Secrets of Noah's Ark

A team attempts to build the flood boat using inscriptions from an ancient clay tablet. Airing October 7, 2015 at 9 pm on PBS Aired October 7, 2015 on PBS

Program Description

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 Atra-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 Atra-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.

Broadcast Credits

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Nic Young
PRODUCED BY
Crispin Green
Laura Warner
Elizabeth Trojian
EDIT PRODUCERS
Caroline Bacle
Michael Wadding
EDITED BY
Guy Scutter
David Smillie
McDonald Brown
CAMERA
Steve Gray
NARRATED BY
Jay O. Sanders
CONSULTANT
Irving Finkel
LINE PRODUCER
Helen Kelsey
LOCATION SOUND RECORDIST
Grant Lawson
ADDITIONAL CAMERA
Will Pugh
COMPOSER
Joel S. Silver
MUSIC LIBRARY
Audio Network Ltd
3D CGI & VISUAL EFFECTS
Zink
Redlab Digital
ONLINE EDITOR
Adam Gagnon
COLORISTM/dt>
Andrew Exworth
SOUND EDITOR
Jason Perreira
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Libby Daker
JUNIOR PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Helen Kourpas
PRODUCTION MANAGER, INDIA
Tom Cordeaux
LOCATION ASSISTANTS
Sharath Pulimood Arjun Menon
ARK BUILD CONSULTANTS
Tom Vosmer
Eric Staples
CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISOR
Alessandro Ghidoni
FUNDING CONSULTANT
Mark Denessen
CO-PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE
Lilla Hurst
POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
Harrison Freedman
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Anja Sobkowska
POST PRODUCTION
RedLab Digital
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Alamy
AP Archive
Bridgeman Images
Danish Film Institute - Filmarchive
Footage Farm Ltd
Getty Images
The Jewish Museum / Art Resource/ Scala, Florence
Library of Congress
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Pond 5
Shutterstock, Inc.
Trustee British Museum
University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania Archives
University South Carolina, Moving Image Research Collection
SPECIAL THANKS
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and Courtesy of The Israel Antiquities Authority. The Shrine of The Book, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Museum of Ancient Near East, Berlin
Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem
The University of Warwick
The British Museum
Produced with the participation of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Media Program of the European Union.
FOR BLINK FILMS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Dan Chambers
Elliott Halpern
Elizabeth Trojian
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION & COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS
Sarah Sapper
BUSINESS AFFAIRS MANAGER
Robin Gleadall
BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Jenny Spearing
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR
Jim Ferguson
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
RESEARCH
Diane Toomey
Caitlin Rotman
ASSOCIATE RESEARCHER
Shraddha Chakradhar
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
RIGHTS MANAGER
Lauren Miller
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
POST PRODUCTION EDITOR
Michael H. Amundson
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCER
Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Julia Cort
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

Produced by Blink Films and Yap Films for NOVA/WGBH Boston in association with Shaw Media, France Television, Channel 4, NGCI, TV3, and ORF. A Canada - UK Co-Production.

© 2014 Blink Entertainment Limited/Yap Ark Productions Inc.

All Rights Reserved

Additional Material © 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

Original funding for this program was provided by Google, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the David H. Koch Fund for Science, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

IMAGE:

Image credit: (ark replica)
© WGBH Educational Foundation

Participants

Azzam Alwash
Founder, Nature Iraq
Michael Coogan
Harvard Divinity School
Irving Finkel
British Museum
Alessandro Ghidoni
Maritime Archaeologist
David Ilan
Hebrew Union College
Peter Machinist
Harvard University
Piotr Michalowski
University of Michigan
Dheif Mushin
Site Supervisor, Ur
Jennifer Pournelle
University of South Carolina
Eric Staples
Maritime Historian
David Vanderhooft
Boston College
Tom Vosmer
Maritime Archeologist
Cornelia Wunsch
SOAS, University of London

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