Seth Udinski, FISM News
One of the most intriguing historical discoveries in recent memory is changing hands. The Christian-owned retail store Hobby Lobby was the previous owner of an artifact known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, a tablet roughly the size of a brick with part of the ancient Mesopotamian poem “The Epic of Gilgamesh” inscribed on it. The tale of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest known stories in history, and since 2014, Hobby Lobby, owned by some of the founders of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., was in possession of the tablet. Many historians believe that the tablet is over 3,500 years old.
This past week, a federal court in New York demanded that the tablet be handed over to the U.S. government. According to several sources, Hobby Lobby had purchased the priceless artifact for roughly $1.6 million from a London-based auction house. Many are alleging that the artifact was stolen from its excavation site in modern-day Iraq (ancient Mesopotamia) and looted to the U.S. on the black market.
According to CNN, the owners of Hobby Lobby and Museum of the Bible are calling for the tablet to be restored to its country of origin. In the meantime, it will be housed in Brooklyn.