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Bitumen

BITUMEN (bī-tū'mĕn). A mineral pitch widely scattered over the earth, and one of the best waterproofing substances known. It was used with tar to cover the ark of bulrushes (Exod.2.3) and to waterproof Noah’s ark (Gen.6.14). It was also used for mortar in the tower of Babel (Gen.11.3), and to represent a curse on Edom (Isa.34.9). There were great deposits near the Dead Sea and at different places in Mesopotamia. The principal modern source is a great lake of pitch on the island of Trinidad.