A group of evangelical researchers from the group “Noah’s Ark Ministries International” is making waves with a sensational claim: that they have found the remains of Noah’s Ark.
Noah’s Ark Discovered at 13,000 Feet?
The explorers made the discovery 13,000 feet up Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey. Mount Ararat is identified in the Bible (Genesis 8:4-5) as being the Ark’s final resting place, and this has long been believed the case by evangelicals and literalists who hope to prove the Bible’s veracity.
The “Noah’s Ark Ministries” group, comprised of both Chinese and Turkish explorers, claims to have carbon dated the relics to 4,800 years of age, which would place them in about the same time frame as the “Noah’s Ark” flood mentioned in the Bible.
As reported by the AFP News Service, Noah’s Ark Ministries International researcher Yeung Wing-Cheung has said, “We think it is 99.9 percent that this is it.”
What the Noah’s Ark Researchers Found
Spokesmen from Noah’s Ark Ministries state that the structure contains several compartments, some with wooden beams, that might have been used to house animals. Because of the elevation at which these remains were found, they feel it is doubtful that they would once have been part of a human settlement.
Noah’s Ark: Previous Discoveries?
It’s not the first time someone has claimed to have found the remains of Noah’s Ark. An earlier photo, taken in 1949, shows an unusual object, dubbed the “Ararat Anomaly,” atop Mount Ararat. Many believe this object is actually the Ark.
A later discovery was made by a Turkish army captain who, while taking aerial photos from a plane, discovered a boat-shaped object sitting on one of the mountains of Ararat at an elevation of about 7,000 feet. The photograph was printed in the September 5, 1960 issue of Life Magazine, and the find was later documented in Ron Wyatt’s 1987 book, “The Boat-Shaped Object on Doomsday Mountain: Is this the remains of Noah’s Ark?“ In spite of the conflicting reports, however, the Noah’s Ark Ministries explorers remain convinced that their most recent discovery trumps anything found earlier.
Is it Really Noah’s Ark?
Some are skeptical. Archaeologist and historian Paul Zimansky of Stony Brook University specializes in the region around Ararat. MSNBC quotes Zimansky as saying, “You have to take everything out of context except the Bible to get something tolerable, and they’re not even working much with the Bible.” Zimansky points out that, although the Book of Genesis identifies the mountains of Urartu (otherwise known as Ararat) as the Ark’s final resting place, the Bible does not identify a specific peak.
And Cornell archaeologist Peter Ian Kuniholm, an expert on Turkey, is quoted by MSNBC as saying that “there’s not enough H2O in the world to get an ark that high up a mountain.” Kuniholm calls the find “a crock.”
Fox News.com: Has Noah’s Ark Been Found on Turkish Mountaintop?
The Wyatt Museum: Wyatt Archaeological Research
msnbc.com: Noah’s Ark Found? Not So Fast