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Archaeological Discoveries on Mount Ararat Confront Attacks and Bias

Archaeologist reports ancient sites on Mount Ararat in Turkey are being defamed and archaeologists harassed because of an alleged association with Noah’s ark.


Miami, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/21/2011 -- In November of 2011, Harvard University educated archaeologist and director of the Paleontological Research Corporation, Dr. Joel Klenck, reported there was archaeological merit to a large wood structure and cave discovered near the summit of Mount Ararat by a Kurdish guide, Ahmet Ertugrul. In 2010, Oktay Belli, Professor of Eurasian Archaeology at Istanbul University, hailed the finds as the “greatest discovery.” However, Klenck warns these archaeological sites confront severe attacks and bias.

Klenck states a small tourism company in eastern Turkey, Murat Camping, acquired hundreds of thousands of dollars from groups searching for Noah’s ark and is trying to discredit and harass those supporting research at archaeological sites on Mount Ararat. He notes, “Murat Camping and ark enthusiasts led by this organization have falsely reported that the Ararat sites are a hoax and that Professor Belli and Turkish government officials are supporting a fraud.” Klenck counters these allegations are untrue as the research area on Mount Ararat comprises “factual archaeological sites.” He states, “Once the Ararat sites become state-approved excavations in Turkey, many can volunteer to work at the Ararat locales or study the artifacts in museums or archaeological journals. Murat Camping stands to lose significant monies.”

“Several groups of ark enthusiasts are also trying to disparage the sites,” Klenck states, “because they assumed that Noah’s ark would have dinosaur bones, Early Stone Age tools, Neanderthals, be completely fossilized or had other expectations. That the large wood structure on Mount Ararat exhibits an assemblage that appears mostly from the Late Epipaleolithic Period (13,100-9,600 B.C.) is troubling to some since the data contradicts their views and beliefs.”

Further, he states some professional archaeologists have followed the critiques of ark enthusiasts and have ignored the Ararat discoveries.

Klenck notes, “Professional archaeologists do not realize that the biggest critics of the Ararat sites either object to the scientific discipline of archaeology, acquire monies from meritless ark expeditions, or both.”

Klenck remarks, “With the Ararat discoveries, we have well preserved archaeological sites and assemblages from a period associated with the transition to farming, plant and animal domestication and stratified societies.” He concludes that although the association of the wood structure with Noah’s ark will remain a contentious issue, the archaeological sites on Mount Ararat are factual, require intensive research and represent discoveries that are important to our knowledge of prehistory.