In search of the lost Noah’s Ark

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Noah’s Ark, the lost biblical ship has been finally traced according to researchers. Ark investigators believe they have found traces of a wooden structure on Mount Ararat, also known as Agri Mountain, in Agri, Turkey.

The Bible says the vessel made landfall on the “mountains of Ararat” in Turkey after 150 days in the water. The existence of Noah’s Ark has eluded ark hunters since time immemorial.

A group of explorers affiliated with NAMI, a Hong Kong-based evangelical Christian group, said in 2010 that on Mount Ararat, Turkey, they had found traces of the ancient ship. Their claims, however, met with a stiff challenge from the broader scientific community.

But now a California-based ark hunter believes there is evidence that the vessel and its occupants did indeed come aground on Mount Ararat, American researcher Professor Paul Esprante said he intends finding more evidence to prove the Ark landed there.

He was one of 108 scientists from Turkey and around the world speaking at the three-day International Symposium of Mount Ararat and Noah’s Ark in Agri, which looks at evidence put forward for the Ark’s final resting place.

“My purpose is to visit the sites around the mountain to find clues about catastrophic events in the past,” said Esperante. The Geoscience Research Institute is sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many of the organization’s assertions have similarly been met with resistance by the scientific community.

The legend of Noah’s Ark originates from the sixth chapter of the Book of Genesis. The story goes that Noah was instructed by God to build an ark carrying a male and female of each animal in the region in which Noah lived. By constructing the ark, Noah saved the animals and a small group of people from a great flood summoned to do away with the morally depraved.

‘Noah’s Ark, the flood is not a myth but a real incident mentioned in all holy books,’ said Dr. Oktay Belli from Istanbul University.

The Flood was a global catastrophe that totally reshaped the earth’s geology, and the earth’s surface has continued to change since then. Perhaps the geology of the modern Mount Ararat region sheds light on whether we should be looking for Noah’s Ark on that mountain.

And while the flood is considered a historical event, most archeologists and scholars do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Noah’s Ark story.

British archaeologist Mike Pitt said after the initial NAMI team findings in 2010 that the evangelical explorers have not yet produced evidence that is conclusive.

“If there had been a flood capable of lifting a huge ship 2.5 miles [4 km] up the side of a mountain 4,800 years ago, I think there would be substantial geological evidence for this flood around the world,” Pitt said.

According to Pitt, such evidence has simply not been produced. “Yet!” some, Esperante among them, might be quick to add.

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