The Lifeboat that Saved the World

First edition



ISBN: 9780500651223 Category:

Irving Finkel


The original account of the great flood, carved onto stone tablets in ancient cuneiform script, lay forgotten for thousands of years until recently, when it was rediscovered and deciphered by Irving Finkel. Now this story – perhaps the oldest in the world – is retold for children.

Its ancient Babylonian hero, Atra-hasis, is – just like Noah – ordered by his god to build a lifeboat to keep his family and all the animals safe until the flood is over. Unlike Noah, Atra-hasis is asked to build a round coracle the size of a football pitch – and given very precise instructions to follow. Told from the perspective both of the central hero, Astra-hasis, and his youngest son, Very Quick, this remarkable story is supplemented with asides that give fascinating insights into daily life in Ancient Mesopotamia as well as the historical sources for the story, and includes photographs of the life-size reconstruction of Astra-hasis’ coracle from a recent project led by the author.

A tale of destruction on an unthinkable scale and survival against the odds, The Lifeboat that Saved the World is a story that has truly stood the test of time, and the first in a new series of books that retell myths and legends through the eyes of a child.

Additional information

Weight 329 g
Dimensions 16.4 x 22.6 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 October 2017
Number of pages 104
Format Hardback
Dimensions 16.4 x 22.6 cm
Weight 329 g