The Ark rested on the Mountains of Ararat
“Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.” (Gen.8:4)
For hundreds of years Christians have used this scriptural verse to try and locate Noah’s Ark. Atheists and skeptics have been attacking the Bible’s credibility and say that the Great Flood did not occur and Noah could not have built the Ark. If Noah’s Ark is found then Christians will have the material evidence to prove the Bible gives the true account of man’s history.
Several attempts have been made to search for Noah’s Ark near the peak of Mount Ararat but none have been found. In 1959 a pilot in the Turkish Air Force on a NATO mapping-mission in the mountainous terrain of eastern Turkey photographed an unusual ship-shaped
object near Mount Ararat. Later when these aerial photographs were viewed by Captain Ilhan Durupinar, he noticed that the object looked even more like a ship.
But how could a ship be located in the rugged mountains? After examining the stereo photos, photogrammetry expert, Dr. Arthur Brandenberger of Ohio State, declared that the object was entirely foreign to the area, and if the object is a ship then someone had better explain how it got there.
Photographs of the strange formation appeared in the world press and created a sensation. Speculations abounded that it was Noah's Ark. At that time there were already those who were interested in mounting expeditions to search for Noah's Ark. The new discovery caught them by surprise since most believed the Ark was actually on Mount Ararat and not on a foothill some 15 miles away. If you read Genesis 8:4 carefully it does not state Mount Ararat but “the mountains of Ararat” (mountains is plural) which describes a mountain range. Noah’s Ark could have rested on the plateau of a mountain range instead of on the peak as many have thought.
A group known as the Archaeological Research Foundation (ARF), investigated the "ship" with the full cooperation of the Turkish government in the summer of 1960. After doing preliminary excavation and dynamiting one of the sides,
they concluded that the formation was only a freak of nature, a clay upthrust in a lava field. They were looking for growth rings in petrified wood if there were any, but found none. They concluded that was not Noah’s Ark. What the research team did not consider is there was no rain before the Great Flood, and annular rings are caused by the annual change of seasons. The wood that was used to build the Ark did not have annular rings like the wood we have today.
There is another reason why the ARF did not find petrified wood with annular rings is because the outer shell of Noah’s Ark was completely covered with pitch (Gen. 6:14). When the wood was covered with pitch on both sides the annular rings, if there were any, would have been completely obliterated. Trying to find annular rings on wood that had been covered with pitch, and after more than 4,300 years of exposure to weathering and petrification, is an impossibility. If it was there, it does not exist anymore.
In August 1977 Ron Wyatt, an American archaeologist, traveled to Turkey and personally examined the "boat shaped object" shown in the Life Magazine article. He found large stones, identical in design to smaller drogue
anchor stones. Some of the anchors seem to have had eight original crosses carved on them. The eight crosses represent the eight people in Noah’s family who were saved in the Ark. These crosses are Byzantine in style that indicates that someone after 300 A.D. recognized these anchor stones as having a connection with Noah's Ark and carved the crosses at that time.
The following account is taken from the Wyatt Archaeological Research Web Site. Click here: à http://www.wyattmuseum.com/noahs-ark.htm
“In 1978 an earthquake caused the soil surrounding the "boat shaped object" to fall away, exposing as much as thirty feet of the sides. On August 11, 1979 Ron Wyatt returned to the site. What he saw, after the earthquake "looked like a giant shipwreck." Evenly spaced indentations could be seen all the way around the
object, which "looked like decaying rib timbers". What appeared to be "horizontal deck support timbers" were observed at consistent intervals. The earthquake had also cracked the object from "stem to stern" and Ron was able to take samples from deep within.
Ron measured the object finding it to be 515 feet long - 512 feet, plus 3 feet, the length of a section that had broken off.
The Turkish government had officially recognized this boat-shaped formation as the archaeological site and dedicated it as Noah’s Ark National Park in June 1987. They have built a Visitor's Center and also used it as a museum exhibiting artifacts that are related to the Ark.
I met Ron Wyatt on July 27 1995 and talked with him at length about the Ark discovery when he came to Houston, Texas. I also know Richard Rives who succeeded Ron Wyatt, after his death, in the continued search for archaeological objects of biblical interest. Ron and Richard believe in keeping all the Ten Commandments as I do. Based on their archaeological data and comparing them with the biblical truths I believe the boat-shaped formation in Turkey is indeed the archaeological remains of Noah’s Ark.
1. The archaelogical site is within the borders of Turkey and conforms to the Biblical region of “the Mountains of Ararat.” (Gen. 8:4)
2. The archaeological site has the shape of a boat (Gen. 6:14).
3. The length of the boat-shaped formation conforms to the Biblical length of 300 cubits - 515 feet (Gen. 6:15). Almost all Biblical commentators and reference works state that the cubit used by the Hebrews was approximately 18 inches which is the length between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger. During the time when Noah was building the Ark “there were giants on the earth in those days” so the cubit that Noah used could be longer than 18 inches (Gen. 6:4). Ron Wyatt argued that since Moses who wrote the book of Genesis was educated in Egypt therefore he must have used the Royal Egyptian cubit that is 20.6 inches (Acts 7:22). Using the Royal Egyptian cubit the biblical length of Noah’s Ark should be 300 x 20.6 inches = 6,180 inches = 515 feet. It is amazing that the ship-like formation also measured 515 feet (512 feet plus the 3 feet broken piece). A freak of nature cannot be that accurate and precise in measurement! This is the clincher.
Again, using the Royal Egyptian cubit the width of Noah’s Ark should be 50 x 20.6 inches = 1,030 inches = 86 feet. The ship-like formation is approximately 160 feet wide. Ron Wyatt believes this discrepancy is due to a splaying (widening) effect as the Ark decayed and slid down the mountain (Ron says the Ark landed about two miles higher than its present location).
There is another explanation about this ship-like formation. I once worked as the architectural drafter for a company in the Houston Ship Channel that designs and builds barges so I know something about barge-building. Here are God’s instructions to Noah. “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; and make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.” (Gen. 6:14) Pitch (modern name is bitumen) is a petroleum by-product that is an excellent waterproofing material. Today it is used to manufacture roof shingles. Noah’s Ark is built like a huge barge that has a hull with the outer shell held together by a framed structure consisting of vertical posts, cross beams and decks to make rooms as stated in the Bible. Like all floating vessels only the outer shell needs to be waterproofed, so God instructed Noah to “cover it inside and outside with pitch.”
Concerning the discrepancy of the width of the ship-like formation which is 160 feet instead of 86 feet as stated in the Bible, there are two reasons for it. First, the earthquake that occurred in 1978 caused the soil
surrounding the "boat shaped object" to fall away exposing the former outer shell of the ark.
Second, the Internal Timber Framed Structure with the posts,beams and decks that held the whole hull of the Ark together have been dismantled. When the internal structure is dismantled the outer shell on both sides collapsed outward. This explains the larger width.
There are three reasons for the internal structure of the Ark to be dismantled. This theory is biblically based and is also very sound.
1. The Bible states: “And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.” (Gen. 9:20) There is a village called Ahora (Aghurri), traditionally, the area where Noah planted his first vineyard after coming down Mount Ararat from the Ark. Noah’s family originally lived in tents (Gen. 9:21, 27).
After the Great Flood the earth began to have the four seasons. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22) Tents are temporary dwellings that cannot protect dwellers from the cold winter. Since Noah and his sons knew how to build the Ark they could have also built permanent dwellings with timber construction. The Ark had already served its useful purpose so Noah and his sons could have dismantled its internal timber frame and other materials to build houses with better insulation values. Their descendants could have also followed their example. This area became the earliest settlement after the Great Flood.
2. The homes of the early settlement near the landing site of Noah’s Ark do not have heating systems like we do in modern times. Their primitive method of heating was by burning wood. They could have dismantled the internal timber frame of the Ark and salvaged the wood for the heating of their homes during the winter. There are stones in that area and Noah had built an altar, so they could have also built stone fireplaces (Gen. 8:20).
3. Besides the change of weather pattern there is also a change in the diet of man. Before the Great Flood Noah’s family probably had a vegetarian diet that required no cooking (Gen. 1:29-30). After the Great Flood God instructed Noah, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.” (Gen. 9:3) Meat requires cooking so that it can become fit for human consumption. With the new requirements for home-building, heating and cooking, the dismantling of the internal structure of the Ark for its timber seems to be a plausible and pragmatic solution for the needs of Noah’s family. This is one of the reasons why no loose pieces of petrified lumber could be found on the site. The outer shell of the Ark’s hull were left intact on the site because the lumber was enormous in size and they were covered with pitch on both sides; making them not suitable for building, heating and cooking purposes. These huge petrified lumber can still be seen on the site today. “And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.” (Gen. 9:28-29)
As far as God’s plan of salvation for mankind is concerned it does not depend on whether or not Noah’s Ark is discovered. When the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth the Ark was not discovered. However, it is important for us to believe Noah, the Ark and the Great Flood did exist because our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied living conditions in the End time would be like that in the time of Noah.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and did not know until the Flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Mt. 24:36-39)
What kind of flood will there be in the End Time? After Noah and his family got out of the Ark God made a covenant with him. Thus I establish My covenant with you. Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Gen. 9:11) The Bible shows there are several kinds of floods that are used figuratively. The flood is used as a destructive enemy (Isa. 59:19; Jer. 46:7-8); “floods of ungodliness” (Ps. 18:4; 2 Sam. 22:5), great testing (Mt. 7:25, 27), persecution (Rev. 12:15-16). The devil is flooding the Internet with pornography and all kinds of wicked and evil materials.
Saints of God must enter the Ark of God in the End Time to be saved. The Ark symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only way of salvation for mankind.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts. 4:10-12) “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
A sermon based on this article was preached by Paul Wong
to a congregation in Houston, Texas on October 18, 2003.
For comments please write first to firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
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