The first book about Noah's flood that makes sense
Noah's Ark and the Ziusudra Epic: Sumerian Origins of the Myth is a book that takes a fresh look at six versions of the Ancient Near East flood myth, demythologizes them, and combines the various story elements like pieces of a jigsaw picture puzzle into one coherent story. There actually was an archaeologically confirmed flood about 2900 BC on which the ark stories were based, but it was a local river flood, not a global deluge. The original ark stories were about a small commercial river barge that was hauling a few hundred cattle, sheep, and goats, but there were no kangaroos, lions, apes, elephants, or giraffes on that cattle barge.
The emphasis in this book is on what was physically possible, technologically practical, and consistent wth archaeological facts in ancient Sumer, now southern Iraq. The result of this synthesis is a reconstruction of a lost legend about a Sumerian king named Ziusudra who was chief executive of the city-state Shuruppak at the end of the Jemdet Nasr period about 2900 BC. A six-day thunderstorm caused the Euphrates River to rise 15 cubits, overflow the levees, and flood Shuruppak and a few other cities in Sumer. A few feet of yellow sediment deposited by this river flood is archaeologically attested and artifacts at about this sediment level have been radiocarbon dated.
When the levees overflowed, Ziusudra (Noah) boarded a commercial river barge that had been hauling grain, beer, and other cargo on the Euphrates River. The barge floated down the river into the Persian (Arabian) Gulf where it grounded in an estuary at the mouth of the river. Ziusudra (Noah) then offered a sacrifice on an altar at the top of a nearby hill which storytellers mistranslated as mountain. This led them to falsely assume that the nearby barge had grounded on top of a mountain. Actually it never came close to a mountain.
Skeptics are correct when they say Noah's flood (as it is commonly understood) could not have happened, because many of the story elements, such as grounding of the ark in the mountains of Ararat, would have been physically impossible. This book uncovers how the mountains of Ararat got involved in the story (Noah did not go there) and locates the precise spot (within a few meters) of where Noah offered his sacrifice. This is a historical site (not on a mountain) that has already been excavated by archaeologists.
After the ark grounded, Noah met other survivors of the flood and some of the things they discussed are mentioned in the myth that priests and storytellers told about the flood. Noah's family separated and Noah had to flee into exile, because of conflicts between Noah and other survivors of the flood. The place where Noah lived until his death is identified in this book. Noah's sons traveled northwest on foot along the Tigris River and settled at a place identified in this book.
The incredible numbers in Genesis 5 were the result of an ancient scribe mistranslating some archaic pre-cuneiform numbers into cuneiform sexagesimal numbers. The incredible numbers in the Sumerian King List were also mistranslated by another ancient scribe. This book successfully matches the Genesis 5 numbers to the Sumerian King List numbers.
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