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Andrys Basten | profile | all galleries >> TURKEY Photos - Anatolia, 2004, with Canon Elph >> Photos: In search of Noah's Ark - Mt. Ararat tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Flying to Istanbul - First views and photos | Istanbul - Sultanahmet photos | Photos: Istanbul Archaeological Museums: Alexander the Great | Istanbul's Bosphorus Cruise | Ankara , its museum, and Aksaray - photos | Cappadocia Balloon Ride Photos | Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride VIDEOclips (LOUD) | Cappadocia photos 2 | Cappadocia photos 3 | Photos: Goreme Open Air Museum frescos | Antakya and Mosaic Museum photos | Gaziantep photos, mosaics - Zeugma (Belkis) | Abraham's Pool & Harran - photos | Photos: Mt Nemrut heads, Perre-Perin, and Diyarbakir | Photos: Akdamar Island, Lake Van | Ishak Pasha Sarayi photos | Photos: In search of Noah's Ark - Mt. Ararat | Erzurum photos | Ephesus photos | Ephesus Museum and Selcuk photos | Pergamon acropolis ( Pergamum photos ) | Pergamon Asclepion - Pergamum Aesklepion | Aphrodisias site and museum - photos | Pamukkale photos ( Hierapolis ) | Dalyan photos - Turkey | Dalyan to Kaunos boat - photos | Lycian Telmessos | Kalkan - Kas photos | Photos: Kekova - Simena by Boat | Photos: St. Nicholas church. Old St. Nick origin | Myra, Antalya, Aspendos - photos | The Love Boat (Intro)

Photos: In search of Noah's Ark - Mt. Ararat

  We didn't realize that Turkey's official Noah's Ark site (named "Durupinar" after its discoverer) was here but saw an article about it, with photos, at the quiet Simer hotel in Dogubayazit, a town that is the base of all Mt. Ararat climbs.

  The Durupinar site is just 2 miles from the northern Iran border, and the skirmishes on the border involving Mt. Ararat make the government reluctant to approve archeological work on Ararat itself and may be a reason for Turkey and Ataturk University's earlier seal of approval for this place 17 miles away from the military forbidden zone of Mt. Ararat.  Here's the famous Life Magazine picture taken from an aerial survey plane from 10,000 ft.

  The site doesn't seem geared toward tourism dollars; there are no obvious road signs to let you know the ark site is there, and the road going up to it is just barely navigable, to put it nicely.

  I had very little time inside so just took photos of some of the articles on the walls so that I could read them later.   Here's an online article of Pros and Cons (more the latter) with pics.  And History Channel's documentary from 2001 includes pictures and comments on this Durupinar site which are interesting.


  The photos below show Hasan, the custodian of the site for some time, and the ground with its strange formation that caught Life Magazine's eye.  As it turns out, this type of formation is not unknown in that particular area, although this one stands out for its size, location away from Mt. Ararat (with similar forms), and unusual symmetry
  The formation appeared after an earthquake in 1948, and two later ones resulted in more definition.  Exposure has eroded it since, and part of it was dynamited for exploration.

  An analysis of samples from the area, in 1996, quite thoroughly debunked most of the physical ark theory, though several features of the formation had been convincing to an archaeologist at Ataturk University and some U.S. geologists.   The debunking article by Lorence Collins of California State University Northridge raises an interesting question:

"David Fasold suggested that, although the structure is not Noah's Ark, it may very well be the site which the ancients regarded as the ship of the Deluge and may have played a role in the Flood story.  As a geologist, I find this to be an interesting speculation."
  Another interesting aspect of all this is that the word interpreted as "Mt. Ararat" by creationists actually referred to "the mountains of the region of Ararat" which included this hill, the name of which matches the hill in the Koran's flood story.

  At least, the area has great views of Mt. Ararat and the limestone range thought "as high as the wall of heaven" in The Epic of Gilgamesh.


  SO, as a travelogue, the photos below show some of what is presented at the Noah Ark's site.
  Remember that almost all points made in the articles-photographed have been strongly refuted and Ron Wyatt's credibility was, for many reasons, very low, though it's clear he did believe this was the ark site.  Ironically, the site's main antagonists have been ardent Creationists.  A few remaining unexplained positive features are explained away as having probably been brought onsite by Wyatt.

  Possibly the most interesting related event was David Deal's discovery of a settlement above the site and another seeming-boat imprint there, which could be, he writes, "The place of first descent" ('kHD' or Kurd) with the Durupinar site being the last one.  "Recent travels to the Iranian Frontier of Eastern Turkiye" is about a workshop for explorer-participants with Dr. Salih Bayraktuhan of Ataturk University, who oversees geological and archaeological studies for this region, and David Deal.

  Those geologists still entertaining the possibility this is the ark site feel it's more likely a mold of the hull of the ark, a footprint of a landing, rather than the Ark itself (assuming one believes the ark story itself is real).  The recent History Channel video seems to leave things a bit open.
  If further interested in this at least very colorful story, here's a book-length history of their ark tribulations by Wyatt's widow; two free online 1-hr videos about the site; and the best arial photo I've seen of the formation (even if solidified mudflow).  Also, another tourist visit there with better photos.



LiveScience webnews update March 9, 2006: Further satellite exploration of mountainside anomaly high up on the northwest corner of Mt. Ararat - photos


                 


( For full Screen: If using a PC, press/toggle F11. If using a Mac, press/toggle apple/command-b )
1st sighting of Mt. Ararat, 17,000 ft high, from rental car
1st sighting of Mt. Ararat, 17,000 ft high, from rental car
At  Hotel Simer in Dogubayazit, on Iran transit road,Mt. Ararat near sundown
At Hotel Simer in Dogubayazit, on Iran transit road,
Mt. Ararat near sundown
Next morning, the usual cloudring around Mt. Ararat's peak
Next morning, the usual cloud
ring around Mt. Ararat's peak
Realizing those are trees below may give an idea why some felt it was not a natural formation.
Knoxville News Sentinel story, 1997. (Bushy things below, are trees.)

Realizing those are trees below may give an idea why some felt it was not a natural formation.


Not having read info yet, I didn't know what to look at 
and caught just the lower part of the formation at the right.
You can compare it against the full formation
in the Knoxville News Sentinel story photo, just previous.
Limestone range (Gilgamesh?) at top. Lower part of "ark" only, at right.
Note similar natural form above left, less deep/dark

Not having read info yet, I didn't know what to look at
and caught just the lower part of the formation at the right.
You can compare it against the full formation
in the Knoxville News Sentinel story photo, just previous.

The Visitors Center and caretaker Hasan Ozer
The Visitors Center and caretaker Hasan Ozer
You can see the split side from this angle.  Here's a clearer one by Ali Varisli.   Amazing that Los Alamos scientists were here often.
Side facing us was split by the 1978 earthquake

You can see the split side from this angle.  Here's a clearer one by Ali Varisli.
  Amazing that Los Alamos scientists were here often.

Click here, for a considerably clearer photo 
by Ali Varisli (alivar)
   *To me they resemble other ridged formations in the area though.*

   The hard ridges, shown better in Varisli's photo remind me 
   of the mountain range above, in his photograph.
Splitting of closer side allows viewing of odd 'ribbing' effect

Click here, for a considerably clearer photo
by Ali Varisli ("alivar")
  *To me they resemble other ridged formations in the area though.*

  The hard ridges, shown better in Varisli's photo remind me
  of the mountain range above, in his photograph.


Hasan is the very pleasant guardian of the site.
Hasan is the very pleasant guardian of the site.
Knoxville News Sentinel - August 1997
Knoxville News Sentinel - August 1997
Author is a lawyer who metWyatt after his release by Kurdish captors.
Author is a lawyer who met
Wyatt after his release by Kurdish captors.
Mentions the seashells seen there.
Mentions the seashells seen there.
Hasan with our guide Aykut
Hasan with our guide Aykut
Site presentation
Site presentation
One concept of the ark
One concept of the ark
Online articles discuss theseso I re-uploaded the next few photos.
Online articles discuss these
so I re-uploaded the next few photos.
Afterward, first sighting of a colorful train
Afterward, first sighting of a colorful train
and its passenger cars, from our rental car.
and its passenger cars, from our rental car.