A history of the world in 100 objects: the flood tablet

In this series, Anna Seaman highlights an item on display at the 100 Objects exhibition at Manarat al Saadiyat that runs until August 1. This week: The Flood Tablet.
The Flood Tablet for 'A History of The World In 100 Objects' exhibition at at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Courtesy British Museum
The Flood Tablet for 'A History of The World In 100 Objects' exhibition at at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Courtesy British Museum

According to Becky Allen, the curator of A History of the World in 100 Objects, The Flood Tablet is probably the most famous cuneiform text in the world. Cuneiform is the tiny, wedge-shaped script engraved on this clay tablet and the tale that it relates is similar to the story of Noah’s ark.

The tablet, which is dated at around 600-700BC, was in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in his palace at Nineveh. “What is interesting is that the story predated scriptural accounts of the flood by around 400 years, so this piece is talking about the commonality of storytelling traditions,” says Allen.

Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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