Wood Remais from the “Landing Site of Noah’s Ark” Nearly 6500 Years Old -- By: Friedrich Bender

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 19:4 (Fall 2006)
Article: Wood Remais from the “Landing Site of Noah’s Ark” Nearly 6500 Years Old
Author: Friedrich Bender


Wood Remais from the “Landing Site of Noah’s Ark” Nearly 6500 Years Old

Friedrich Bender1

(Reprinted by permission from UMSCHAU-Kurzberichte aus Wissenschaft und Technik, vol.72, no. 1.Translated from the original German by W. Pasedag, ABR.)

Tectonic Lifting of the Taurus Mountains of Turkey

Wood remains from Cudidag, a mountain range at the northern rim of Mesopotamia, were dated with the 14C method; they are 6500 years old, i.e. pre-Sumerian. According to archaeological findings, parts of Mesopotamia were flooded at that time. Compelling geologic and morphologic reasons limit this flooding to this region,2 and exclude the high peaks of Ararat, located about 300 km [186 mi] further north, the landing site of the ark according to Biblical tradition. The wood remains were found in a location called the “landing site of the ship” according to the Gilgamesh Epic and the Koran. If the find is considered to be the remains of a ship, it is difficult to explain the altitude of its location, about 750 m [2460 ft] above the rubble terraces of the plain. There are some observations, however, which point to a geologically very young tectonic lift in the region of the southern rim of the Taurus Mountains and southeastern Turkey.

According to the Gilgamesh Epic, the “landing place of the ship,” and hence the northernmost range of the Flood, is to be found between the rivers Tigris and Zab (at the mountain of Ni-sir). The Old Testament locates it on the “mountains of Ararat.” The Koran (XI. Sura, 44) mentions the mountain Cudi (Cudidag, Al-Jûdî) as the landing place of the Ark of Noah. The Cudidagis a massif of the southernmost Taurus ranges in Eastern Turkey, between the Tigris and Zab, which is covered by the region mentioned in the Gilgamesh Epic. From geologic and geomor-phologic considerations, the northern limit of the proven (Wooley 1955) pre-Sumerian flood covering Mesopotamia is more likely to be found at the first mountain range on the northern rim of the plain, rather than Ararat (5165 m [16945 ft]), 300 km [186 mi] further north.

In the spring of 1953, I was able to climb Cudidag, despite the difficulties in reaching this location in eastern Turkey in those days, and to recover a sample of asphalt-bound wood remains (Bender 1956). The primary motivation for this endeavor was reports of Kurdish Muslims that the Cudidag was a pilgrim destination where “pieces of wood from Noah’s Ark,” relics of great value, could be dug up. My guides’ constraints during this climb did not permit me to obtain detailed records of the geologic-Quaternary stratigraphy. The Cudidag is a southern-oriented anticl...

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