Skepticism shadows Noah's Ark find in Turkey

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A 15-member group of Turkish and Chinese explorers claim to have found Noah's Ark on the slopes of Mount Ararat in Turkey, however some are questioning the find.

Dr. Randall Price, an evangelical Christian and former member of the Chinese-led team that announced this week's finding, says the latest purported finding may not withstand closer scrutiny according to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM).

Dr. Price, who is director of the Center for Judaic Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., was the archaeologist on the Chinese-led team in 2008 when this alleged discovery was first made. He says he has "difficulties with a number of issues related to the evidence at hand," reported the Monitor.

Answers in Genesis, the apologetics ministry that operates the Creation Museum just outside of Cincinnati, said in a statement it needs more time to study the findings.

Yeung Wing-Cheung, one of the explorers of the Noah's Ark Ministries International team that made the find, said at a Hong Kong press conference the explorers are "99.9 percent that this is it." The discovery resides on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. The team even says carbon dating has dated the wood to 4,800 B.C., possibly preserved over the centuries under ice and snow.

"Every few years we hear of claims that Noah's Ark (or what may remain of it) has been found on the mountains of Ararat in Turkey," Answers in Genesis said. "... Answers in Genesis has seen many photos that were released, but without corroboration by the leading creationist organizations and not knowing all the research methods that were employed, we will withhold judgment until further study. Over the decades, we have learned to be cautious about such Ark claims."

The ministry added, "We have no doubt, however, that there once was a massive Ark that served as a vessel of salvation during a global Flood and landed on the mountains of Ararat, as recorded in the book of Genesis."

The explorers say the discovery has compartments, supposedly where animals would have been housed.

"The significance of this find is that for the first time in history the discovery of Noah's Ark is well documented and revealed to the worldwide community," Dutch researcher Gerrit Aalten, who is not part of the team, said at the press conference, according to FoxNews.com. "There's a tremendous amount of solid evidence that the structure found on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey is the legendary Ark of Noah."

Panda Lee, one of the researchers, gave a descriptive account of her first sight of the discovery: "In October 2008, I climbed the mountain with the Turkish team. At an elevation of more than 4,000 meters, I saw a structure built with plank-like timber. Each plank was about 8 inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails. We walked about 100 meters to another site. I could see broken wood fragments embedded in a glacier, and some 20 meters long. I surveyed the landscape and found that the wooden structure was permanently covered by ice and volcanic rocks."

BP news was used in this report.

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