Noah's Ark FOUND? Evangelist Group Says It's In Turkey (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
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Noah's Ark has been found atop a mountain in Turkey, a team of Turkish and Chinese evangelical explorers said Monday, April 26.
The 15-person team claims to have recovered fragments of wood and pieces of rope from a structure on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey that carbon dating has put at 4,800 years old, roughly coinciding with the time the biblical flood was said to have been occurred.
UPDATE: Scroll down for photos of the supposed ark, posted to the group's Web site, and you be the judge of the evidence.
The team is a joint effort between Hong Kong-based Media Evangelism, Noah's Ark Ministry International and the Turkish government.
Yeung Wing-Cheung, a member of the team, told AFP, "It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it."
He said that the structure at the site featured wooden beams and several compartments that were believed to house animals.
Wing-Cheung added that local officials will ask the Turkish government to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status, to protect the site while further archaeological excavation is carried out.
However, the group has not revealed the location of the site beyond saying that it is 12,000 feet up the mountain. It has also failed to produce exterior photos of the structure.
Nicholas Purcell, a lecturer in Ancient History at Oxford University, called the claims "the usual nonsense," according to the Daily Mail.
"If floodwaters covered Eurasia 12,000 feet deep in 2,800 BC, how did the complex societies of Egypt and Mesopotamia, already many centuries old, keep right on regardless?" he said.
Indeed, this is not the first time people have claimed to have found the remains of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat:
According to the biblical story, God flooded the earth to punish its inhabitants for their corruption, but he spared Noah and his family by instructing them to build an ark, fill it with a male and female of every animal species, and ride out the flood. When the waters receded, the Bible says, the ark came to rest atop a mountain.
Many Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe that Mount Ararat, the highest point in the region, is where the ark landed.
But despite sporadic claims that remains of the Noah's Ark have been found there, no scientific evidence for its existence has ever been produced.