View Full Version : "Noah" discovered in the ancient city of Ur?

07-09-14, 19:08
Of course that's journalist hype. Nevertheless, I think this discovery is very interesting.

An ancient 6500 year old skeleton was found at Ur, pre-dating the finds in the so called royal tombs. It is temporarily on display at U Penn.

Some backstory:

After Woolley uncovered the Royal Cemetery, he sought the earliest levels in a deep trench that became known as “The Flood Pit” because, around 40 feet down, it reached a layer of clean, water-lain silt. Though it was apparently the end of the cultural layers, Woolley dug still further. He found burials dug into the silt and eventually another cultural layer beneath. The silt, or “flood layer,” was more than ten feet deep in places.
Reaching below sea level, Woolley determined that the original site of Ur had been a small island in a surrounding marsh. Then a great flood covered the land. People continued to live and flourish at Ur, but the disaster may have inspired legends. The first known recorded story of an epic flood comes from Sumer, now southern Iraq, and it is generally believed to be the historic precursor of the Biblical flood story written millennia later.

The burial that produced the Penn Museum skeleton along with ten pottery vessels was one of those cut into the deep silt. Therefore, the man in it had lived after the flood and was buried in its silt deposits. The Museum researchers have thus nicknamed their re-discovery “Noah,” but, as Dr. Hafford notes, “Utnapishtim might be more appropriate, for he was named in the Gilgamesh epic as the man who survived the great flood.”

I first read the Epic of Gilgamesh in a prep school theology class and the "flood" story has fascinated me ever since. The parallels with the story of Noah in the Old Testament are obvious. The last scholarship I remember reading about it contained speculation that the story was learned by the writers of Jewish scripture during the Babylonian captivity.

I'd love to know his haplogroup. Perhaps J2? I don't know why no attempt is being made to recover dna.

This is a physical description of the remains.
According to Dr. Janet Monge, Curator-in-Charge, Physical Anthropology Section of the Penn Museum, a visual examination of the skeleton indicates it is that of a once well-muscled male, about age 50 or older. Buried fully extended with arms at his sides and hands over his abdomen, he would have stood 5’ 8” to 5’ 10” tall.

Remarkably, that it was misplaced within the museum. Here are some pictures:

The close-up is too big to post directly. Just click on the link.

The article mentions that an anthropologist will be on hand at the exhibit to answer questions. If I manage to get down there to take a look, I'll report back.

07-09-14, 19:47
I knew I`d seen this before:smile:

If I`m not mistaken I think they have another set of remains there, making two, from same dig.

08-09-14, 02:29
[QUOTE=hope;438372]I knew I`d seen this before:smile:

Sorry for double posting. I did do a search for Ur and 6500 year old skeleton, but nothing turned up.

Amazing, isn't it? I think they need to do a good housekeeping at Penn. :)

08-09-14, 14:33
A very interesting find. It makes me wonder what else is laying displaced in various university and museum cupboards. And the article does reinforce my impression that some archeologists aren't very interested in DNA results.