IGDIR, Turkey (AFP)–A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers said on Monday they believe they may have found Noah’s Ark – 4000 meters up Mount Ararat.
The team say they recovered wooden specimens from a structure on Mount Ararat, located in eastern Turkey, that carbon dating proved was 4800 years old, around the same time the ark is said to have been afloat.
“It’s not 100 percent that it is Noah’s Ark but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it,” said Yeung Wing-cheung, a Hong Kong documentary filmmaker and member of the 15-strong team from Noah’s Ark Ministries International.
The structure had several compartments, some with wooden beams, which were believed to house animals, he said.
The group of evangelical archaeologists ruled out an established human settlement on the grounds that one had never been found above 3500m in the vicinity, Yeung said.
Local Turkish officials will ask the central government in Ankara to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status so the site can be protected while a major archaeological dig is conducted, Yeung added.
The biblical story says God decided to flood the earth after seeing how corrupt it had become and told Noah to build an ark and fill it with two of every animal species.
After the flood waters receded, the Bible says, the ark came to rest on a mountain. Many believe that Mount Ararat, the highest point in the region, is where the ark and her inhabitants came aground. Mount Ararat and much of eastern Turkey are the historic homelands of the Armenian people. They were occupied and annexed by Turkey following the Armenian Genocide and World War I.