From USA Ararat ‘Ark’ Wood Dated At A.D. 700 -- By: Anonymous
BSP 6:3 (Summer 1977) p. 95
Ararat ‘Ark’ Wood Dated At A.D. 700
Perhaps the last hope that the battered remains of Noah’s Ark exist on Mount Ararat near the Turkish-Soviet border has been washed away by a new wave of scientific evidence. Recent tests at the University of California at Los Angeles, La Jolla and Riverside all conclude that a piece of timber found at the Ararat site is only about 1, 200 years old — some 2, 700 years younger than the first known account of the Ark.
Despite similar findings at England’s National Physics Laboratory in the early 1960s and at UCLA in 1970, speculation that the pile of oak timber might indeed be part of the Ark has increased in the last several years. The interest has been fueled by a recent movie that strongly suggests the wood is part of the Ark.
But the new UC experiments confirm that the timber came from a tree that was chopped down around A.D. 700, UCLA archaeologist Rainer Berger reported at a symposium on archaeometry and archaeological prospection at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. Berger believes the wood—discovered more than 20 years ago packed in a snow-and ice-filled crevice 13,500 feet up the mountain — might be the remnants of a shrine that perhaps commemorated the landing of the Ark near that site.
Using carbon-14 dating, Berger recently repeated his 1970 study on a piece of Ararat wood and came up with the same results. In separate tests, R. E. Taylor of Riverside and Hans Seuss of La Jolla obtained similar findings. Taylor extracted the solid cell wall (lignin) portion from part of the wood and dated that sample at 1,210 ± 90 years.
BSP 6:3 (Summer 1977) p. 96
Seuss disproved an argument that because the wood was located so high on the mountain, it was exposed to an unusual amount of cosmic rays that manufactured high levels of C-14 to make the wood appear younger when tested. Seuss obtained the remains of a tree in the Danube River region, near sea level, and a bristlecone pine from the 10,000-foot-high White Mountains of California. Through tree-ring studies in both areas, each of the specimens was known to be about 2, 000 years old. Seuss found that the two pieces of wood had the same amount of C-14, and that altitude apparently had no effect.
French industrialist Fernand Navarra first found the Ararat remains in 1955, almost immediately triggering speculation among biblical scholars that the wood might be part of the Ark. Genesis says that the Ark landed in the Ararat vicinity, Berger notes, but he questions whether this is the same Ararat of ancient times.
The first English examination dated the wood at 1,190 ± 90 years. But critics said the British researchers had not deconta...
Click here to subscribe