Noah’s Wife & the Titanic

Crowe and ConnellyWhen it comes to your floatation devices, you can’t get more famous than the Titanic or Noah’s ark—but the connection doesn’t stop there. Oddly enough, the link is Robert Ballard the explorer who found the long-lost, sunken Titanic.

TitanicUnlike the notoriety of the Titanic and Noah—both have movies now, for God’s sake! (pun intended)—Noah’s wife, although she does get a role in the Noah movie, received just a brief mention from the only known written documents about the Middle East flood stories. The Bible merely states that she went with her family into the ark. The lady doesn’t even get a name, although all of her sons do.

An even older source, a stone inscription discovered in ancient cities in what is now known as Iraq, is the Mesopotamian epic poem, Gilgamesh, which says pretty much the same thing, although the names are different. The Biblical story credits mankind’s sin for calling down God’s wrath and the great flood. In the Gilgamesh story, the gods are angry at mankind—not for being wicked, but . . . (wait for it) . . . for making too much noise.

Filling in the Tabula rasa of the life of Noah’s spouse was an irresistible lure for me. As a humanistic Jew, the siren call lay in the challenge of writing a story that wove my imagination onto the structure of the Noah tale in a believable, historically accurate setting. I wanted to tell the story of what might have really happened, given the foreknowledge of how the tale was eventually written down in the 6th -5th Centuries BCE by Hebrew scribes. That required a study of the roots of Judaism (and what might have been motivating the scribes) as well as studying available archeological evidence about the culture of the time. I took literary license to give Noah’s wife a form of autism known today as Asperger Syndrome, in order to portray a unique perspective on the culture she lived in.

Normally, a researcher relies on long-accepted works and theories, but archeology is a living science about the dead. Theories and assumptions are being overturned daily in the Middle East with the advance of scientific methods and new discoveries. Only with the Internet can a writer hope to keep up.

But where to start?

The Biblical dating system is fraught with problems and to use it requires buying into a creation date that belies generally accepted current scientific knowledge. Instead, I looked for evidence of a prehistory flood and stumbled on the expedition of Robert Ballard. He was searching for proof of a drowned civilization in the Black Sea, a body of salt water forming the northern border of Turkey. That caught my attention. The Bible mentioned Mount Ararat—a mountain or mountain range in northeast Turkey—as the ark’s resting place. But why was Ballard there?

I learned he was following the trail forged in the late 1990’s by two geologists, William Ryan and Walter Pitman* who had gathered core samples from beneath the Black Sea. The long collection tubes acted as time capsules, capturing history in the layers of sediment, and every location they dredged told the same story: Something catastrophic happened, about 5500 BCE, that changed a small body of fresh water into a salt sea, reversed the flow of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and flooded a large area in the Middle East. That could account for both flood stories. Ballard’s sophisticated cameras confirmed the geologists’ theory by locating underwater ruins off the Turkish coast that fit the time period.

I was hooked.

Four years later, the novel Noah’s Wife was born.

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Noah’s Wife is available anywhere books are sold. Now also an audio book on Amazon.com, Audible.com and ITunes.

NOAH'S WIFE COVER for AUDIBLE for web

 

* Noah’s Flood, The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event that Changed History (Simon & Schuster, 1998)

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T.K. Thorne is a retired police captain (Birmingham, Alabama), director of City Action Partnership, and an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction.

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About T.K. Thorne

I live on a beautiful mountain and write about whatever moves me while two dogs and a cat vie for my lap. I’m a retired police captain and eclectic writer. I'd love to hear from you!
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13 Responses to Noah’s Wife & the Titanic

  1. After reading this, I look forward to reading that!

  2. T.K. Thorne says:

    Thanks, Deborah. I would love to hear from you!

  3. Hearts bigger then the sun says:

    I love this post! So awesome! You might like my most recent! Please Go check it out 🙂 thanks!

  4. It’s been at least a year and probably more since you visited the Baldwin Writer’s Group in Daphne, AL and talked about your writing process, a bit of your own history, and your book, Noah’s Wife. Shortly after your appearance, I did read your book and I don’t think I ever got around to telling you that I LOVED IT!! You brought the characters so much to life that it became one of those books that I didn’t want to come to an end because I would miss them, especially her and Noah and the women in the cave.. Since there is no literal, written history beyond what you have mentioned for Noah’s wife, it left a lot to your imagination and you made it quite believable for that time and setting. Whenever I’ve gotten the chance I have highly recommended your book to anyone and everyone, even on my Face Book page, just after I read it a year or so ago.

    • T.K. Thorne says:

      Bonnie, thank you for sharing that! It is so lovely to hear that Na’amah and Noah are still living in other minds as they are mine. I think you will like Angels at the Gate: the story of Lot’s Wife. It’s coming our early summer. I look forward to visiting the Baldwin Writer’s Group again and will be in Fairhope weekend of July 11th presenting a workshop on Historical Non-Fiction & the Historical Novel with the Alabama Writer’s Conclave. Hope to see you there if you can make it.

  5. HUGH KNOX says:

    Hi Teresa, Thanks for such an interesting blog. Since I’m doing similar research, only on all major religions but especially Christianity and Judaism (been researching over 3 yrs ‘religiously’  {pun int.} ), your researched piece is appreciated. As well, seeing the NOAH film out, I’ve thought of your book often. It seems, on today’s CNN it’s not doing well–the only remark I heard of why not was that it was not ‘staying true to the (fundamentalists??) version from the Bible’. Imagine that. If what I’m working on actually ‘gets out there’ I might have to put up nine foot reinforcement fences wherever I reside (so teases my husband).

    Not with Noah, per se, but I’ve got a sixty year old bone to pick of all the nonsensical dogma fed to me hardcore…with punishments if I challenged ‘the teacher’s views’ …of which I did often regardless of the punishments doled out at home for ‘disrespecting and challenging an adult’ who certainly knew more than me! So I definitely have much to say rebuking so much ‘prejudiced litany’ perpetrated on so many, that adds to children ‘learning’ to hate, resent, deny’ anything not familiar to them, subtly or overtly taught them.

    Good to see your father, Sarah, Eugine(?) his nurse, now Warren is attempting outings. I see at times his old humor is coming back–that’s the best part. Keep writing, in my opinion you’re one of the best. Waiting for “Lot’s Wife”…I guess so are you! Hope this film creates interest enough to want to know more, and  ‘find your book’! Beth Knox

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    • T.K. Thorne says:

      Hi Beth,
      Thanks so much for your comments and support. I haven’t seen movie yet, but looking forward to it. If I can ever help with your research be happy to.

  6. Pingback: Did Jesus Have a Wife? | T.K.'s Tales

  7. My very very……….. like

  8. Pingback: Angels, Venus, & Sin City | T.K.'s Tales

  9. Pingback: Why Noah’s Wife Has Asperger’s | T.K.'s Tales

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