Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Latest News Flash on Noah's Ark

Alice C. Linsley

Websites are buzzing over claims that remains of Noah’s ark have been found in Turkey. The finders say they are "99.9 percent" sure that a wooden structure found on the mountainside was part of an ark that sheltered Noah, his family and a menagerie of creatures during a flood 4,800 years ago.  Disclaimers are flying.  It is a hoax, but some persist in believing that Noah's ark must be there somewhere, despite Biblical evidence to the contrary. Read about it here.



The Historical Noah

Noah lived approximately 2490-2415 BC, when the Sahara experienced a wet period (Karl W. Butzer 1966). This is the period of the Old Kingdom, a time of great cultural and technological achievement in Egypt.

Noah, a descendant of the Proto-Saharan ruler named in the Genesis 4 and 5. He was a great king. The rulers named in Genesis controlled the major water systems of Lake Chad, the Nile, and the Tigris and Euphrates. The interconnected waterways were their roads. In other words, Noah would have been familiar with boats and likely had a fleet.

Proto-Saharan rulers such as Noah kept menageries with a male and female specimen for breeding purposes.

These ancient rulers imposed taxes on cargo that moved through their territories. They used the rivers to expand their kingdoms and to spread their Afro-Asiatic worldview. Nimrod is an example. His father was Kush, a ruler who controlled a vast region of the Upper Nile. Nimrod left the Nile region and built his kingdom along the Tigris in Mesopotamia. (Gen. 10:8-12)

Noah likely lived in the region of Bor-Nu (Land of Noah) near Lake Chad. This is the only place on Earth that claims to be Noah's homeland. Satellite photographs reveal that Lake Mega-Chad was once a huge body of water, five times the surface area of Lake Superior and with a depth ranging from 200 to 600 feet. This part of Africa was much wetter than it is today due to climate cycles and the African rifts that created great watersheds or troughs.
Noah likely lived in the region of Bor-No (Land of Noah) near Lake Chad. This is the only place on Earth that claims to be Noah's homeland. Satellite photographs reveal that Lake Mega-Chad was once a huge body of water, five times the surface area of Lake Superior and with a depth ranging from 200 to 600 feet. This part of Africa was much wetter than it is today due to climate cycles and the African rifts that created great watersheds or troughs.
Noah was the grandfather of Kush, so we should not be surprised to find him in Africa. During Noah's time, the water systems of Lake Chad, the Benue Trough and the Nile were connected and Noah controlled the waterways of the Lake Chad Basin.

Noah's ark has never been found.  There are several reasons:
  • People are looking in the wrong place!
  • Noah's ark came to rest on Mount Meni (Har Meni) in East Africa, 230 miles from the Lake Chad Basin
  • The ark was made mostly of reeds, leaving little hope of finding remains after all this time


Related reading:  Answers to Questions About Noah's Flood

11 comments:

Dean Rick Lobs said...

I value your post on this matter? Thanks, Alice. Rick+

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks, Father. I wouldn't make a big deal about this except that having completed the geneological study, it is evident from the Bible that Abraham's ancestors came out of Africa. Noah is one of those ancestors.

When the bulk of the biblical data goes one direction and translations of obscure words goes the other, we should think twice. Armenia may be har-meni or har-menu (har meaning mount) and ararat is an Arabic meaning vehemence, which fits the context of the flood story as judgement.

Matushka Elizabeth said...

I have been reading your blog since your article/interview in "Road to Emmaus" Journal and find your writings fastinating. This and your related pieces on Noah's Ark are refreshing. So many times, these evangelical 'findings' are loaded with more things than science! BTW, my oldest daughter is just graduating from college with a degree in Anthropology, English and Music. Go figure...

Alice C. Linsley said...

Bienvenido, Matushka Elizabeth. ¡El Cristo resucitado está entre nosotros!

Perhaps your daughter will pursue Biblical Anthropology. We need young people to go into this field. For too long Christians have been defensive about the veracity of the Bible. It is time that we say it is true and the facts support the biblical record. We must investigate the facts, not accept interpretations of them. In anthropology, the facts are largely interpreted by secularists who ignore or are ignorant of how anthropological research verifies the biblical record. Ironically, the same can be said for most Christians.

Anonymous said...

ingstOr the story is allegorical and the historicity is completely immaterial. I suggest a proper Christian reading is rooted in Christ and focuses on Baptism and the Church.

The flood uber-narrative is more or less unambiguously rooted in the earlier Epic of Gilgamesh. Evangelical-fundamentalist trajectories, narratives and methods just aren't Christian.

Matushka Elizabeth said...

Good to hear back from you, Alice. I will make that suggestion to our daughter. She graduates in 2 weeks (with nearly a 4.0 GPA) and will take a year off before beginning grad school. Any suggestions for her grad school work? She likes cultural anthropology, and is also a spinner and weaver.

Here we say, "¡Cristo ha recucitado! ¡En verdad ha recucitado!"

Alice C. Linsley said...

"¡Cristo ha recucitado! ¡En verdad ha recucitado!"

Yes. "Christ has risen. Indeed he has risen."

There are no graduate programs that offer a specialty in Biblical Anthropology. The closest programs are in Near Eastern Studies, but those are not primarily using anthropology. Perhaps she can find a program that would allow her to select this specialty and then she can break new ground. I've written about this pioneering work here:
http://openanthcoop.ning.com/forum/topics/what-is-biblical-anthropology

I'd be glad to speak to her about this. Have her email me.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Anonymous,

"The flood uber-narrative is more or less unambiguously rooted in the earlier Epic of Gilgamesh."

This has been shown to be a false assumption. They aren't close in the details. All they have in common is a hero and a flood.

Sandra McColl said...

Alice, you never cease to amaze me. Here you are, giving and receiving Eastern Orthodox Easter greetings in Spanish, advising concerning study paths that could lead to a career in Biblical anthropology, and using modern scholarly methods simultaneously to point out the errors of the fundamentalists and to assert the historicity of the Book of Genesis! I hope you find a really good publisher soon.

Matushka Elizabeth said...

Daughter 1 has 2 more weeks to get through finals and graduation, and then, when her nose is back above the waterline, I know she'll want to talk. Thank you so much for the offer. Another thing she has been very interested in is fiber arts throughout history. We all do spinning and she also some weaving, but we primarily do this, not so much as an art and not at all for producing items for sale, but for sharing historical skills, tools, artifacts and such. We go to museums and cultural events and talk to people, as well as showing them these skills. Is there any field of anthropology where those sorts of skills and experience could be put to good use? She's been doing it for about 14 years now!

Anonymous said...

Awesome research. You're so right. They have always looked in the wrong place. ASome obvious breadcrumbs:It is the oldest inhabited Continent.Africa has the largest, and most varied species of animals, fowl and fish on the face of the earth And is the most popular destination for Safaris to date. Many people do not relize Cush's Kingdom (Ethiopia) was just that and spread as far as Arabia, over to the west coast of Africa, and to the border of Egypt It was once huge. The Ethiopia we know today is a drop in the ocean compared to it's former magnitude.