The Biblical Archaeology Review has a write-up on a newly-translated Old Babylonian (1900-1700 B.C.E.) tablet. The tablet’s translator Irving Finkel sees the tablet as “an ark builder’s how-to guide.” But what is really interesting is the way the ark is described in the tablet:
The most remarkable feature provided by the Ark Tablet is that the lifeboat built by Atra-hasıs— the Noah-like hero who receives his instructions from the god Enki—was definitely, unambiguously round. “Draw out the boat that you will make,” he is instructed, “on a circular plan.”
Check it out.