sort of
sticking together, and the one squashing the other, and so forth. Anyway, now. When
they built this boat in Babylonia, if they did really build it, they had the
world’s best quality bitumen in abundance, because it bubbles out of the
ground like a spring, and it’s been used for waterproofing since the beginning of
time. And when Iraqi bitumen is applied to a boat or a wall or some other
material, when it goes hard, it is impermeable, and if you renew it now and
again, it will last forever. And we were expecting to get a tanker full of Iraqi bitumen brought to India to do this job. And the careful
exercise of discipline about cultural property in Iraq included carcinogenic
petroleum kind of productions, and they would not allow a single drop of Iraqi
bitumen to leave the country. So at the last minute, we had to get Indian bitumen.
This is not something I would recommend. I hate to say this, but it’s on
the black market. Which means there’s no quality control. And the thing about Indian bitumen is this. That whatever you do, it comes off. So these poor blokes, in an
unbelievably unpleasant environment, extremely hot, were constantly applying
this stuff, and patching it, and applying it, to try and coat it entirely in bitumen. And it was a much more exhausting and unpleasant task than it would ever
have been in antiquity. So, this here is a photograph which shows my dear
colleagues–and I have to get this right– guy in, the chap in the hat is a man called Tom Volsner. And he is the kind of grand old man of
architectural, of archaeological boat reconstruction. And then, if I get this
correct, Eric is the one in the dark blue shirt, who is his best student. And
Alessandro is his other best student. And Alessandro lived on this site for about
four months with the workmen and ran everything. And this is me, obviously, with
them, when it was ready to launch. So I told you I wanted to run this film from
beginning to end, and they wouldn’t let me anywhere near it, and they actually
only allowed me to go out for the last two days before the launch. So, the house
which they built in accordance with what I mentioned before about it being tied,
is an imitation of such houses which used to exist in the marshes of Iraq, a
long time ago. And they copied one of those houses to be in the
spirit of the theme, for, to represent that part. So they left half the floor
open, as you can see, so that it could be filmed and everything. And you can see,
also, perhaps, the ribs that come up at the top, that’s where they all finish, and
there’s a kind of binding round, round, round the top. And it was marvelous. So
one of the things that I said– Once in a while, you see, they
took me for lunch. So I thought, “Oh, this is my chance to influence this
documentary for good. I’ve got these terrific ideas, so why not.” One idea was
this, that you cannot really have a documentary about the Ark without
animals in it. And we have to have animals in it. And I said, animals, you know,
street value, credibility, animals, and things. And I had this idea for myself. You, you know, you know, the Hitchcock
thing, there’s a kind of vignette for a moment, when the distinguished profile is
visible on the screen, for those who knew. So my idea was to dress up in a sheet,
and wear sandals, and let my hair down, and thwack one of these rhinos on the
buttock so they would go up the gangplank. This was, I thought, “That will
be enough for me, that will be a heroic moment.” And they said, “No.” So then I said, “Well, look, I have a better idea. In India, there are many cults and villages
where things are made of packing mache and painted with great realism,
especially tigers and elephants and snakes. They know what they look like.
And we could, we can get them to make two of each, and they could go on the boat.
But if the boat sinks, well, that’s what things usually do in the ritual, so no
one would mind about it, and if it didn’t sink, it would be a miracle. So what’s
wrong with that?” “No,” they said. So, I gave up. Now, when I
went to India, as I say, it was for the last couple of days. And, I have to tell
you, two things happened, which it’s difficult for me to explain clearly in
English, because it was so overpowering. One of them is this. That when the boat
was ready to–or like, let me show you a picture of it. Hold on.
When I got there, the boat was ready to launch. And the plan was, in this film,
they would do the following thing. It was all leafy and grown over so that no one
could see the site. It was supposed to be so no one could spy on what was
going on. So it was lots of vegetation. And this was the plan that the, the
director said to me. Was that I had to walk through this jungle into the
clearing where the boat was in a casual, interesting, fascinating way. And then
when I saw the boat, I had to register amazement and delight. So, for an actor,
this sort of thing is a doddle, of course. But, you know, you’ve got to walk right on
television. You can’t just walk, you know, left leg right leg stuff. No, there’s a
whole way. So, it has to be a kind of nonchalant, studied, intellectually
stimulating sort of walk. So I get there, telling myself, “I’ve got to be excited
and delighted. What was it, or delighted, and inside. What was it, what was it.” Now I’m thinking, “And I can only do it once.” And as I was walking along this great metal
construction with a camera lens, was going backwards through the mud, focusing
on me from about two inches away, so that my feelings would be recorded for
posterity, because they could only do it once. So this is very difficult, sort of like this,
through the clearing, turn the corner, and I see this boat. This is not a very
dramatic photograph of it. But when I saw this boat, it was unbelievably exciting
and marvelous. Because this thing was a beautiful boat, a ship, a she, a
definite she. It was black and somber and it looked like an antiquity, it didn’t
look like it just been built. And it was all there from this stupid bit of clay
in the British Museum the other side of the world, come into existence. So it was
impossible to simulate reaction, it was all I could do not to burst into tears.
It was unbelievably marvelous for me. And that’s one thing that happened. And then
the other thing was this. About these animals. When the boat was ready to go,
this is how it was. They got this lake, a special lake in
India, where there was, of course, no tide, and no depth, and no danger, where they
were going to launch the boat. And there was a lot of talk about whether it would
float or not. Now, as the water was not very deep, and as all the materials from
which the boat was made would themselves float, anyway, I thought that the chances
of it sinking were slim. But. It was poised on the edge of this lake, and in
front of it there was a sea of mud, like a rugby pitch. And they got this
photographer with a cine camera on a tripod. And just before the ritual of
launching the boat, the leaves parted again, and these old men came out. Two of
them. With goats on strings. You know that way the dog walkers work, certainly
in Manhattan, you see them, with seven dogs on one and seven–I don’t know what
they do when they defecate, I have no idea. But, anyway, like the dog walkers,
they came out with these goats, and they planted a stake for one of them and
stake for the other. And I suddenly realized what this meant. That the
director had thought of a cheap way of “doing” the animals, right. So what he was
going to do, is he was going to have two goats, one male and one female, in the
lens, so that when it was broadcast and people were on their sofas watching, they
would imagine all the animal kingdom behind them. Okay. It’s the really cheap version. So
what happened was this. These two parties of goats, up to their ankles in mud,
decided that head-butting was a lot more interesting than being a movie star, and
after a while they decided that sexual intercourse was even more interesting.
And they had to pay these blokes a lot of money to disentangle this heaving,
massive beast and get rid of them, so that we could launch the boat. I thought
that was a good bit of sweet revenge. That’s the goat. Or one of them. So this
is what the, this is what the coracle looked like when it was nearly ready to go.
And you can see that they built it on a kind of stand. And the stand itself, they
had to get that into the water, and they had a very brilliant way of doing it.
They got hold of some local Indian, giant coracle launches, who did this sort
of stuff on a regular basis, and they had these sausages of, of rubber which could be
laid under the structure in parallel, like sausages on a grid, and then
inflated, so they became fully round. And then, like wheels, they would act as rollers.
The thing could gradually be, gradually go into the water. So, this is
what it looked like close up. The really intrepid and heavily insured crew
members were on board, and the rest of us had to stand back. And these are two of
these people who have never heard of the expression “health and safety,” it’s
marvelous to meet people who’ve never heard of the word “help and safety.” So,
gradually moving the thing into the water, and eventually it went into the
water, and that’s what it looked like. So– exactly, what a nice noise. So, look, the
thing is this. A real coracle would be about that big. I mean a normal, a normal, functional coracle in rocky waters. So that gives you an idea, it’s slightly bigger than normal.
And, eventually, thing was that one of the cooks had given us all sandwiches in
case we were never seen again. And we put the sandwiches in this little
house while we all got on with walking round and leaning over the
side and making noises. And when we went to have a sandwich, there were millions of
ants on them. So this is the truth about the flood and the Ark. That the one
species you don’t have to worry about is ants. So, because of the bitumen, there was a bit of a problem with a bit of a leak. And, in fact, some
journalists made sardonic remarks about leaks, and unfair statements about leaks,
in point of fact. My argument is if you’ve ever been in a rowing boat,
there’s always water in the bottom, so wouldn’t you expect it with the world’s
largest coracle, I thought that was perfectly reasonable, but actually the water
started coming in rather fast, and they had to get a couple of fellows with
pumps to pump. But it’s because of the bitumen. If it had had Iraqi bitumen,
we could have gone all around the world. It’s a very odd thing to be in a round
coracle of that size. You probably never will. But it’s very remarkable, because
there is no wake. So when the boat goes through the water, the prow of the boat
always leaves that shimmery kind of triangle thing, which, you, you know, must
be there with the boat. So, when you’re in a boat when there isn’t one, it’s very odd,
it’s like someone who ought to have a shadow who doesn’t have a shadow. It’s
most peculiar. Anyway, they did lots of filming of it for the documentary, and
then, in the end, it was necessary to tow this boat out of the lake down one of
the canal networks that comes into it and park it somewhere, or as we say in
coracle circles, berth it. And here you can see the trial fleet crew all
wearing orange, inflatable, body sealing, anti-drowning devices. So we all
walked about like this. And it was hot enough, hardly hot enough
to exist in anyway, and these things insulated you from head to groin. It was
really a kind of torture. So this is the interesting thing that happened. After
all this is done. Actually, there’s something I want to tell you, I forgot, hold on a moment.
Yeah, something important. You see, there are clouds in the sky. Now. The fact that
they built this thing in secret was not, was not accident. They had sworn all
the workmen to secrecy because they didn’t want tourists coming and getting
hurt. And half the tourists were Hindu and half were Muslim. And they worked
together for many years on many projects, and they faithfully did not tell anybody
about it. So on the day of the launch, the sky had these immensely threatening
storm clouds. And everybody thought this was my doing. And this became clear
because when the work was finished and the workmen all wanted to be
photographed next to me. So they, I didn’t, there were 40 or 50 of them and they
were all different sizes and dimensions. So it was the sort of up here and then
it was a down here, and all the variations of it, all next to these chaps
one by one. And when we were going home on the plane, I said to one of the film
crew, “You know that I was very touched by that display at the end of the, of the
whole operation. They’d been working for so many months, and they were so friendly to
me, and so warm.” And I said, “You know, I’m used to being a tremendous social
success wherever I go, but I did think that was a bit surprising.” And this guy
said, “Well, there’s nothing about that at all surprising. They all thought you
were a descendant of Noah.” [Laughter] So the thing is this. We are going home at dusk,
and you can see up the sides of this canal these boats for tourists, where people go
for the day or for a few days’ excursion, and they sit on deck drinking gin from
dawn to dusk. So by dusk, they’re usually fairly lubricated. And as we went past
all these boats, person after person called out, “Look, there’s Noah’s Ark!” And I thought, “Could anything be more annoying? That we
spend half a million dollars to build something which is totally unlike Noah’s
Ark in any way whatsoever! By a load of drunks is immediately recognizable.”
I mean, how infuriating is that? So, look. If you fly over it, now you would never
connect that with Noah’s Ark, would you? You wouldn’t think for a moment of Noah’s
Ark. But they all had this low view of it, and they immediately recognized it. So,
that’s a kind of weird thing. But then it made me think. Because these boats that
we have in nurseries, that shape. Where does it come from? Because all the
paintings that we have, like of the Tower of Babel, and so forth, all come from the
text of Genesis. That, the, the material of the artists, of all the famous artists,
who did the Tower of Babel faithfully tried to follow what’s in the Bible. So,
why did nobody ever paint Noah’s Ark like it’s described in the Bible? Why is
it always this kind of boat? And it occurred to me, the very possibility, that
in point of fact, that the boats that you see, this shape, are in fact the profile
of a round boat. And maybe some echo of this tradition survived beyond this
tablet. Because otherwise, it’s unintelligible. Anyway, in the end, we had
to moor it by this small canal out of the, out of the way of the world. And
in good, Nelson tradition, I was the last man off. It was a hell of a wrench
to leave that boat there. And the plan was to try and find someone to take
it over, but that’s an altogether another story. So, the film was made, the film was shown, and, et cetera, et cetera. And in the first flush of
excitement, I was taken aback to find this newspaper. [Laughter] Actually, that there are, these newspapers
have even more startling things than that. But that’s pretty good, I think.
Anyway, of course, I knew, I knew they were
wrong. And the reason I knew they were wrong was because we have the proof
in the British Museum. You see, we have this old map of the world, which was
drawn in about 600 B.C., probably in Babylon. And this map of the world has
been in the museum since about 1878. It’s a very well known thing, it’s published
all over the place. But for those people who are interested in this Ark story,
it’s a corker of a thing. So, you will see, with the aid of this modern,
sophisticated computer diagram, which is pretty good going for the British Museum,
that you have a circle with a ring of water around it. And the water is
described as a “bitter water,” it’s a river. And inside this disc represents the
Mesopotamian heartland. And it is interesting, that conceptually, they
thought it was round. Acting on the assumption that if they didn’t think it
was round, they wouldn’t have drawn it as round. So here we have the Euphrates
River, and this is the Persian Gulf, and this is Babylon straddling the Euphrates. And there are these various circles with the inscriptions in, which are
mostly towns in Iraq, or sometimes tribal names. And so this is a kind of rough map
of Mesopotamia. There are lots of people who’ve written about it saying, “It’s not
accurate.” You know, and, “It’s inaccurate.” And, “We tried to use it on our motoring
holiday and we got lost.” As if the thing was meant to be accurate in the first
place. In fact, it wasn’t. Because the interesting thing for these people is
these triangles, which are drawn off the perimeter, the outer perimeter of the
river. And these are considered to be islands or mountains which are on the
rim of the world. And there are in fact eight of them, and this text on the
other side– When it was complete, there is a rule in
Assyriology that the more interesting a document, the more damaged
it is. This is a prime specimen. But there are eight sections here, in which what is
to be found on those remote islands is described. And they are like something
out of Greek, Greek narrative. There’s a tree that has jewels on it, there are birds
that don’t fly, they’re extraordinary travelers’ tales type inventions. And on
this one, here, it says, “If you grow across, you go across the river, and you climb
the mountain, you go the distance across the river, you go up the mountain, you’ll see
something whose wooden blocks are as thick as a parsiktu.” Now, the thing is
this. In this Atra-Hassis tablet, when Enki is telling Atra-hassis to build the
Ark, each time he has done one of the tasks, he says to Enki, “I have done what
you asked me.” And when he cut the ribs, he said, “I have cut the ribs as thick as a
parskitu.” Now, a parsiktu is a volume measurement and not a length measurement.
So this means, as far as I can see, that to say, “Something is thick as a parsiktu” is
a kind of expression in Babylonian, like you might say, “As thick as two short
planks” or “As thick as a barrel.” Because two short planks can be of any thickness, it
doesn’t really matter. It’s a kind of image. And the thing is that this
expression, “thick as a parsiktu,” occurs only on this map and on the Ark tablet.
So it is my contention that what this refers to is the ribs of the boat
outlined against the sky, and if you climb this remote mountain, you will see
the remains of Atra-Hassis’s Ark landing on the mountain. But this in itself is not
surprising because Noah’s Ark lands on a mountain. And so in George Smith’s tablet, a thousand years after my one, so to speak,
also landed on a mountain. So that’s what tended to happen to arks, in general.
Here, however, we have a map which tells us which one it was. Now, the really cute
thing is that we can identify now it’s this one here. Now, this is where it gets
really whistle-y. Because, you will see here, that the part of the known world, which
is in the same direction as this mountain, is labeled as “Urartu.” It’s Armenia,
it’s the name of Armenia, where there were people who were very troublesome to
the Assyrians, the Armenians, and they called their area, area Urartu or Urashtu.
And so this map tells you that if you cross this river, you see this mountain,
here you see the ribs of the boat. When you come back, the first place you land
in is Urartu. Well, in my opinion, this is the explanation for the narrative in
Bible, where Noah’s Ark is supposed to land on Mount Ararat. Not on Mount Ararat,
in fact. It is landing among the mountains of Ararat. It is not–the
Hebrew is unambiguous that Noah’s Ark landed among the mountains of Ararat. So,
in other words, a district. And I believe that, as I try to explain in detail in
this book, that the traditional idea, that the story in Genesis derives from the
Babylonian forerunner, also adopted with it the tradition about where this thing
landed. But for the Judeans, they no more knew where Urartu was than anywhere else. And they certainly didn’t tweak the idea that the Babylonian conception was
that you go beyond the river, beyond the edge of the world, to a district where no
man ever goes and comes home again. But this word, in the same geographical
location as this mountain, is surely the origin of the expression in the
Hebrew Bible. So I thought that was kind of neat. And then, life intervened to teach
me a lesson. The Easter before last, I and my
family went off on the Sunday for a day trip. We passed this sign which said,
“Very old church.” We all liked going to old churches, so we went and drove up
and went in. And there was a lychgate, and then the very ancient church behind
it. And as it was Easter Sunday, it wasn’t clear whether there was a service going
on. So I stood at the door, the big door you can see here, to try and listen
through the gap, so we wouldn’t burst in and disturb everybody. And as I was
crouching there, listening, there was a kind of “plop” on the back of my head. And I
looked up, and there on the roof. Up there. Where is he? Oh he’s up there. Sorry.
There was a bird. Now the thing is this. There was no bird shit on the ground at
all. This was not a bird toilet. And the bird there was a pure white dove. So I
had–oh there he is, he’s up there. There! It’s a pure white dove. And the floor beneath
was spotless. I mean any detective would immediately examine the terrain to see
whether there was prior use. There was none.
So I can only conclude that that bird came to get me. And all I can say is I
have a pretty good idea who might have sent it. Thank you.

Comments 100

  • Fugitive from the flying circus fer sure….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA…….

  • Very soon the only thing left in this planet will be the shadow of this story: there will be no animals, nor trees to construct a bench, only dust, ticks, spiders and cockroaches

  • The Ark…. Is that the enormous floating barge that held two of every animal on the planet ? And how many animals are there on this planet ? That's right….a LOT. Way more than any magical barge could hold. I'd rather believe in aliens than a magical god that created everything.

  • An incredible teacher and orator!

  • 13.81 billion years ago the universe came into existence with the single intent of creating this lecture and broadcasting it on youtube.

  • Checkout Martin liedtke channel

  • Fantastic, what a great storyteller, I am sure that all souls who attended your lectures have actually heard and experienced it.

  • In the true story the ark sank and all were lost.

  • What a great lecture. I really enjoyed this one.

  • OMG it's Russell Brand's grandfather!!!!

  • was thrown out of Babylonian Facebook again..What a blessing..

    Hello chap fellow in the YouTube telley..Might a lady add that the boat you chaps built;which is an exquisite piece of art(good job to the craftsman that did the manual labor with talents),there's no room on the "boat with an arc" for members of Babylonia or people who designed a Babylonian Facebook city online to prey on innocent people illegally..

  • i love entertainingly educational shit

  • At no point does Finkle even hint that the Mesopotamian text means the Bible copied the Noah story. You can draw that conclusion, but he is totally focused on the Babylonian tablets. People getting upset are wasting their time and ours. There are multiple prebiblical texts that seem to have made their way into the Bible, but that is not the subject of this lecture. Dismissing his work because you think he is attacking the Bible is "protesting too much." He did not fabricate the tablets, he translated them.

  • the animals didn't have to be full grown…hello??? brilliant lecture and spot on presentation! Much love!

  • The food and crap alone would fill 1000 of those.

  • How can anyone believe in these silly stories when they are clearly fiction? Lectures like this should really dispel such absurd notions as Noah's Ark.

  • good video on discovery of Epic of Gilgamesh and the early flood story.

  • This was a joy to watch and listen to – the tales this man can tell. He would be an unforgettable dinner guest.

  • The man could have done a lot of better things in his short time on earth. BS

  • A whole lot of bu++chit.

  • That was good. Very good.

  • I'm not sure if he believes all the old biblical stories or if he's just working the evidence for all he can.

  • Someone get this man a TED talk, a TV Series and a Movie deal : )

  • I am the only ont thinking Irving Finkel was young in 1862 due to the photo at 5.14….?

  • This chap is just absolutely fantastic.

  • Superb lecture! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Brilliant guy, love him

  • A very entertaining fellow…

  • Thank you.

  • Marvelous lecture! I loved every second of it and listened with rapt attention. Now, when is the exam?

  • He's astounding, funny and very thought provoking. Well done sir, very well done.

  • @47:00 In the Biblical sense, aren't we all descendants of Noah? 😉

  • Finkel is an absolute joy to listen too, besides he's humorous, very knowledgeable and he looks like history itself
    Would have loved him to be my grandfather.

  • Ditto. A fascinating lecture providing added insight into ancient history brought to life by a fascinating, charismatic and endearing individual that I would best describe as a combination of Santa Claus, Gandalf, and Grandpa all rolled up into one. He could have been describing ancient Babylonian accounting methods and I would have been intrigued . I look forward to finding more of his lectures and more from the Oriental Institute. Thank you both.

  • Excellent speaker, and excellent work. Thank you very much for your presentation.

  • This man could have just as easily been a comedian instead of a museum curator!

  • apparently in the Turkish MAUNTAINS they have found the NOAHS ARK..

  • Don't let him fool you, he was around in 2000 B.C. he just pulled it out of his hat…

    …which is…invisible…

  • What a scilly old man !

  • Heaving mas of beasts!!!!!LMAO!!! So Very British!!!

  • This was a great watch and
    Mr Finkel is one of the most intelligent comedians I have ever watched, it was like an educated stand up set, a ROUND of applause from me Sir!

  • Gonna have to check out that documentary, I suddenly want very much to see his face when he saw the ark the first time.

  • How long did it take to grow that beard ?

  • What an interesting character Irvine is!

  • What a delight!! This guy should be a National Treasure!! 👍

  • So now we know the real story of the ark was available before religions existed. Wow very interesting.

  • The funny thing is, flying saucers are often described as cigar shaped as well.

  • Should I watch/listen to this? Came running to switch it off as usual theirtube has something next up that I don't sub, but this has an interesting description.. and isn't msm..

  • a jew and his sarcasm towards truth

  • Top notch,thank you for sharing Sir.

  • The most entertaining and informative lecture to come out of a beard, ever. Thank you so much.

  • Good speaker, very enjoyable to watch and listen.

  • I love this guy, so witty with his knowledge and what a beautiful boat they made.

  • I love him! He's such a character! And a brilliant speaker! 😊💕💕💕👍

  • I could listen to Irving Finkel all day! He is funny, charming and so informative. Fascinating story about rebuilding the original "ark" using the measurements from cuneiform tablets written way before the Noah story ever existed. It's like watching/listening to an Indian Jones story. I learned so much from this and the learning was FUN!

  • ROFLMAO – I'd love to have this guy for a professor!

  • OMG Irving is my new hero!

  • This guy is a hoot, but I also learned a lot.

  • I pray to one day to attend one of your lectures.

  • awesome lecture. more interesting than that twaddle they were teaching back in the 60's when i was in school.

  • Did someone let out a long whistle @ 18:26?

  • Such an amazing build*

  • What an amazing man! Awesome lecture!

  • Brilliant

  • The shape I think is just what people knew in that time I believe it round but to paint it it can only be seen from one angle not the top very enjoyable informative

  • Well, if the account in the Bible is correct, he is a descendant of Noah. As are we all.

  • #coracle

  • The ark before the Noah Label = Ziusudra the Sumerian Flood Happening!

  • Great and funny….Thx !

  • I like the 10:30 it reminds me too and the famous picture in Eureka by the Post Office with the Door Mat and the brief case man with all the goonie in the windows and doors and how mysterious it was when the Arch was left on the Lawn! Then you had me after 15.01 but I guess the board is not up for fried eggs and chicken!

  • Dear professors, thank God, the cows do not have wings.

  • Brilliant. Excellent lecture. Not nearly Noah's Ark, but very interesting. My guess is Scientists, British one's especially, do not grasp the concept of something happening that the whole world knows about, and having stories told about it from many different perspectives at the same time. Such as, Noah's flood and the building of the Ark. The problem, of course, with this idea is that Noah was not from that part of the world. He was Egyptian born and raised, and highly educated, as he was related to the Pharaoh. Noah's Ark would have been built by a man who understood building in an Egyptian manner, whether he was given instructions or not. This is very interesting, but it's NOT Biblical. My suggestion would be to look in and around the Ararat mountains, if you are interested in knowing the fate of Noah's Ark. You will have more luck learning about it if you do.

  • They are currently excavating the real Noah's Ark in the valley below Ararat. It is exactly as the Bible describes it. Therefore, the concept that the Bible is derived from Babylonian or any other tradition is completely false.

  • Are you certain it was not an aircraft carrier for the flying saucers that built the pyramids?

  • The first USO

  • @David Brogan

    Re: “They are currently excavating the real Noah's Ark in the valley below Ararat. It is exactly as the Bible describes it. Therefore, the concept that the Bible is derived from Babylonian or any other tradition is completely false.”

    Why are you blocking replies? Blocking replies is hardly the behaviour of an honest individual making a genuine claim. Your blocking of responses to your provocative claim and which includes what is in essence an implied accusation against Dr Finkel, is an act of dishonesty. Indeed, it is probable that every person making claims about "Noah's Ark being found" is making knowingly false and misleading claims, like all the false claims claiming to have found Noah's ark that have been made over the years.

    I’ve lost count how many times Noah’s ark has been fraudulently claimed to have been found.

    Why should anyone believe you or the supposed finders?

    We need credible scientific evidence. Not fraudulent claims arising from fraudulent individuals. Because of your deliberate blocking of replies, I suspect your claim about "Noah's Ark being excavated", is itself fraudulent.

  • Very interesting and informative. A great lecture. Thank you.

  • Podcast Revelation 1 Sermon from Cornerstone Presbyterian Hobart Church

  • Stumbled upon this… This dude is comedy gold.

  • santa clause

  • I have always said and I know this for a fact the Noah's Ark did not only house animals it has the DNA of every living life form on Earth it was the largest DNA Bank created by the Anunnaki so enlil could repopulate the planet after his brother destroyed it

  • Hi Santa!

  • Delightful, absolutely delightful as well as extremely interesting and informative on an intellectual level. Just too cool!! LOVED IT!!

  • Firstly, this guy ROCKS! He could make reading as candy bar sound exciting. My two pence worth, these boats are a Cargo Cult response to flying ships they saw. I believe the ark was a space ship that carried DNA samples of all the creatures. Nothing else makes logical sense when you consider the feeding and caring of the animals. Not to mention mucking out the stalls. And the fact that two of anything is enough to create a viable population.

  • Mr I Like your work .and story's

  • Very enlightening to watch. He is an amazing lecturer and knows how to keep the audience focused!

  • I have been wondering for a long time now. If Noah took a male & female of each species on board the Ark. it baffles me why he did not take a woman with him. So that after the great flood he & the woman could propagate the planet. Please can someone throw some light., to help me understand

  • brilliant

  • See For YourSelf… The Truth at RonWyatt.com … If you really want TRUTH .! Ron found Noahs Ark in the Mountains of Ararat ! And found where the Red Sea Parted . The Real Mt Sinai in Saudi Arabia ! And so much more . Check it out you won't be disappointed … seeing all of the amazing works of Yehovah coming to Light !!! Sorry sir the ark is not made in the shape that you were saying! You should also check RonWyatt.com out Please if you truly do want to know The true shape you should take a look at the videos at Ron Wyatt. Com and you get back to the community and tell us what you think of those videos! But I doubt you have the guts because it will prove the true shape of Noahs Ark . With all Respect and Love for all to know The Truth hope you do too… , and thank you ,thank you for the video take care

  • The best lecturer I have ever heard! A scholar of the first water.
    The Queen should make him a Duke.

  • Get this dude on a joe rogan podcast

  • This video just broke a black depression I've been under all week. God bless Prof Finkel!

  • Stunning!

  • As you watch these museum videos, notice how each curator thinks the world revolves around their specialty.

  • 08:56 the God Enki? This curator and the establishment he works for rubbished the works of Zechariah Sitchin yet here this man stands as if he figured all of this out in regard to cuneiform from Sumer when it was Sitchin who discovered these things.
    I wouldn't trust a thing this man says regarding the history of the middle east and earth. His pompous attitude reeks of I'm not telling you anything UNLESS I HAVE TO.

  • This guy is a James randi knockoff

  • Mumbling old fool, speak clear or shut the "F" up !!!

  • half way in to watch…bored with too many cheap chapsticks jokes…less material more mockery ..unnecessary.

  • Fantastic…how entusiastic he is about his profession/field. Contagious. I'd love to talk to him.

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