I am an enthusiast with no background in Assyriology. I hope you would be willing to answer a small question for me.
A few years ago, I had the joy of stumbling onto Irving Finkel's book about the new flood tablet he had translated. While I had always been interested in cuneiform, there are only so many hours in the day to study anything, and I ended up going to chemistry instead. I have been reading up on the Epic of Atra-Hasis, specifically (MAH 16064) Tablet III, i, 23-24:
ma-ak-ku-ra ze-e-er-ma na-pi-is-ta bu-ul-li-it
Most translations of this are a variation of Wilfred and Lambert's original translation:
Spurn Property, Preserve Life.
I was trying to dig into this a little bit, because I had a number of questions about this, not least of which whether the beginning of Line 24 was broken off (I have subsequently seen it questioned if it should not be ma- rather than na-).
Trying to do a translation (which, again, not my field at all), it seems like spurn property, preserve life are line 23, and kind of also line 24. Which is also confusing.
Then I stumbled onto Alter Orient und Altes Testament (1976). There is a short chapter by Harry A. Hoffner, Jr. of Chicago. He posits that there is confusion and that the line reads
and that the translation should actually be
Construct an ark
rather than spurn property.
I think he makes some interesting points. What I am curious about is that I continue to see the original translation. That means that either the translation was never noticed or that it was ultimately dismissed. The book pops up again and again, so I do not think it was not noticed. That means that this interpretation was dismissed.
This might be reaching back, but I am curious if you might know why this translation disagreement was not adopted?
And, of course, the obvious question given Dr. Finkel's book- might ma-ak-ku-ra be build a coracle rather than generic boat/ark?