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Archaeology and The Flood

The great flood in the time of Noah is one of the best-known events of Bible History, however it's been known as a historic event by humans of all religions, and no religions, everywhere on earth. People who never read the Bible, or knew anything of the Bible's record of the flood, have always had their own traditions of the flood. People from all over the world, from the most ancient times, passed on the knowledge of a great, cataclysmic flood from generation to generation. From Europe, Africa, Asia and the vast Pacific region, they all knew. When Europeans began settling North America, they were surprised to discover that the native people already had their own knowledge of the flood (recent advances in science have proven what many have long suspected however - that the native people of North America actually originated in Asia; while Europeans sailed westward across the vast North Atlantic, the people who became the "Eskimos" and "Indians" simply walked eastward across a few miles of frozen sea between Asia and Alaska).

Archaeological Findings

Noah's Ark In the 1920s, Sir Charles Woolley, a British archaeologist, while working at Tell al-Muqayyar, in the area of Ur in Mesopotamia, made a startling discovery. He had been digging vertical shafts deep into the soil in the ancient city. As expected, he found layer after layer of evidence of human life - the remnants of graves, pottery, and rubble. But suddenly, it all stopped at a layer of pure clay that was approximately 10 feet thick. Such an abrupt and deep layer of clay, far above the ancient level of the nearby Euphrates river, was very unusual. It indicated a massive flood.

Woolley's workmen kept digging through the layer of sedimentary (i.e. water borne) clay, that had no evidence of human habitation, until it ended as abruptly as it started and they again found deposits of graves, pottery, rubble - but which were nothing at all like that found above the layer of water-deposited clay. The clay layer marked the boundary between two very different worlds, two very different civilizations, that Woolley declared were the before and after worlds of the flood. Woolley's findings made headline news in Britain and the United States at the time.

Noah's Ark

The mountains of Ararat are located between the Black and Caspian Seas in southern Armenia. Although "Mount Ararat" has become popularly used for where Noah's ark came to rest, as The Bible account states, Ararat was actually a mountain range. Two peaks, about 7 miles / 11 kilometers apart, have been identified as the most likely location of the ark's resting place. The one is 14,300 feet and the other 10,300 feet above the adjacent Araxes plain. The higher of the two has a snow-covered peak year round (which would also leave any remnant of Noah's ark mostly hidden under a cover of snow and ice), and was known to the ancient Persians (who were neither Jews nor Christians) as "Noah's mountain."

There have been many fanciful and unbelievable reports (and books, and movies) of finding Noah's Ark, however some other claimed sightings are worthy at least of cautious, but serious, consideration. For example:

  • For generations, the people of the Armenian village of Bayzit, located at the foot of Mount Ararat, have told of how a mountain shepherd found a large wooden ship high up on the mountain.

  • In 1833, a Turkish summer expedition reported finding the wooden prow of a large ship sticking out of the south glacier (if the wood of Noah's Ark did survive all of that time, along with it having been coated in tar, or "pitch," by Noah himself, being frozen in the mountaintop ice would have preserved the wood - although a glacier has its own destructive forces as it actually moves, along with everything on, and in, it).

  • In an expedition in 1892, Dr. Nouri, the Archdeacon of Jerusalem and Babylon, claimed to have seen the wreckage of a large ship partially visible in the mountain ice. He said "The interior was full of snow, the outer wall was of a dark red color."

  • During the First World War, a Russian flying officer named Roskowitzki claimed to have seen the "wreckage of a fair sized ship" on the south side of Mount Ararat.

  • During the Second World War, more flyers, another Russian, and four Americans, all made separate observations similar to Roskowitzki.

  • In 1955, Fernand Navarra of France found 3 fragments of a wooden beam embedded in solid ice on Mount Ararat. Testing indicated that the wood was over 5,000 years old.

Fact Finder: Is there another flood coming upon the earth, not of water, but of fire?
See Planet On Fire!
Note: Perhaps another reason that Jesus Christ called teachers of the Gospel "fishers of men" is that, just as only fish survived the flood of water in the time of Noah, only "spiritual fish," that is, repentant and converted people who will be made imperishable spirit (see Resurrections), are going to survive the flood of fire that will purify the coming new earth.

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