Archaeologist reports there is scientific merit to recent discovery of site associated with the legendary ark of Noah.
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In 2010, the Hong Kong organization Noah’s Ark Ministries International or NAMI announced they had discovered the legendary vessel on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey and were subsequently accused of perpetrating a hoax. Now, a professional archaeologist states there is significant merit to their discovery.
Harvard University educated archaeologist and director of the Paleontological Research Corporation, Dr. Joel Klenck, surveyed the site, analyzed the archaeological remains and completed a comparative study. “The site is remarkable”, states Klenck, “and comprises a large all-wood structure with an archaeological assemblage that appears to be mostly from the Late Epipaleolithic Period.” These assemblages at other sites in the Near East have calibrated radiocarbon dates between 13,100 and 9,600 B.C. Located at elevations above 4,200 meters on Mount Ararat and covered by layers of ice and stones, he states: “The site is wonderfully preserved, exhibits a wide array of plant materials including structures made of cypress and one room with a floor covered by chickpea seeds.” Klenck additionally notes, “I was most impressed by the artifactual assemblage, particularly the basalt bowls, stone cores and debitage.”
He also notes that a nearby cave exhibits artifacts similar to those in the large wood structure. Klenck states the cave site possesses botanical remains of chickpea, flax fibers and rope, pieces of fabric, bone artifacts, and bowls made of an organic material. He adds, “In both the large wood structure and cave, most of the bowls are made of an organic material, perhaps animal stomachs, and the flaps are folded over wood or bone collars.”
The discoveries on Mount Ararat coincide with academic discussions on the transition between the Pleistocene and Holocene from 10,900 to 9,500 B.C., where the first village communities in southeastern Turkey practiced agriculture and animal domestication. Klenck states, “Some scholars see this transition period as cataclysmic with dramatic increases in sea-levels, flooding, animal extinctions, and decreases in human populations; others assert this phase was simply a cold, dry period evidenced by sparse vegetation.” He concludes that the Ararat sites are very special due to their preservation and unique insight into the prehistoric past.”