Press Release: Noah’s Ark

New Discovery Helps Solve Noah’s Ark Mystery

Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2011

Religious zealots have searched high and low for remains of the Biblical ship known as Noah’s Ark, while scientists dismiss the story as a myth. Recent discoveries in Iran provide evidence for a new solution to this ancient mystery.

Numerous pre-Biblical texts describe the story of Noah, with the stories being similar enough for scholars to conclude that the Bible is one of the more recent sources, and likely to be less accurate. By looking at the most popular sources in combination, researcher Robert Bast has uncovered the possibility that Noah’s Ark was not a ship after all.

According to the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Noah’s ship had very non-nautical dimensions, being 7 stories high, 55 metres wide and 55 metres long.

The Zoroastrianism Avesta did not describe a ship at all, but rather an underground village – while still retaining other elements of the story such as “two of every kind of animal”, and an almighty storm that punishes all humans, with only Noah and his family surviving.

The Bible, rather than calling it Noah’s ship, used the word “ark” – in the original Hebrew this denoted a chest or box.

From the three ancient epics, there is one that describes an underground village, one that describes a chest or box, and one that if you remove the word boat, doesn’t appear to be describing a boat at all.

“We have been searching in the wrong places, primarily high up in mountains like Mt Ararat”, says Mr Bast. “If the flood didn’t cover mountains, perhaps the Ark is not a ship, and not up a mountain. It may have been right under our noses all along.”

When Bast realised that Noah’s Ark might not be a ship, the other pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

  • It is physically impossible for mountains (or even hills) to be covered by floods, there simply isn’t enough water.
  • In the same sentence (Genesis 7:20), the Bible tells us that the flood that covered the mountains was only 15 cubits (8 metres) deep.
  • Without a flood that covered the mountains, a ship is no longer necessary for survival.

Bast says this explains why the pre-Biblical texts suggest either a large square structure above ground (such as a ziggurat), or an underground city. Recent discoveries in Iran may have unwittingly found the underground structure that was the basis for the Noah’s Ark story.

In 2004 archaeologists discovered a three-story underground city, lying beneath the small town of Nushabad near Kashan. The above-ground town covers 170 hectares, while underground the structure could be just as large. Since then several other subterranean complexes have been discovered in Iran, and a new field of study, subterranean or hand-dug architecture, has been established.

Bast says that definitive proof will rely on the exact dimensions of one of the structures matching that of an ark myth, while radiometric dating that shows a structure is of the same era as the myths will convince many.

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