Archaeologists, Geologists and Geophysicists Discover Noah's Ark or Geological Formation?

The Dec. 96 issue of Popular Mechanics has the cover story "Science Solves Ancient Mysteries of the Bible". They take a look at a number of Biblical Mysteries, including Noah's Ark.

Noah and the Ark

Not too long ago, explorers claimed that they had found Noah's ark atop Mount Ararat in Turkey. Yet, two years ago, what some believe to be Noah's ark was found not on Mount Ararat but on a remote site about 20 miles away, near the border of Turkey and Iran. According to the American and Middle Eastern researchers who have been to the location, the remote site contains a buried, ship like object, resting at an altitude of 7546 ft. Some 558 ft. long and 148 ft. wide, the object conforms almost exactly to the 300 x 50-cubit boat that, according to the Bible, God told Noah to build.

On the surrounding terrain, biblical archaeologist Ron Wyatt has identified huge stones with holes carved at one end. Researchers believe that these are "drogue stones," which in ancient times were dragged behind ships to stabilize them. Images returned by ground-penetrating radar indicate unusual levels of iron-oxide distribution, suggesting metal fittings. Salih Baryraktutan, head of geology at Turkey's Ataturk University, estimates the age of the "vessel" at more than 100,000 years. "It is a man-made structure and, for sure, it is Noah's ark," Bayraktutan said at the time of the discovery.

David Fasold, an American shipwreck specialist with no religious affiliation, has led the investigation. He says the subsurface radar surveys of the site have yielded good results. The radar imagery at about 82 ft. down from the stern is so clear that Fasold could count the floorboards between the walls. Fasold believes the team has found the fossilized remains of the upper deck and that the original reed substructure has disappeared.

As might be expected, their finding have infuriated Christian ark hunters who are convinced the ark is on Mount Ararat. Fasold has fanned the flames further by claiming the great flood is unrelated to the final resting place of the ark. "[It could have been] an astronomical event causing tectonic upheaval or a tidal bore causing gravitational pull in the ocean waters that forced the boat into the mountains," he says. Some of the geophysicists and geologists on Fasold's team are waiting until excavation and carbon-dating are complete before they venture an opinion.

Below are some of Dr. Hugh Ross's observations before these latest discovery took place.

How could Noah's ark hold all those animals?

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Have you ever wondered how Noah's ark could possibly have held all the species of life on the earth? The ark was big, nearly the size of an aircraft carrier. However, even a boat of such size would be too small to hold the millions of animal species found on planet earth, let alone a fourteen-month food supply.

Don't panic. I'm not saying that the Bible is wrong on this point. What you need to know is that the Bible does not claim that every animal species on earth was aboard the ark.

In Genesis 6, 7, 8, and 9 two Hebrew words, nephesh and basar, are used to describe the animals on board the ark. The word nephesh includes birds and mammals only. The word basar refers more specifically to those birds and mammals that contribute to man's livelihood. Further, the word for world refers to mankind and the area he occupied rather than the entire globe.

So, the number of animals on board the ark probably numbered in the hundreds, certainly no more than a few thousand. The ark, then, would have been adequate, and eight people could have cared for all the animals.

Might Noah's ark still be found on Mount Ararat?

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Some Christians have suggested that Noah's ark still rests on top of Mt. Ararat and that its discovery will provide definitive proof of the Genesis Flood. What does the physical evidence say, and what does the Bible say?

First, the Genesis account does not say that the ark came to rest on top of Mt. Ararat. Rather, it says "the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat." The Hebrew word for mountains, has, has a very broad definition, from a 50-foot high hill to Mt. Everest. Thus, the expression "the mountains of Ararat" would encompass more than 100,000 square miles of territory north and east of Ninevah.

Second, the dove that Noah released came back to the ark with an olive leaf. Olive branches would be found on the lower hills of Ararat but not on the high mountains. If the ark came to rest on the foothills of Ararat, we can reasonably conclude that its wood was used up long ago for construction projects in and around Mesopotamia.

It appears the discovery of the Ark has now been determined by most scientists involved to be a fraud and just a geological formation .

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Hugh Ross M.Sc, Ph.D. is the President of:
reasons to believe

References :

- Popular Mechanics - Dec. 96 Issue, p.40-41

- Reasons To Believe, Frequently Asked Questions: Science and the Bible

For more papers on this and other related subjects;
Go back to the Main Page ( The Y Files )
The Truth is Stranger than Fiction

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