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THE ARK BEFORE NOAH: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Dr Irving Finkel is a compelling investigation of one of the most famous myths in the world - and how the re-discovery of an ancient tablet challenges our view of ancient history in a new and exciting way.
Dr Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper of Ancient Mesopotamian (i.e. Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian) script, languages and cultures Department: Middle East at the British Museum, headquartered in London's Bloomsbury. He is the curator in charge of cuneiform inscriptions on tablets of clay from ancient Mesopotamia, of which the Middle East Department has the largest collection - some 130,000 pieces - of any modern museum. This work involves reading and translating all sorts of inscriptions, sometimes working on ancient archives to identify manuscripts that belong together, or even join to one another.http://www.britishmuseum.org/the_museum/departments/staff/middle_east/irving_finkel.aspx
Immensely erudite (I assume) and very funny. Anyone with the odd 45 years to spare should seriously think of retraining in Assyriology. * The Spectator * Engaging and informative . . . Finkel is an enthusiast and shows evident delight in bringing this find to the wider public. * The Wall Street Journal * A gem of a book. * The New Yorker * Exudes the enthusiasm of an expert deeply absorbed in his subject. * Times Literary Supplement * Finkel's account is wryly and entertainingly told. -- Tom Holland * The Guardian * Delightful...a digressive, amusing personal book for the general reader, a book that is willing to ask big questions. -- Stephen Moss * The Guardian * Finkel is a master at deciphering these ancient cuneiform clay tablets, but this book is far more than a fine piece of detective work: it is a humane work of scholarship that enlarges the soul. -- Richard Holloway * The Observer * A painstaking and lively investigation ... there are remarkable scholarly insights to admire ... brilliant. * Literary Review * 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 * 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 * A serious book, but rarely a heavy one: in a sprightly, good-humoured way, Finkel communicates the thrill of true scholarship...it feels fresh and exciting here. * The Sunday Times *