The story of Noah's Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most iconic and universal stories in all human history; one of the most important stories for three of the world's great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Now, an astonishing recovery is challenging everything thought known about this Biblical legend. Dr Irving Finkel, armed with a 4000-year-old tablet, teams up with a group of maritime archaeologists and attempts to build the vessel that inspired the Biblical Ark.
In 1948, a British pilot serving in Iraq acquired a clay tablet with an intriguing, 3,700 year-old inscription. The ancient writing tells the story of how the god Enki warns a Sumerian king named Atram-Hasis of a future flood that will destroy mankind. Enki gives him instructions for building a boat to save his family and livestock. If that sounds like a familiar tale, it's because this was one of several ancient flood traditions that, centuries later, would inspire the biblical story of Noah. But the tablet's inscription describes a boat very different from the traditional image of the Ark–it's said to be circular and made of reeds. Is this nothing more than a fanciful myth? Or could such a reed boat have carried Atram-Hasis' family of more than one hundred and his many animals? Join NOVA as a team of historians and expert boat builders investigates this fascinating flood legend and sets out to rebuild a tantalizing, ancient forerunner of the Ark.
Whether she’s marvelling at the Northern Lights or perspiring gently as she sails along the River Nile, Joanna Lumley is always a pleasant travelling companion, charming everyone she meets. She’s exploring the origins of the ancient tale about Noah and the Ark, a story that unites people and religions all over the world.