"This room is box-shaped, having a dimension of height, width and length of more than two meters. There is a wooden beam with wooden nails on one side of the wall. It is believed that a rope was hooked on these nails to keep animals in place. On another side of the wall, there are racks."
Excitement has been in the air this week over recently released news that the Biblical ark built by Noah was actually discovered high up (about 4,000 meters) on Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey.
The evangelical Chinese and Turkish exploration team brought back wood specimens taken from their find, originally excavated and documented on film in 2008 and 2009. The samples from the structure are said to be dated at 4,800 years old. (Photo: NoahsArkSearch.net/So. China Morning Post)
While the explorers warn they are not 100 percent certain that what they found is the true Noah's Ark as described in the Bible, they say they are "99 percent" sure. Scientists and archaeologists remain skeptical, however, due in part to the nature in which the news was released.
According to Dr. Aren M. Maeir, a professor at Israel's Bar Ilan University and director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project, this is similar to previous claims which have been proved to be unfounded. "Periodically, there are announcements, almost always by enthusiasts without real background in archaeology, about the discovery of Noah's ark somewhere in Turkey," Dr. Maeir told the Christian Post.
He added, "As with other fantastic discoveries relating to Biblical archaeology coming from non-professional archaeologists (location of Mt. Sinai; the Egyptian army in the Red Sea; the deciphering of the Copper Scroll, etc., etc.) these announcements are quite suspect, since the full information is never published in 'real' scientific journals, and all one gets to see are the media announcements and website info."
From the Exploration Team's Perspective:
Ahmet Ertugrul, the search team leader, explained, "I got to know the secret location in June 2008. The source told me that this is Noah's Ark. I took a team there for the search around the region and found a wooden structure. I took some photographs of the interior structure. Since I have worked closely with NAMI (Noah's Ark Ministries International) for some years, I informed them of the discovery."
Another member of the search team, Panda Lee said, "In October 2008, I climbed the mountain with the Turkish team. At an elevation of more than 4,000 meters, I saw a structure built with plank-like timber. Each plank was about 8 inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails. We walked about 100 meters to another site. I could see broken wood fragments embedded in a glacier, and some 20 meters long. I surveyed the landscape and found that the wooden structure was permanently covered by ice and volcanic rocks. Prior to my expedition, the Turkish team had excavated the site to expose the structure." (Photo: NoahsArkSearch.net)
Watch the riveting video of the exploration inside the structure by CLICKING HERE.
Here are some of the remarkable details of the discovery as posted on NoahsArkSearch.net, and as listed by search team member Wing-cheung Yeung:
• One of the spaces discovered is frozen by ice. Under ice is wood with wood beam above. There is tenon construction on the wall and it is obvious artificial structure.
• The space witnessed by Panda Lee is L-shaped. This is the first discovered space. It's L-shaped and its features match well with some spaces discovered later, like tenon construction. We concluded that it was originally a box-shaped room and heavily decomposed.
• This space stands at more than 5 meters high. Team members had to get through a broken opening and abseil down to get inside. All walls are wood and the space is not box-shaped. Strictly speaking, the walls are not vertical but rather curved and inclined. The small door on one side, of dimensions one meter high and half meter width, presumably leads to another space but our team did not risk going further due to the lack of oxygen.
• This room is box-shaped, having a dimension of height, width and length of more than two meters. There is a wooden beam with wooden nails on one side of the wall. It is believed that a rope was hooked on these nails to keep animals in place. On another side of the wall, there are racks.
• A very small tunnel-like space connects two spaces.
• A few wooden staircases were found inside the structure, which seemingly craved by tree logs. Our team climbed one and found a door in the ceiling and concluded the wood structure has more than one floor. We tried to open it but failed. Since we did not want to destroy the structure, we will try again with appropriate equipment in the future.
• The team has not entered this space. They viewed and took shots from a small opening above. The height and width are estimated to be 5 meters and 12 meters respectively.
Is it the real thing? I suspect only time (and lots of testing) will tell.