A 15-person expedition calling themselves the Noah’s Ark Ministries International claims to have found the remains of a wooden structure on Mount Ararat in Turkey that the group suggests is the actual Noah’s Ark.
Radio carbon dating suggests that the structure is 4,800 years old, which the group of Chinese and Turkish evangelicals suggests would date the wooden remains as being part of Noah’s Ark. A spokesman for the expedition, Yeung Wing-Cheung, stated that the structure contained several compartments consistent with the storing of animals.
According to the Bible, as recounted in the Book of Genesis Chapter 6 through 9, God became discontented with his creation, believing human beings to have become irremediably corrupt and evil, and resolved to destroy humanity. God decided to spare a man named Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, provided that they construct an ark and populate it with a male and female pair of every land animal on Earth. So when God flooded the Earth, only the people in the ark survived. Eventually, as the waters receded, the ark came to rest at Mount Ararat in modern Turkey and Noah, his family, and the animals disembarked to repopulate the world.
Almost every culture besides the Judeo-Christian one has a flood story. There may well have been a massive flood that inundated communities around the Black Sea, a story that grew in the telling. Despite the excitement of the expedition that has found the wooden structure, it is unlikely that there was, in fact, any ark or a world-wide inundation 4,800 years ago. The ark, as described in the Bible, is too small to contain every species of land animal. It would be impossible for the eight people on the ark to properly care for those animals. And there is no geological evidence of a world-wide flood at any time in the existence of the Earth.
However the discovery of a wooden, presumably man made structure so high up on Mount Ararat is, in itself, an interesting archeological find. There has hitherto been nothing man made found at such high altitudes in Turkey.
There will be a request made with the UN to make the site of “Noah’s Ark” a world heritage site so that it can be protected pending a proper archeological expedition. It will be of great interest to discover what the structure was made for and what, if anything, of evidence of human habitation can be found on the site. It won’t be Indiana Jones exciting, despite the Biblical associations, but whatever is found might illuminate a period of pre-history that is right now little understood.
Source: ‘Noah’s Ark’ Found in Turkey, UK Sun, April 27th, 2010
King James Bible, Genesis 6-9