Monday, December 10, 2007

Finding Noah's Ark

Alice C. Linsley

Despite claims that Noah’s ark has been found in Turkey, Noah’s boat has never been found. In fact, every claim of publicity seekers concerning the boat shaped forms on Greater Mount Ararat have been shown to be false. Noah's ark just isn't there.

The ark has never been found because people have been looking in the wrong place. Instead of searching the mountains of Turkey, they should be looking to the mountains of East Central Africa. This is the homeland of Noah, a Nilo-Saharan ruler who lived in the region of Lake Chad at a time when the Sahara was wet and the Nile was much wider.

As can be seen from the image above, Noah's homeland, called Borno, is almost exactly in the center of Africa, and Har-Meni is the likely mountain upon which the ark came to rest. Har-Meni means Mount Meni and Harmeni is close to the word Armenia. Ar-menia could mean ""mountain of Meni." In 1874, Godfrey Higgins, in his monograph Anacalypsis: An Inquiry into the Origins of Languages, Nations and Religions, noted that "Armenia" could mean "mount of Meru… that is, Ar or Er-Meni-ia, the country of mount Meru or Meni."

According to David M. Westley, Director of the African Studies Library at Boston University, "From the center of the Chad Basin to Mount Meni is about 230 miles."  Mount Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain, is located in northern Tanzania. It stands at 15,000 feet and is 42 miles west-southwest of Mount Kilimanjaro, near the Kenyan border. It is an extinct volcanic crater. The land at the base is rich volcanic soil. As one ascends the mountain, there are forests with fig and Acacia trees. Mahogany, olive, and date palm trees grow on the drier crater walls. There are so many species of animals living in the Arusa region that the Kenyan tourist agencies refer to Mount Meru as "Noah’s ark."

Noah likely lived during the Holocene Wet Period which is also called the "Gurian Wet Period" and the "Aqualithic." The latter term was coined by British archaeologist John Sutton (Journal of Africa History 1974; Antiquity 1977). There was an abundance of water in central Africa due to monsoons off the Indian Ocean, and to the African rifts that created great watersheds or troughs. Rifting, combined with prolonged rains. caused this entire region to flood.

Lake Chad is located at the boundary of Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, an area of heavy rifting as shown in the map below.

Prehistoric boats and cows 
shown on Saharan rocks 
In the time of Africa's Wet Period Lake Chad extended many hundreds of miles beyond its present basin, and it is possible that there may have been water up to Mt. Meni in East Africa. I believe that is where Noah's ark landed, but no one knows for sure.

In the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says, "Among the mountains, I am Meru", that is the spinal cord of the world. The Vishnu Purana (from about 200 B.C.) details how there are seven continents ringed by seven oceans: "The central continent has Meru at its core, bounded by three mountain ranges to the north and three to the south. One of these ranges is the Himalayan barrier, interposed between Meru and ‘Bharatha’, the Indian subcontinent. Meru itself stands eighty-four thousand leagues high, with four faces of crystal, ruby, gold and lapis lazuli. Ganga falls from the heavens on Meru’s summit, circles the mountain and then divides into four mighty rivers which flow to the four quarters of the earth." According to Buddhist tradition, the island of Sri Lanka broke off from Meru. Many Hindu temples, including Angkor Wat in Cambodia, have been built as symbolic representations of Mount Meru.

The word meni appears only once in the Bible, in Isaiah 65:11, where it is paralleled with the word gad, meaning good fortune. I suspect that there is a connection between meni and the ancient practice of worship on mountain tops because where the word "gad" appears there is often a contextual reference to sacrifice or praise offered on mountains. We recall that Noah offered burnt sacrifice on the mountain in thanksgiving for his deliverance (Gen. 8:20) and that God established a covenant with Noah and his descendants.

Related reading: Noah's Flood: Where and When?; How Big Was Noah's Flood; Africa in the Days of Noah; Cemetery Predates Noah; Newly Discovered Pyramid Predates Noah; Was the Earth Repopulated After Noah's Flood?


TLF+ said...

Such a blow to the half of me that's Armenian.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Sorry, Father! Look on the bright side: this could mean that the Armenians might have fewer spurious "archeologists" traipsing around their mountains. ;)

BibleGeorge said...

Hi Alice,
You're very convincing in regards to Noah's Ark. However, I'm puzzled by the mention of 'Armenia'. I clearly see the need to breakdown the word 'Ararat' since it is in the book of Genesis. But the Bible doesn't connect Noah's Ark to Armenia. Isn't Armenia just a deduction based on Mount Ararat assumed to be in Turkey? Armenia is only mentioned twice in the Bible - with no apparent reference to Noah (that I know of). 2 Kings 19:37
King James Version
And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
2 Kings 19:36-37 (repeated in Isaiah 37:38). So why the breakdown of the word 'Armenia'? What am I missing??

BibleGeorge said...

I guess the other possibility is that certain Bible translations say 'Armenia' instead of 'Ararat'. If so, which translations do this?

Alice C. Linsley said...

I think that the older Afro-Arabian words ararat and har-meni are connected in the text, but became confused in modern translations that have lost sight of the Nilo-Saharan linguistic roots of the text.

BibleGeorge said...

The oldest translation I found using Armenia was Jerome's Latin Vulgate. I'm assuming he caught wind of "har-meni":
Genesis 8:4 Latin: Biblia Sacra Vulgata
requievitque arca mense septimo vicesima septima die mensis super montes Armeniae.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Jerome's translation is late, but I admire it very much. He had extraordinary insights into Genesis. Have you seen this?

The Latin "montes Armeniae" would be Harmeni or even Armeni, as the H sometimes is dropped. We see this with the ancient word for gold: Horos, which became oros in Greek.

Anonymous said...

Latitude and longitude for Noah's Ark:
NOAH’S ARK (Ron Wyatt) GO! 39 26 26 N, 44 14 5.3 E

Alice C. Linsley said...

Those are the coordinates for paddan-Aram, the "plain" of Aram, mentioned in Genesis 25:20 and 26:6.

Noah lived in the region of Lake Chad much earlier than this Aramaic phrase was coined.

Anonymous said...

Hello Alice and everyone. Although has some time from the publication of this subject, I'd like to add something about the word "Ararat". The word "Ararat" in the bible comes from the word "Urartu". The meaning of this word is "The heights", refering in Genesis book to a mountainous place. In addition to this meaning, in the bible this word "Ararat or Urartu", refers to a kingdom that in ancient times was located around lake Van in Armenia. It is well known by the scholars that "Urartu" was part of the territory of eastern Turkey, Armenia, around the lake Van, and Iran, to the lake Urmia and not too far from Ardebil and Mount Sabalan. It is very interesting the position of Noah beeing in Africa, but it does not correspond to what the bible says about Noah. The mountain where the ark landed is not named in the bible, but some clues are given, as the time it took for the tops of the mountains were seen, having alredy landed the Ark on that not named mountain or place. This means that this place was higher than the others around, so only it has to be identified this higher place. The highest mountains in "Ararat region" are some, including Mount Ararat, Mount Suphan, Mount Cilo, Mount Aragats and others. I hope this may add some light to this interesting subject.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Noah's descendents are "Kushites" and Kush refers to the Upper Nile. The movement of Horite Hebrew out of the Nile into the regions of Turkey and the Black Sea is well documented. We should not be surprised to find parallels flood accounts among those peoples. However, the biblical, linguistics, genetic, archaeological and anthropological evidence place Noah in an African context, likely the region of Lake Chad in the late Holocene Wet Period.

Ninurta was the name of the divine patron of law, scribes, farming, and hunting in Urartu. The name is Nin-Ur-Ta. Ur refers to shrine cities or fortified "high places" in Mesopotamia. The cult of Ninurta can be traced back to the oldest period of Sumerian history. You are correct that "Urartu" refers to the heights, probably rock shelters that became settlements. Many cities are designated Ur. Variants of the word Ur include Ar. Ar is likely derived from Kar and Har, both referring to a mountain.

Anonymous said...

Hello Alice. Something really interesting about Noah's sons descendents is that apparentely, there was a migration of Noah's descendents from what is in present day, Iran, toward Shinar, to the east, as the bible states. The bible does not specify why they were in this place, but everything seems to indicate that a migration happened in a very early period after flood. So the migrationftom Africa is not what the Scripture seems to indicate

Alice C. Linsley said...

Those are R1b peoples whose ancestors were in the Zagros and Carpathian mountains before Noah's time. Noah's descendants are also in Haplogroup R1b, but their point of origin is the Upper Nile and Lake Chad.

Unknown said...

I found your article because of a reference in a book I’m listening to. It is titled “Olive the Lionheart” and is about a young woman who travels to Africa in 1910-1911 to search for her fiancé’s grave. Supposedly all the information in the book comes from her actual diarie. At one point in the story, she and her party travel over Lake Chad by canoe. They see a mountain with a cave on top. Their guide tells them it is Noah’s mountain and no white man has ever climbed it…so of course, they climb it. After a difficult start, they make it to the top and inside the cave is an altar. This is written as sort of an aside in the diary-just a part of their travels-but I was curious if an ancient altar had ever been found in this region in a cave on top of a mountain.