It seems we've witnessed rumored discoveries of "Noah's Ark" run aground more times than we can count. But this isn't deterring a stalwart group of evangelicals, comprised of a joint Chinese-Turkish effort under the banner of Noah's Ark International Research Team, from proclaiming they have found what they believe to be the Ark atop Mount Ararat in Turkey. The team says carbon dating has revelaed an age of 4,800 years for the timbers excavated from an icy crevasse more than 11,000 feet up the famed mountain. It has been reported that this is the same time period that the Ark was said to have floated during the proverbial cataclysmic flood. WATCH
While scientists are beginning to conclude that a cataclysmic flood (or several) has occurred in the past and may explain global, cross-cultural flood myths, no evidence has ever been presented to support the notion that Noah was a real man in possession of a physical craft as described. If the team's analysis is correct, it could go a long way toward proving that very prospect.
However, any optimism we may feel must be tempered by the litany of competitor sites and hoaxes that have preceded this discovery. In fact, I can recall that when I was much younger a speaker came to our church claiming he had been atop Ararat and had witnessed not only where the Ark lay but had brought back a sample for those in the congregation to behold. Looking back, I cannot decide whether he was a man deluded or one bent on duping an eager but ignorant church.
We also must conclude - given the sheer age and popularity of the tale - that more than one attempt has been made to haul up timbers to fashion an ersatz wreck, which might explain previous "discoveries". Of course, this would call us to question the validity of the carbon-14 dates until such time as repeatable results can be achieved by others to conclude this age of nearly five-thousand years.