A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers said Monday they believe they may have found Noah’s Ark — four thousand metres up a mountain in Turkey.
The team say they recovered wooden specimens from a structure on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey that carbon dating proved was 4,800 years old, around the same time the ark is said to have been afloat.
A detailed report on the expedition is provided by Noah’s Ark Ministries International (You can select English for the site).
Creation Ministries International have provided a preliminary comment on it, together with updates as they come to hand, including:
It is still early days and all believers need to be careful not to jump the gun, i.e. go beyond the evidence and announce it as the Ark for sure. There will obviously be a lot more work to be done to establish whether this apparently manmade structure is indeed the remains of Noah’s Ark, or a subsequent construction, perhaps to commemorate the Ark landing.
There are lots of questions that need to be answered. For example, the mountain in Turkey that is called Mt Ararat looks like it would be a post-Flood mountain. It is difficult to imagine how this mountain, which sits alone in the middle of a huge plain, would have survived the receding floodwaters, which eroded thousands of metres off landscapes all over the world.
How could the Ark have come to rest safely on such a pointy mountain? We can imagine what would happen if a ship hit an underwater mountain of that shape today.
The reports say carbon-14 dating of the wood gave an age of 4,200 years but I would expect wood from the Ark to “date” by carbon-14 at somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 years because the pre-Flood c-14 levels were much lower than today.
The idea of finding Noah’s Ark is pretty exciting. At this stage I don’t hold out a lot of hope about this latest claim but I have an open mind. I need to see a lot more detail to have these and other concerns adequately answered. There have been many claims in the past that have turned out not to be upheld.
Boat shaped structures on Lesser Mt Ararat
The Mt Ararat anomaly
An Iranian site
All the same, this news announcement provides a great opportunity to think and talk about Noah’s Flood and consider the evidence we would look for in the geology, landscapes and biogeography of the world as a result of this global cataclysm.
Update 29 April 2010:
Some earlier articles about possible landing sites for the Ark:
Cudi Dagh, a mountain range in southern Turkey near the borders of Syria and Iraq.
Zagros Mountains of western Iran
Update 2 29 April 2010:
I received the following from an email correspondent:
It appears the Ark story is a hoax. Please read [Noah’s Ark Discovery Exposed]:
This website is reliable, and Randall Price is a credible witness.
Emphasizes the need for caution.