I am a fascinated skeptic when it comes to Biblically or otherwise mythologically historical claims, so when I came across this article "Noah’s Ark Has Been Found. Why Are They Keeping Us In The Dark?" I was intrigued to know if it held any credibility. It is incredibly detailed!
I sent it to a friend who works in Biblical Archaeology for his PhD, and he very generously humored me by reading, analyzing, and responding to the article. Here is the original article followed by his response.
Drew, I’ve got to agree with Mat on this one. I’ll break it down in a few ways.
Literary/Historic: The date quoted for the Epic of Gilgamesh (650 BC) is way off. The Epic of Gilgamesh dates to at least the 18th century BCE, not the 7th century. That’s off by a magnitude of greater than a millennium. The Noah account is clearly derived from existing Mesopotamian traditions, perhaps even picked up when the Jews were in captivity in Babylon. Second, even on a literary account the site fails; the Durupinar site lies 10,000 feet below a nearby peak, and the biblical account clearly states that the ark rested for 70 days before the mountains were visible, an impossible feat if the next peak over is much taller. The mountains would have been revealed sooner.
Archaeological: The argument fails on so many levels. The basalt “anchor stones” were pagan shrines that were carved with crosses after Christianization of the region. The holes held lamps, not ropes. If simple chemical analysis carried out, I would bet they would reveal that they were carved of local material, not somewhere far away in Mesopotamia. Most stone in Mesopotamia anyway is limestone and sandstone, not basalt. The GPR that was done has never been reproduced, including by the famous Tom Fenner. The fancy gadget they cite is for treasure hunting on beaches and is not used in professional research. The carbon levels found in the soil and cited as proof of wooden structures are well within the natural ranges. The supposed complex metallurgy are simply manganese nodules with high iron content, and are naturally occurring in highly volcanic regions. The supposed petrified wood was claimed to be sigillaria, an extinct genus of tree that bore no wood—-think of a giant papyrus. Wyatt claimed this because not a single “wood” piece had tree rings, even though all known samples of petrified wood do have tree rings. Besides, if Noah did build a boat, he would have likely used cedar from Lebanon from which all other ancient boats in Mesopotamia were made. No single sample of the supposed bitumen has been offered up for independent analysis, and the likelihood of that surviving is rare indeed. No single piece of the “iron” at the site has been offered up for independent analysis, or even proven to be real. The petrified animal dung? Plausible, but animals have been traipsing around there for thousands of years. And the cat hair? A cat hair that old would not have survived, and the chances of finding a single hair in a huge archaeological survey are astronomically unlikely.
In short, any geologist that has gone to the site independently has stated that the shape of the outcropping, while unusual, is simply a process called scarping from seismic activity. The shape has been attributed to old lava flowing around some kind of now-gone feature, much as when water breaks over a rock feature to split into a hydrodynamic shape before meeting again on the other side again. It’s highly unusual, but I’d wager that this happened a long time ago, leaving the impression it did and inspiring the ancients to concoct a story of a boat being stranded atop the mountains to explain what they saw. People see things they want to see, like the man on the moon or the face on Mars. Same thing here, and this guy’s “science” is highly questionable. No single claim has even been able to be reproduced, a fundamental principle of good science. The Durupinar site is not Noah’s Ark.