Dr Irving Finkel is Senior Assistant Keeper of Ancient Mesopotamian script, languages and cultures in the Middle East Department of the British Museum. He is the curator in charge of the world's largest collection of cuneiform clay tablets, comprising more than 130,000 pieces. His work involves reading and translating all sorts of inscriptions, sometimes working on ancient archives to identify manuscripts that belong together, or even join to one another. With publications, lecturing and broadcasting, Dr Finkel has brought these inscriptions and their writers to a modern audience. He is the author of The Ark Before Noah.