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Noah's Ark Discovered in Iran?
National Geographic ^ | 7/7/06 | Kate Ravilious

Posted on 07/07/2006 10:05:17 PM PDT by freedom44

High in the mountains of northwestern Iran, a Christian archaeology expedition has discovered a rock formation that its members say resembles the fabled Noah's ark.

The team discovered the prominent boat-shaped rocks at just over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) on Mount Suleiman in Iran's Elburz mountain range.

"It looks uncannily like wood," said Robert Cornuke, president of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute (BASE), the Palmer Lake, Colorado-based group that launched the expedition.

Photos taken by BASE members show a prow-shaped rock outcrop, which the team says resembles petrified wood, emerging from a ridge.

"We have had [cut] thin sections of the rock made, and we can see [wood] cell structures," Cornuke said.

Cornuke acknowledges that it may be hard to prove that this object was Noah's ark. But he says he is fairly convinced that the rock formation was an important place of pilgrimage in the past.

The BASE team has uncovered evidence of an ancient shrine near the outcrop, suggesting that this was an important place to people in the past, Cornuke says.

"We can't claim to have conclusively found the ark, but it does look like the object that the ancients talked about," Cornuke said.

Noah and the Flood

The story of Noah's ark is told in three major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

The Book of Genesis describes a great flood created by God "to destroy all life under the heavens."

But before the flood, God told Noah, one of his human followers, to build an ark and fill it with two of every species on the Earth.

But this location doesn't fit the description given in Genesis of the ark's passengers journeying from the east to arrive at Mesopotamia.

Cornuke and his team think that Mount Ararat might be a red herring.

"The Bible gives us a compass direction here, and it is not in the direction of Turkey. Instead it points directly towards Iran," Cornuke said.

Pilgrim Shrine?

Using the Book of Genesis and other literary sources, the BASE team journeyed to Iran in July 2005 to climb Mount Suleiman.

They chose Mount Suleiman after reading the notes of 19th-century British explorer A. H. McMahan.

In 1894, after climbing Mount Suleiman, McMahan wrote in his journal, "According to some, Noah's ark alighted here after the deluge."

McMahan also spoke of wood fragments from a shrine at the top of the mountain where unknown people had made pilgrimages to the site.

"We found a shrine and wood fragments at 15,000 feet [4,570 meters] elevation, as described by McMahan," Cornuke said.

Subsequent carbon dating of samples from the shrine showed the wood fragments from the site to be around 500 years old.

Lower on the mountain, expedition members came across the ark-like rock formation, which they estimate to be about 400 feet (122 meters) long.

Rocks From the Sea?

Not everyone is convinced by the BASE team's claims.

Kevin Pickering, a geologist at University College London who specializes in sedimentary rocks, doesn't think that the ark-like rocks are petrified wood.

"The photos appear to show iron-stained sedimentary rocks, probably thin beds of silicified sandstones and shales, which were most likely laid down in a marine environment a long time ago," he said.

Pickering thinks that the BASE team may have mistaken the thin layers in the sediment for wood grain and the more prominent layers as beams of wood.

"The wider layers in the rock are what we call bedding planes," he said.

"They show fracture patterns that we associate with … the Earth processes that caused the rocks to be uplifted to their present height."

The boat-shaped structure can also be explained geologically, says retired British geologist Ian West, who has studied Middle Eastern sediments.

"Iran is famous for its small folds, many of which are the oil traps. Their oval, ark-like shape is classical," he said.

Meanwhile, ancient timber specialist Martin Bridge, of England's Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory, is doubtful that a wooden structure would have lasted long enough to petrify under ordinary conditions.

"Wood will only survive for thousands of years if it is buried in very wet conditions or remains in an extremely arid environment," he said.

Bible scholars think that Noah built his ark somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, making preservation highly unlikely except in extreme environmental conditions.

And even if the wood had petrified, there seems to be little evidence of Noah's carpentry, according to Robert Spicer, a geologist at England's Open University who specializes in the study of petrification.

"What needs to be documented in this case are preserved, human-made joints, such as scarf, mortice and tenon, or even just pegged boards. I see none of this in the pictures. It's all very unconvincing," Spicer said.

Bridge, the Oxford timber specialist, points out that it would also be impossible for a boat to run aground at 13,000 feet.

"If you put all the water in the world together, melting both the ice caps and all the glaciers, you still wouldn't reach anywhere near the top of the mountain," he said.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 11000footpeak; ararat; archaeology; ark; bobcornuke; christians; cornuke; crevolist; godsgravesglyphs; hoax; iran; mountararat; noah; noahsark; ntsa; robertcornuke; takhtesuleiman
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1 posted on 07/07/2006 10:05:19 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG


2 posted on 07/07/2006 10:05:42 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: freedom44

"The Bible gives us a compass direction here, and it is not in the direction of Turkey. Instead it points directly towards Iran,"

It does?
Where does the Bible give a compass direction?
Genesis DOES mention Mt. Ararat.


3 posted on 07/07/2006 10:10:44 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Paris vaut bien une messe.)
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To: freedom44

donkeys never range far from home....


4 posted on 07/07/2006 10:11:08 PM PDT by LeoWindhorse (strive on with heedfulness)
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To: freedom44

The pictures I have seen almost certainly appear to be of petrified wood.


5 posted on 07/07/2006 10:11:14 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: Vicomte13
Genesis DOES mention Mt. Ararat.

Yes, but which mountain is Mt. Ararat? It is my understanding the current one we know as Mt. Ararat was given that name by Marco Polo thousands of years after Noah.
6 posted on 07/07/2006 10:13:40 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: GarySpFc

There have been a few articles posted on this since last fall maybe? (not sure). I'm going to go look to see what the "frexperts" have come up with thus far.


7 posted on 07/07/2006 10:15:42 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: freedom44
VERY interesting that the National Geographic is picking this up. I've read about it lately here on FR via Christian publications, but the NG writing about it gives it more weight for the mainstream, I should guess. Wonderful if it is proven scientifically.
8 posted on 07/07/2006 10:16:21 PM PDT by JennysCool (Roll out the Canarble Wagon!)
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To: GarySpFc

I saw the pictures, too. They look like petrified wood planks that were hand carved by ancient man. I'm looking forward to reading more about this.


9 posted on 07/07/2006 10:17:30 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: GarySpFc

Mt. Ararat has the virtue of being the tallest mountain in the region.

Also, it has a very interesting formation, frozen in the ice, way, way up above the snow line. It's not currently accessible because of the politics of the region. Also, the face on which it's located is sheer and hard to get too.

Seems to me that the tallest mountain in the region would likely be the first one to poke out of a worldwide flood.

Seems to me that, if there really was a Noah's Ark, and if it's still around anywhere to be found, it would have to be locked in the permanent ice somewhere at the top of some very tall mountain. Ararat would fit that bill.

I've always said that if teams were able to get to the icy site on Ararat and actually found parts of a huge ark there, frozen in ice, with exotic animal droppings frozen in it, it would prove the Biblical literalists' case hands down.


10 posted on 07/07/2006 10:22:45 PM PDT by Vicomte13 (Paris vaut bien une messe.)
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To: mysterio

Darwiniacs will find proof of evolution, even if there is a signed, notorized captain's log.


11 posted on 07/07/2006 10:23:18 PM PDT by sine_nomine (Marvel at the Senate's No Mexican Left Behind Bill (wit cloned from M. Steyn))
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To: JennysCool
Oh, the National Geographic has been playing up every silly Ark 'discovery' that's come along for many years now. It's an odd little quirk of theirs. If you go to the link you will see links to some of their older Ark silliness too.
12 posted on 07/07/2006 10:27:09 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: mysterio

You would think that a boat made out of petrified wood would sink right away!


13 posted on 07/07/2006 10:28:15 PM PDT by proudpapa (of three.)
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To: freedom44
"Wood will only survive for thousands of years if it is buried in very wet conditions or remains in an extremely arid environment," he said."

Which is something one would NOT expect to find near a boat after a flood?

-PJ

14 posted on 07/07/2006 10:32:22 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: freedom44

What a load.

Explain how the sloth got back to S. America or how the pandas and koalas ate when there was no food. Better yet, how did all the animals make it back without food.

And no, you can't cop out and say "It's a miracle!"


15 posted on 07/07/2006 10:33:41 PM PDT by Central Scrutiniser ("You can't really dust for vomit.")
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To: Central Scrutiniser

It's magic. Kind of like how thriving civilizations in China, Egypt, and the Near East took no notice of a worldwide genocidal Flood in or about 2461 BC.


16 posted on 07/07/2006 10:37:11 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: sine_nomine
I believe in evolution and I am still interested to see what they find here. Religion and science are not mutually exclusive.

If you look at the pictures, it's obviously ancient wood that has been made into planks of some kind. Hopefully they will find some other artifacts that answer some of the questions. Ancient mariners surely didn't take off in a boat with no pottery, supplies, etc. I'm sure they are scouring the site for that kind of stuff, too. It's pretty exciting.
17 posted on 07/07/2006 10:38:04 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: sine_nomine

Well, it is amazing that so many cultures didn't die out after being completely covered with so much water for so long.


18 posted on 07/07/2006 10:39:01 PM PDT by Paddlefish ("Why should I have to WORK for everything?! It's like saying I don't deserve it!")
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To: Vicomte13
Seems to me that the tallest mountain in the region would likely be the first one to poke out of a worldwide flood.

I would agree.

Seems to me that, if there really was a Noah's Ark, and if it's still around anywhere to be found, it would have to be locked in the permanent ice somewhere at the top of some very tall mountain. Ararat would fit that bill.

I would disagree. But only on the assumption of your statement. Though a mountain maybe quite tall and quite massive, unless the ark were over the mountain range, it could miss a mountain altogether. And thus miss the tallest mountain in the area.

Secondly, they do claim that this finding is at the 13,000 foot level which would make it quite high.

Thirdly, I don't know anything about mountain naming in the past. But is it possible, even remotely, that these were the mountains described in the Bible?

And lastly, I am not at all questioning the Bibles account. I believe the Bible to be unerring. If there is a discreppancy, its with mans accounting.

19 posted on 07/07/2006 10:39:06 PM PDT by mountn man (Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.)
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To: freedom44

This is why many intelligent people pass the entire bible off as mere children's fables, this noah's ark nonsense in particular. There is NO, repeat NO, evidence for a world wide flood 7000 years ago. If all animals, 2 x 2, left the ark, why are kangaroos found only in australia? And yet in the tale itself is found the small grain of truth of survival at sea : and the water prevailed upward 15 cubits(the height of noah's fruit trees-22 feet). The storm surge of a hurricane is just that, 20 ft......Thus, the true story : noah was a farmer/orchard type living in the Indus River region(today's Pakistan). He, his father, grandfather, had been flooded out before, the Indus River, unlike the Nile, floods irregularly. So he built a 3 layer LOG RAFT with goat skin tent on the high point of his land, 4.5 ft high, 8 ft wide, 45 ft long. Along comes a cat 4 or 5 hurricane(cyclone in them parts)with its FOUR days of rain and storm surge. Remember, this is 7000 years ago = different polar jet stream. Jews always play with decimals : 4 days become 40 days of rain......So all the critters head for the raft(dogs, cats, sheep, goats, snakes, doves....)as the water rises. It gets washed out to sea where, from his limited perspective, the earth is covered with water. The CCW gyre in the gulf of arabia eventually washes the raft back onto an outer sand bar and they have to wait for low tide to wade to the true shore. He goes back to life as before, most of the neighborhood having been wahed away in the CAMILLE hurricane.....Seven generations go by and his illiterate descendents are sitting around a campfire in iraq high on the local brew, where everyone is a GOD or son of GOD, macho myths abound. So, in telling fish stories this old family story gets jazzed up a bit. Survival at sea doesn't sound too impressive so the raft lands on top of Mt Ararat, if they had known about Mt Everest it would have landed there......Bump up dimensions by a decimal place. Bump up 4 days of rain to 40 days. The dove incident. A few surviving sheep, goats, dogs....becomes all the animals on the earth. On and on this fish story/myth gets built. One or more children buy it[You can convince a 5 year old of anything, a 95 year old of nothing-Marilyn Von Savant-IQ=230].....Another 7 generations go by and a young pakistani boy named ABRAM swallows the whole myth, hook, line and sinker. And that's how you get the noah story, a true tale of sea survival(a Reader's Digest book section) jazzed up by proto-jews into a myth...and IDIOTS finding noah's ark on Mt Ararat. The search for GOD is the search for truth, not ancient lies....


20 posted on 07/07/2006 10:39:24 PM PDT by timer
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