Alice C. Linsley
The historicity of Noah’s concern for animals is supported by the discovery that Proto-Saharan rulers kept royal menageries of exotic animals. The oldest known zoological collection was found during the 2009 excavations at Nekhen on the Nile. The royal menagerie dates to about 3500 BC and included hippos, elephants, baboons and wildcats. Noah would have known about the shrine city of Nekhen. It was one of the earliest worship centers for the Horite Hebrew.
|This Nekhen tomb painting shows a sickle boat|
in what is today the Sahara.
During a period of flooding in the Chad Basin Noah preserved his animals by putting them on a ship. These prehistoric rock paintings found in the Sudan show the boats and cows of Proto-Saharans. Clearly moving animals by boat was a common practice.
The boats were made mainly of large bundles of reeds bound together over a wood frame. Boat types have been identified as sickle, incurved sickle, square, incurved square and flared boat. These images were found on rock surfaces in the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt. (Read more here: Boat Petroglyphs in Egypt's Central Eastern Desert)
Nilo-Saharan rulers built large boats out of גפר (gofer/gopher), as described in Genesis 6:4. The word gofer refers to reeds and is used in reference to the basket made for the baby Moses (Exodus 2:3). The Schocken Bible reads: "Make yourself an Ark of gofer wood, with reeds make the Ark...", Vol. I, p. 35. Noah's ark likely looked like the boat shown below.
Noah was a ruler in the region of Lake Chad. He was one of the "might men of old" mentioned in Genesis 6. These archaic rulers dispersed out of Africa into Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Southern Europe. Nimrod was one of Noah's descendants. He built his kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. These great rulers were known as sar, meaning king. The word corresponds to the Sanskrit śāri and the Nilo-Saharan and Hausa word sarki. The Sumerian word for king is sar and the Chadic word for ruler is gon, so Sar-gon means "High King" or "King of Kings." The Elamite word for king was sunki, a variant of sarki. Another variant is the word šarka, found in the Lithuanian language.
Climate studies reveal that the Lake Chad Basin held much more water in Noah's time. Noah lived between 2490-2415 BC, when the Sahara experienced the Gurian Wet Period (also known as the Aqualithic or the African Humid Period). His reign coincided with the Old Kingdom, a time of great cultural and technological achievement in Egypt. This places Noah and his sons in relatively recent history, not at the dawn of human existence. They ruled over territories during the 7th, 8th and 9th Dynasties in Egypt.
DNA studies indicate that Noah's R1b peoples dispersed from Africa. The dispersion of the R1b group is shown on the map below. Note the bright red mark in central Africa. This is the region of Lake Chad, Noah's homeland.