In 1872, George Smith, an Assistant in the Department of Antiquities of the British Museum, and gifted with a genius for decipherment, announced that he had discovered on a tablet from the Royal Library at Nineveh a version of the story of the Deluge—one very closely resembling that in the Book of Genesis. Unfortunately the tablet was incomplete. But the announcement created such public interest that London’s Daily Telegraph offered to pay a thousand pounds toward expenses if the Trustees of the Museum would send Smith out to reopen the excavations and try to find the missing portions of the tablet. The offer was accepted and Smith went out to Kuyunik (ancient Nineveh). Despite his complete inexperience at excavation he returned triumphant with, among other things, a missing portion of the tablet containing the Deluge story. But his success had a tragic conclusion. The public having insisted on his return for a further season of digging, he did so and died of fever on the way home. (R. D. Barnett, Illustrations of Old Testament History, British Museum Publications, Ltd. 2nd Ed. (1977).)