Where Did Noah’s Ark Come to Rest?
After seven months afloat Noah came to rest, the Bible tells us, “upon the mountains of Ararat”. Mount Ararat, an extinct volcanic massif 17,160 feet high consists of two peaks seven miles apart and separated by a saddle 8,800 feet above sea level.
It stands in Turkish territory overlooking the point where the frontiers of Turkey, Iran and Soviet Armenia converge, and is about 25 miles in diameter. The story of the Ark is still a living tradition among the Armenians, who believe themselves to be the first race of men to appear in the world after the Deluge.
Local legend maintains that the remains of the Ark were long to be seen on top of the mountain. Near the foot of a mountain chasm stood the village of Aghuri, where, according to tradition, Noah built his altar and made sacrifice after his safe deliverance, and where he planted his vineyard.
The village was destroyed by earthquake in 1840. A Persian legend refers to Ararat as the cradle of the human race; the Persian name for it is Koh-i_Nuh, meaning Noah’s Mountain. For centuries the Armenians believed that God forbade anyone to reach the top of Ararat and view the remains of the Ark.
However, on September 07, 1829, Johann Hacob von Parrot (1792-1840), a German in the Russian service, made the first successful ascent known. Since then the mountain has been climbed many times.
In the Armenian tradition and Western Christianity, based on Jerome’s reading of Josephus, the specific summit of the “Mountains of Ararat” where Noah’s ark landed is identified as Mount Masis (now known as Mount Ararat) the highest peak of the Armenian Highland.
In Syrian tradition, as well as in Quranic tradition, the mountain is identified with Mount Judi in what is today Şırnak Province, Southeastern Anatolia Region, Turkey. During the Middle Ages, this tradition has eclipsed the earlier association with Mount Judi in Eastern Christianity (Syrian Christianity), and the Mount Judi tradition is now mostly confined to the Islamic view of Noah.
The “Mountains of Ararat” in Genesis clearly refer to a general region, not a specific mountain. Biblical Ararat corresponds to Ancient Assyrian Urartu (and Old Persian Armina) the name of the kingdom which at the time controlled the Lake Van region.
Noah’s Ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative (Genesis chapters 6–9) by which God spares Noah, his family, and a remnant of all the world’s animals from the flood. According to Genesis, God gave Noah instructions for building the ark. Seven days before the deluge, God told Noah to enter the ark with his household and the animals.
The story goes on to describe the ark being afloat for several days and then coming to rest on the Mountains of Ararat and the subsequent receding of the waters. The story is repeated, with variations, in the Quran, where the ark appears as Safina Nuh (“Noah’s boat”). The Genesis flood narrative is similar to numerous other flood myths from a variety of cultures. The earliest known written flood myth is the Sumerian flood myth found in the Epic of Ziusudra.
Searches for Noah’s Ark have been made from at least the time of Eusebius (c.275–339 CE) to the present day. There is no scientific evidence for a global flood, and despite many expeditions, no evidence of the ark has been found. The challenges associated with housing all living animal types, and even plants, would have made building the ark a practical impossibility.