Noah’s Ark claimed discovered on Mt Ararat in Turkey

posted in: Noah's Ark | 39
Ark Model by Rod Walsh
Ark Model by Rod Walsh
Breaking news reports: Explorers have discovered Noah’s Ark high on Mt Ararat in Turkey.

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.
E.g.:
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.
 

39 Responses

  1. Joel Tay

    Wow. I heard of this last year. Glad they have finally gone through with the press release. Very exciting news, but good point raised about it being a post-flood structure due to C-14 age. Any thoughts on the type of wood used as mentioned by the press? Gopher wood in Bible vs. Cypress of this object?

    Joel

  2. Dave F

    Hmmm… I too am dubious about the supposed Carbon dating of the find. However, it would be nonetheless and extremely exciting find. I wonder how Richard Dawkins would try debunking this one if it proves to really be the Ark! 😉

  3. Pieter Pelser

    I do not believe it is the ark. The Scriptures say that the ark landed on the mountains of Ararat, that is, the group of mountains of that area. Ginsberg, the Jewish historian, as well as Josephus, as well as the Koran, all say it is on mount Judi in the Ararat range. This is borne out further by Dr. David Rohl in his book called LEGEND: Genesis of Civilization. The king mentioned in the OT, Sennacherib is reported as having worshiped a plank out of the ark when his sons killed him as reported in the Scriptures. At the foot of mount Judi there is an inscription in stone depicting Sennacherib’s visit to the mountain. So why look in a spot where it is not to be found? Pieter Pelser. (Who once visited you, Tas, at your offices about four years ago). Best regards, Pieter Pelser, Hermanus, S.Africa.

  4. I’d like to see who did the carbon dating? I’d also like to find out how big this boat is they have found – as it had to be able to hold 250,000 animal species? not to mention the 750,000 insect species?……my money says its another hoax

  5. Hi Clint,

    Some good questions. Concerning the number of species, the Ark did not need to hold 250,000 animal species plus 750,000 insect species. This has been checked out and the total number of animals would have been between 2,000 and 16,000. See: http://biblicalgeology.net/Answer/How-did-Noah-fit-all-the-animals-on-the-Ark.html

  6. That’s so cool!! 🙂

  7. John Peet

    Thanks for this blog, Tas. Very sensible and helpful comments. God bless.

  8. Hi Tas,
    Excellent article. I agree with the cautious approach. Exciting if it does turn out to be true however like you say it is a good opportunity to create discussion about an important historical event such as the flood.
    God Bless,
    Neil

  9. Pieter Pelser: If you are a true ‘Believer’, a Christian, and a scholar, then you should be able to fathom God having good reason to place it on Ararat Himself, much less having the ability, and that event would not have to be mentioned in the Bible. He could have easily had it moved from one mountain to another during the wee hours of human slumber, don’t you agree?

    Lord bless!

  10. Garry Graham

    Thanks Tas, good response to the news, I think.

    The issue I have always had regarding the search for Noah’s Ark is this: why would Noah leave the ark intact? Surely there would have been very few materials to build with, so it seems likely to me that he would have pretty quickly started dismantling the vessels for its valuable timber, ropes etc. I would think that after several years the ark would have been completely dismantled. I therefore, would not think it even worth searching for the ark.

    The continuing speculation and subsequent failures discredits the whole historical account, and serves only to support those wishing to mythologize the flood and the ark. I think scarce research funds could be better spent.

    Regards
    Garry

  11. Thanks Tas for this article. I think Garry Graham raises an important and logically defensible point. Surely the ark was a valuable source of strong timbers and other materials for building houses and stockyards for animals, etc, after Noah and his family left the ark and tried to resume life on a flood-ravaged world. I don’t see how it could have survived more than a few decades, unless it was rapidly buried in some avalanche or severe blizzard and permafrost.

    Surely we have better ways to spend scarce funds for ministry and creation research.

    Best regards to all, in Christian humility and love.
    Ken
    Lindisfarne, Tasmania

  12. RadioCarbon14

    “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.”

    Question: What was a very important field test for radio carbon dating?
    Answer: A piece of wood from a Egyptian boat with a known calendar date/age of nearly 2000 years.
    Conclusion: Radio Carbon dating confirmed the near 2000 year age of this Egyptian boat.

    Statement: Do not assume that young ages obtained from C14 is faulty. The science for C14 dating has its limits at 60.000 years. I believe the TRUE limits for C14 dating are at 10.000 years. In this case, the C14 value of 4.800 years is not of the mark…

  13. Hennie Mouton

    I only hope this site will be explored properly and soon, and objective honest reporting is going to happen.

  14. Mark

    Let’s face it. Racist whites are just jealous that a Chinese Christian team has likely found Noah’s Ark.

    The Chinese Christian team refutes the lies of skeptic and white supremecist Randall Price.

    http://www.noahsarksearch.net/eng/

    There were negotiations between the Chinese team and disgruntled bigot Randall Price back in 2008, but he never climbed with the team and has never been to the site.

    http://www.noahsarksearch.net/eng/content_feat01.php

  15. Where’s the MAP?!

    Project Vonbora has a map.

  16. Chase

    One thing that kills me about this article is that you won’t trust carbon dating because it loses its validity after 1,500 years correct? But its OK if we carbon date biblical artifacts because there’s no way god will let us mess up those results RIGHT?

  17. The possibility that God is exposing his beautiful creation called upon Noah, we should respect the Arcs finding until fully proven faulty due to the c-14 dating for the pre-flood. We could very well be on the verge of many new discoveries and history for our time and generation. God speed.

  18. Give me a break

    What a joke!! Young earthers criticise radiometrics constantly with their incoherent arguments but when they feel it might work for them it is acceptance all the way. So hypocritical.

    PS the ‘ark’ is likely just a building. It is no wonder the story has gone dead. Just a big press release with no substance.

  19. Hi Give Me a Break,
    The ‘Ark’ claims are still being evaluated at this stage. There are many different views about the claim and people are still looking at the various possibilities (See, for example, Is it Noah’s Ark?).

    We are not hypocritical about carbon dating. If the wood was from the pre-Flood world we would expect the calculated ‘date’ to be around 40,000 years. There are good reasons for this and you would get a better appreciation by reading creationist articles about carbon-14, such as “What about carbon dating?” The carbon-14 analysis of the wood is not the only factor that needs to be considered.

  20. Give me a break

    No thank yo, I won’t read any further creationist ‘evidence’. Everything you have referred me to thus far has been ingorant, dishonest (often out an out lies) or a total straw man argument.

    Had the previous articles been more truthful I would have been more than happy to consider new ones. However that is not the case and I see no reason to waste my time.

  21. Jabez H.

    Have an international body of researchers, both of the necessary research fields and of well-established institutes declare a common bond for the project’s considered regard, then request a common project to be set up as to procedure and process. Do this through international diplomacy, mountaineering groups, geographical exploration teams, or treaties. Find some way to gather a dozen or so to go on the mountain for a team which is Turkish, and also unbiased as Internationally staffed. Let three samples from the “find” be dated in three different labs, and researched for materials origins. Create a considered base camp support mechanism as well.

    Form a team of 12, plus documenters, with three Mountain high altitude climbing experts, three scientists of historicity, three scientists of geography/geology, and three of a finders Biblical faith cadre [also with credentials, as the Bible claims the mountain group, no other book does]. Set a contract for mutual cooperation, as to goals and objectives, a step by step timeline, and proceed [including a research report publication element]. Get sponsors to purchase gear and team fees and salaries for the common goal of validity of enterprise. Have a base camp radio controlled operation, as is done in the Himalayas. Even heart rates, oxygen, body temperatures, as well as any presenting needs etc. can be monitored in real time as the project is underway. Why do it by any other plan, except one which measures and monitors the team, its progress, its boundaries, and its parameters for planned discovery. This happens all the time in mountaineering and engineering circles.

    As a mountaineer living in Colorado, I know the altitude is certainly to be respected, where caves and crevices can fill and open, open and close, and move, as can rock in such a winter storm area as has a small summer window for real exploration possibilities. Go into this endeavor under the present reality of potential, if it is to be validated with statistical and substantive discovery. Just because it is remote Turkey does not mean that post modern technical means cannot be employed.

    Look too to the other worldwide groups who have attempted such a find sine the 1980s, and give them ample base camp access to weigh their questions to the team each day of on the mountain exploration. In other words, head off along the way of the road “to court” any potential conflicts of interest for a positive regard of the methodology involved. Go up to where this apparently broken relic exists and construct remote helipads to get lights, equipment, and weather addressing future potential in place. In the Colorado basin of the San Juan Mountains helicopters are regularly used to rotate in crew for the examination of rare earth element mines and their staffing.

    Come out of the ancient civilization context into the scientific age in approach, for cooperation, and commitment. Why not approach the project at a high government level of cooperation? Start with the Turks and the Chinese to honor their work on this situation (if it proves false, they will take the heat, if not so, the whole world will benefit).

  22. Jabez, thats a thoughty plan there – good work – you ought to forward it to the Nami site.
    Questions: Is the artifact in a glacier, or is it buried in stable ice? If a glacier then it is less likely to be the Ark, because even at glacial speed, it would have moved down the mountain by now. However, if it is buried under stable ice then it has potential. I don’t think the word ‘glacier’ is on the Nami web site.
    What about the modern-appearing rope in the video? Is it conceivable that antediluvians had rope that looked so much like today’s?
    Has anyone noted what is apparently pottery on a shelf in the video?
    Any comment on the odd (rough) wall construction?
    Overall, sub zero temperatures and being buried by ice are a plausible scenario for preserving an artifact indefinitely.

  23. Actually, when I read a news like this I feel so bless…. Thank you for sharing…

  24. @Give Me A Break, given that old age earth theory and evolution are solely based on supposition and propagated with lies, like AGW and the resulting Climategate was, you must feel right at home then with an “ingorant (sic), dishonest (often out an out lies) or a total straw man argument”.

    Really, if you can’t understand the concept that Tas was putting forward in terms of using existing (even if incorrect) carbon dating methodology to ascertain the age, then you shouldn’t be commenting on these blogs. So it is in plain English (I’ll type slowly for you) – Tas is not saying one thing to support the argument and then at other places saying another thing, Tas is saying that given incorrect dating methods use currently, the supposed ‘age’ of any wood found now would be judged to be closer to 40,000 years, not 4000 years and as such the dating reports from the Ark find are questionable.

    @Chase – read the above and you may understand what Tas is saying. No we don’t trust current dating methods. But using the current methods would indicate something different than what has been reported.

  25. When Tas says, ‘The carbon-14 analysis of the wood is not the only factor that needs to be considered.’ – what are the other factors to which he refers? It’s true that C14 is less reliable the further back you go, but are there other chronometers available (using data from the Ararat site)?

  26. Hi RayFR,

    In evaluating the Ark claim the big-picture questions need to be considered first: Where was the object located? Is that feasible for a place the ark would have landed? How big was it? Do the dimensions correspond to the description in Genesis? What was the wood like? Were there signs of it being worked? Was there any sort of pitch covering on the wood?

    Carbon-14 analysis and microscopic examinations, etc., are second-stage issues that are even more complicated to interpret. Carbon-14 is less reliable for older articles and there needs to be a correction for the effects of the global Flood on the carbon balance. It would not be possible to find a reliable chronometer because they all have the problems inherent in these sorts of methods.

  27. RayFR

    Hi Tas,
    Thanks for the comments (with pleasure I’ve read your articles for years, and am pleased to correspond with you).
    If the reports from noahsarksearch.net are honest, the location seems feasible: ‘mountains of Ararat’ would include Mt. Ararat; 13,000 feet up buried in sheet ice would provide the temperature and insulation needed to preserve it; and volcanicity would not categorically preclude it’s survival if it were out of the lava flows.
    Can we be sure what gopher wood was?
    The wood in their photos and video has unquestionably been worked.
    Good point about the pitch – there should be residue on inside and outer walls – that would be a strong confirmation.
    Any thoughts on the pottery in the video, and the strange rough wall construction?

  28. girl4christ

    Actually Ray, I read some reports that state that the “ark” is buried under a glacier. Also I find it odd that they never mentioned the pitch or pottery..

  29. Hi girl4christ,

    You mean reports regarding the find at noahsarksearch.net ? Or just in general, regarding how the ark is supposed to have been found? Where did you read that? Even if under a moving glacier, though, it would depend on how fast it was moving. Some move at only a couple inches a year, so that even 4,500 years would mean less than a thousand feet of movement, so it could still be preserved.

    You’re right about the pitch, and I’m waiting for further word on it. The pottery also – it can sometimes be connected with a particular age or culture. I’m getting a little impatient with their web site because of the lack of updates – I hope they have good reasons for it – it may relate to their dealings with the Turkish authorities.

  30. Jabez H. has some good thoughts on scientific evaluation but the odd thing is they have no map so anyone can go and conduct science.

    Project Von Bora has a map with the LatLong and full description. Test it. vonboraDOTorg.

  31. The Ark came to rest on Whitley Nab, Glossop, Derbyshire. There is a drawing depicting this in The Norfolk Arms Public House in the centre of Glossop.
    If you do not believe go and have a look

  32. Hi Ken,
    I hope you read some more articles on this site.

  33. David Q Hall

    4500 yrs ago was the Chalcolithic era. Pottery had been invented and copper was smelted. At Jericho the Chalcolithic strata are not disturbed by flooding. The strata there are intact back into the Neolithic 6000 years ago. Jericho is below current sea level near the Dead Sea. No catastrophic flooding during 4500 occurred there. Never met a geology professor who could prove any worldwide flood in the past 100,000 years.

    Noah was not instructed to take plant seeds with him on the ark. Plants drown. The whole story is a myth.

  34. Hi David,

    The account of Noah’s Flood is true history. I’d encourage you to read around this site more and to browse the articles on Creation.com. There are many geologists who accept the biblical account of Noah’s flood and you can read their bios and article at creation.com.

    The problem you mention about Jericho is wholly caused by faulty dating. This article False history: out with David and Solomon that may help.

  35. The fact that Noah’s Ark is in top of Mt. Ararat is not new information. It has been “out there” for at LEAST 40 years! The chinese are doing their own independant study, which is fine. Maybe just reconfirming it. I heard all about this when I was little, and am now 40. Also, when I was in college, I studied with a Muslim from Turkey, who was from near that area. Even HE said, “everyone from his country has been aware of and accepts the fact that it indeed IS Noah’s Ark. This is absolutely no hoax. There have been private expeditions that have gone up there to see it. It has been difficult lately due to current political issues as well as climate issues, as the ark is only able to be viewed during certain times of the year due because of the land gradient and heavy snow conditions.

  36. Hi Leigh, Carl Wieland has added an update on his article on the Ark claim, which you may find interesting.

  37. Many Researcher they are doing their own researching on Mount Ararat
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  38. Dear Sirs,

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  39. ‘Difficulties with a number of issues’

    Dr. Price, who is director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the conservative Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., was the archaeologist on the Chinese-led team in 2008 when this alleged discovery was first made. He says he has “difficulties with a number of issues related to the evidence at hand.”

    Price declined to elaborate. However, a leaked email from Price – which he confirms that he wrote – shows that he has reason to believe that a group of local Kurdish men trucked wood up to the mountain and staged an elaborate hoax for the Chinese team.

    A group of Kurdish workers “are said to have planted large wood beams taken from an old structure in the Black Sea area (where the photos were originally taken) at the Mt. Ararat site. … During the summer of 2009 more wood was planted inside a cave at the site. The Chinese team went in the late summer of 2009 (I was there at the time and knew about the hoax) and was shown the cave with the wood and made their film,” Price writes in the email.

    Price is a longtime searcher himself for the ark. As a member of Noah’s Ark Search LLC, he had gone on a number of expeditions to Mount Ararat.

    Price was not the only member to withdraw from the Chinese-led team over questions about their purported finding.

    Get over yourselves – the team leader himself has debunked the findings. It took me five minutes to find this article casting a major doubt over this ludicrous claim of the ark being found.