This is not the first time the ancient story of the ark has been found outside of the bible. But it is the earliest.
The British Museum yesterday put the recently deciphered clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia - now Iraq - on display.
It's claimed to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever.
What it contains are specifications for the legendary Ark which was said to have saved two of each animal - and a handful of humans - from a catastrophic flood.
But some of the details are different to the generally known version.
It describes a circular vessel known as a coracle, not the rectangular vessel of modern mythology.
"It was really a heart-stopping moment - the discovery that the boat was to be a round boat," the tablet's discoverer, Irving Finkel said.
"That was a real surprise."
The tablet records a Mesopotamian god's instructions for building a giant vessel - two-thirds the size of a soccer field in area - made of rope, reinforced with wooden ribs and coated in bitumen.
Etched in the clay is one of the story's key elements: It describes how the animals must enter "two by two".
A 4000-year-old tablet from ancient Mesopotamia contains the specifications for an ark pre-dating the story of Noah | News.com.au (external - login to view)