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Noah and the Great Flood

by Robert D. Mock MD

Part Three of a presentation to the Forum on Creation and Ancient History

Houston, Texas

Spring, 1998



Location and Description of the Ark


 Location of Tendurek - The peaks of the Mount Ararat and the peaks of Tendurek are actually 29 miles apart, but the site of the Tendurek formation is about sixteen miles southwest of Ararat and 17.4 miles to the west-southwest of the peak of Tendurek.   Mount Tendurek is actually a volcanoe, recognized by most creationists to be post-diluvian.  The site is actually on the Akyayla Dagi, called the High White Plain. 


The site of the ark remains at Tendurek is called Mahser Gunu, in Arabic meaning “the last

Judgment”  To the west end is a ridgeline up thrust, historically recognized as the place Noah built his altar.


Towards the east is an area called Pilgrim Mount, translated as “voluntary pilgrimage” On the map it is called Yigityatagi, translated as “hero’s bed” or the habitat or home of the hero’s. This is appropriate for the antediluvian heros who lived through the earth’s greatest catastrophy.


The village of Uzengili, located five hundred yards to the west from the Tendurek remains is noted as noted in old Turkish maps was called Nasar (nsr). According to Aman Momin, Program Officer for the U.S. Information Agenfcy, Professor of Urdu,  Nasar means, “To make a presentation or sacrifice”  (Fasold, p. 112)

As noted above, the Gilgamesh account states that the Reed boat of Utnapishtim rested on Mount Nisir (nsr).  In Akkadian, Nisir is written as nsr, which can be written as Nisir, Nasar or Nasir.



The more inflammatory rhetoric on Arkology is primarily centered around the landing site which in Christiandom is recognized to be the Mount Ararat, the largest mountain of the northern Turkish mountain chain of Urartu.  It would appear that most ark hunters, of which Seventh-day Adventists make up a high percentage, have a single focus obsession that the Ark must be found sitting on a mountain ledge exposed from a glacial edge in the 16,000 foot elevation of the largest mountain in the area, Ararat.   The irony of it all, why would God do such a thing?  The cargo aboard the Ark was the precious cargo in the history of mankind.  It carried a pair of every living family of animals on board.  Once again, out of this must come the multitude of speciation of animals.  Why would God risk a male or a female of any family in the dynasty of animals, whether it is a cat, wolf, or elephant, by causing them to climb down rocky crags and mountain ledges?  To this author it is not conceivable that a God, who’s interest is in the preservation of mankind and a remnant seed of animal life, would protect them through such a catastrophy of cataclysmic proportions, and then deposit them on the fifth highest mountain in the world.   In the roughest and a most dangerous of terrains, non- mountainous animals would have to descend over rocky cliffs and ravines to find their eventual habitant.  To seriously contemplate the ark sitting on the top of Mount Ararat, one really needs to reevaluate his own concept of God as God who seeks to nurture, to protect and to preserve.

Alternate model design using wood hull format at Tenderek


Wood Structure design over the Tendurek Site - Fasold



Using evidence of site place and linquistics alone, the traditions and names of the surrounding area give significant credence to the ancient historical acceptance of the Site of Tendurek as being the site of the landing of Noah’s Ark. 


The Ark Remains at Tendurek

At 6240 feet (1901 meters)  elevation on the low end and 6350 feet (1935 meters) on the high end and sitting upon an alluvial, or mud slide, two earthquakes of 1948 and 1979  have raised from the depths of the soil a boat shaped structure called by some to be the Ark of Noah.


 It is a stone ship, formed by massive bundles of reeds made into a floating platform, coated with a cement-like compound to form a solidified exterior.  Uncoated versions can be seen as Kon-Tiki, the reed ships of Titicaca, and the reed ships of Egypt.   


Subsurface interface radar determined evidence of collapsing decks, iron and aluminum alloy clamps and metallic pins at eighteen to twenty inch intervals, plus the outlines of interior closed sections including beams, and cross beams.   Nodules of 84.14 percent Manganese dioxide plus ten other metals were found on site.


Scientific exploration included radar devices, which can detect formation under water and under soil to a depth of 40 feet including identifying the mineral content of the formation.



Frequency generators, which can detect metal spikes of in wooden beams, depicted thirteen interior division from bow to stern, nine bulk head to bulkhead support on the interior surface. These bulkhead widths ranged from 35 to 138 feet in width.  







 Within the bulkhead columns of an agglomerated material like cement were used as column supports in which support beams traverse to support the decks. These columns were two feet square and spaced on twelve foot centers or spread seven cubits apart. 







The Drouge Stones


Huge drouge stones used in ancient ships to drag behind in the water depths have been found on a plateau several miles away to the west in Kazan.  At that site the Ark rested while still afloat with the stone, each weighing several hundred pounds lying on the water basin surface, stabilizing the ship until it was cut loose to  float to its final resting place. 


The site at Tendurek was accepted as the official site of Noah’s Ark by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and the site of a national park, a sign which states Nuh’un Gemisi (Noah’s Ark ) in June, 1987.



Gopher Wood -


This has been one of the enigmas of the Genesis account. 

Gopher is recognized by scholars to be an unidentified

substance.  First, let us search the ancient sources and interpretations for the word, gopher.


Cypress wood…coat it with pitch - Oxford NIV Scofield Study Bible

Wood from resinous tree..cover it…with tar - New World Bible Translation


Ribs of Cypress, cover with reeds and coat it…with tar - New English Bible

Pine wood, made watertight with bitumen - extrabiblical sources

Teak-wood tree, wait twenty years for it to mature, and cut it into planking - Folklore

Tall plants with hollow stem - Hopi

Oleander..heavily painted with a waxlike paint - Roskovitsky account

Reeds - Sumerian - “Tear down your reed house and built a boat” - Gilgamesh

                Raft - Indian Sanskrit

Stone Canoe - Amerindian tribe

Stone and Camphor wood boat - Japanese

Varuna’s House of Clay - Persian


James Strong, STD, LLD, in The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, identifies Gopher, (go-far,  #1613), as being derived from the  root word the comes from an unusual soarce, meaning “to house in”.  If there was a wood identity, then he would prefer Cypress wood.


There is not universal agreement with such an imminent scholar.  Fasold does take such exception, including citing such authoritative scholars as Sugust Dillmand (1823-1894), who wrote Die Genesis, and Paul Anton De Lagarde (1827-1891) in his two scholarly works,  Semitica, i.64 and Symmicta,ii.93.  They identify it with the Hebrew word, gophriyth, (gof-reeth, #1614) which means brimstone.


This identify makes an interesting twist.  As Velikovsky demonstrated,  the conceptual idea of significant catastrophic forces, is an idea best suppressed with a form of self amnesia.  Take for example, Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:24. “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.”  The prophet Isaiah 30:33, identifies it “…like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.”  We accept the idea of brimstone to be of volcanic in origin as well as bitumen coming from similar soarces. 


Velikovsky, Patton, Fry and including this writer accept the stellar origin of the catastrophy of Sodom and Gomorrah, which incited such destructive power.  Yet the soarce of the raining magma could

still be earthly origin.  The pre-catastrophic Vale of Siddom was a fertile valley, which had a geological anomaly of interest, slimepits.  In Genesis 14:10 (KJV) it states, “And the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there, and they that remained fled to the mountain.”


In looking at the construction of the Tower of Babel, we find in Genesis 11:3 (Torah) “ ‘.let us make bricks and burn them hard.’ --Brick served them as stone,  and bitumen served them as mortar.”  His word for bitumen used by Strong’s Concordance is the Hebrew chemar (Kahy-mawr), or bitumen, meaning rising to the surface.


Returning to the story of the Ark. If we accept the notion of bitumen used in the ark, then we must accept possibility of a pre-diluvian source of tar and bitumen.  Were these from volcanic origin?  If they are then was volcanic activity a part of the pre-flood, albeit late pre-diluvian scene? 


Let look for hints.  In the Book of Enoch, concerning the days of Noah, we read “In those days Noah saw that the earth became inclined, and that destruction approached…And he (Noah) said, ‘Tell me what is transacting upon earth; for the earth labors, and is violently shaken.  Surely I shall perish with it.”  (Enoch 64:1,3)


This has the verbal imagery of the earth moving into a catastrophic mode.  Was this the day when the earth’s axis tilted and an era of catastrophies began?  Would such an axis tilt include earthquakes, fracturing of the crustal mantle, possible crustal shifting, and more than likely volcanic activity?


Continuing on in the Book of Enoch,  “In that burning valley,which at first my grandfather Enoch shewed me in the west, where there were mountains of gold and silver, of iron, of fluid metal, and of tin.  I beheld that valley in which there was great perturbation, and where the waters were troubled. And when all this was effected, from the fluid mass of fire, and the perturbation which troubled them in that place, there arose a strong smell of sulphur, which became mixed with the waters….through that valley also rivers of fire went..”  (Enoch 66:4-7)   What better description of volcanic activity can we find in this description?

Was Noah’s Ark made from wood?


Modern concepts for Giant Wood Ship design  - The ship-building era of the early 19th century saw floating ships and six-masted schooners testing the limits of wooden hulled ships.  The larger the ship, the more unseaworthy it was recognized in the high seas.  Shipbuilders have determined that 300 feet will maximize the strength of the wood fiber before it begins to crack from the stresses.  The largest wood hull ship built in modern times was the Ship Wyoming at 329 feet. This is 186 feet shorter than the reported size of the Tendurek Ark structure. Authors and artists who conceptualize the ark as a large rectangular box of wood, like a floating box car, rudderless, with no steering mechanism to be completely at the mercy of the catastrophic elements of the floods are visionaries but not necessarily design engineers.


Ancient concepts of Reed Ships

Egypt - “And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she hid it in the flags by the rivers’s brink.” (Exodus 2:3 KJV)


“…that sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of Bulrushes upon the waters,  saying, Go, ye swift messengers…”  (Isaiah 18:2 KJV)


Babylonia- the ‘elippu’ or ‘ma-gur’ was a reed boat with flowing lines and curves familiar on the waterways of the mesopotamian delta.  Another term used was ‘elep urbati’ or reed ship, which we see engraved of early seals before Ur of the Chaldeas was settled.  It is this vessel that Thor Heyerdahl used as a model and recorded in his book, The Tigris Expedition.   (Thor Hyerdahl, The Tigris Expedition, Doubleday & Co, New York, 1981.


Hopi’s legends state that the survivors of the Deluge were able to save themselves by lashing themselves to long plants with hollow stems.”  (Fasold, p. 250)


Egypt - Reed Vessels ply the Nile River today as they did in the days of Herodotus. The design appears to be eternal.


Peru, Lake Titicaca - reed boats are used to this day by local natives to ply the waters of the lake situated in the highest altitude in the world



Summary:  The Gopher wood in the Genesis story has weak linguistic meaning when used as a type of wood.  It appears to be more of a descriptive statement with a spiritual application.  There has long been a mystery is its meaning partly due to the fact that we are looking for gopher to be a physical  building material.  The Hebrew, seems to indicate, that gopher was meant to be a protective wall and a protective covering in a physical and a symbolic spiritual meaning.  Truly Noah and all the occupants of the ark were protected and covered by the Master Ship Builder, to care for them during the most catastrophic disaster known to mankind.  





Concrete - KPR Coating -

Genesis 6:14

…and you must cover it inside and outside with tar. (New World Translation)

…and coat it with pitch inside and out. (Oxford New International Version Scofield Study Bible)

…and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (Authorized King James Version)

…and cover it inside and out with pitch (The Torah edited by W. Gunther Plaut)

Literal translation:  Cover it inside and outside with cover, or cover it with cover. (Fasold,  p.264)


Kaphar: In The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong LLD:

Kaphar (kaw-far #3722) - “To cover

Kaphar (Kaw-fawr #3723) - a village or community of person protected by walls

kephyr (kef-eer #3715) - “covered in by walls


Tranliteration:  the inhabitants were upon an  raft, which the ark  had a  “covering wall of protection but also that the wall is protected with a protective covering of bitumen.”  (Fasold p. 265)


Summary Translation:  The Ark of Noah was a giant raft which was enclosed by a protective wall for protection. This wall in turn had another covering also used for protection, which was made of bitumen.


The Akkadian had a mixture, which they called KPR.   This was a bituminous mixture composed of feldspar and pumice.  Using a chemical reaction, a zeolite was formed not much unlike modern concrete.  The reed flotation portion of the ship was then coated inside and out with this KPR coating, forming a virtual concrete barrier of significant strength.    


There are several types of cement known today:  weighing anywhere from about 35 to 115 pounds per cubit foot.  The lighter cements actually contain foaming agents such as aluminum powder, and aggregates of a lightweight deposits of Pumice, perlite, scoria, volcanic cinder.  This same application was described by Fasold today in the concrete industry of the Island of Santorini.  The Italian magnates take this mixture of lava or brimstone and compress it into building blocks.  It was this same material that was barged to Egypt and then shipped to Panama to be used in the cementing of the Panama Canal


Natron was used as a catalyst used to harden the mixture to turn it into a literal stone.  The chemical composition was in essence would take alumina and with the catalytic reaction with natron and lime (soda) formed an aluminate of sodium. This compound was then reacted with sodium silicate to form a zeolite or a feldspathoide, or in essence a natural cement. 


The Difference between Pitch and Bitumen -

Utnapishtim in retelling the story of making the ark to Gilgamesh gives this account.  “I smeared it with pitch inside, and bitumen without.”   He later adds a further distinction. “Three times 3600 (units) of raw bitumen I poured into the bitumen kiln, three times 3600 (units) of pitch…into it, there were three times 3600 porters of casks who carried (vegetable) oil, apart from the 36,000 (units of) oil which they consumed (?) and two times 36000 (units of ) oil  which the boatman stored away.”  (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet XI, Lines 64-68)


Add now the Egyptian interpretation of the Papyrus of Ani as described in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.  “Make a heaven of stars washed and purified with natron (and) with incense.”   (The Egyptian Book of the Dead, trans. EA Wallis Budge P. 141-142). This was conceptualized as a canopy, a covering which was chemically activated ‘washed and purified’ with natron yet within had the aroma of incense. 


We know in ancient times as well as today that bitumen lays at the surface of the earth’s crust, boiling within the crevices of the rocky mantle.  Such occurrences are found today as close as the modern city of Hit on the banks of the modern Euphrates.  The ancient Sumerian and Akkadians appear to be making a major distinction between a petroleum compound and a vegetable resinous compound from a plant.  Note the vegetable oil was used on the ark, was consumed and another part stored away for use by the boatman in a possible reference to quiet the turbulent wave action the ark would be experiencing during the flood itself.  


We can now suggest that the bitumen and pitch were used in making the ferro-cement coating, which sealed and solidified the outer walls of the ship. Yet within, a less toxic compound was used as a resinous sealant.  Fasold gives a hint in suggesting, the early pilgrims gave reports and brought back ‘talismen’ of a mysterious amomun, which was noted for its medicinal purposes as well as in a solidified state as a amberlike substance. 


Iron in the Ancient World


Modern - Current archeological theories state that the metallurgy skills of the ancient were not sufficient to make iron. Archeological periods such as the Stone Age, Copper Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age depict this concept of thought.  It is thought the Hittites were the first to bring iron to the middle east.  The Philistines appeared to have a lock in the secret technology of iron smelting which proved many times to the disadvantage of the early tribes of Israel


Biblical -

Genesis 4:22 KJV - Tubal-cain was “an instructor of every artifier of brass and iron.”


Extra-Biblical -

Jasher - “And Cain hastened and rose up, and took the iron part of his ploughing instrument, and which he slew him (Abel)… Jasher 1:25


“And the sons of men went and they served other gods, and they forgot the lord who had created them in the earth: and in those days the sons of men made images of brass and iron, wood and stone, and they bowed down and served them.”  Jasher 2:4


Classic Sources on the use of Iron in the Ancient world -


Plato in Dialogues  - “…Men were rich then, as in the Golden Age of Chronos, and lived in plenty…  Then followed the Bronze age, a period of constant quarrelling and deed of violence…Finally came the iron age….while Zeus determined to destroy the human race by a great flood.  The whole of the land lay underwater, and none but Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha were saved. (Fasold, Ibid, p.24)

Iron Age in the Antediluvian World - Classical archeology suggests that the evolution of modern civilization progressed from the Stone age, to the Copper, Bronze, and eventually the Iron Ages. Plate suggests that before the flood there also existed a Golden Age, followed by a bronze, and then an iron age.  The degeneration of the social structure destroyed by Zeus in a flood is highly reminiscent of the antediluvian world destroyed by the Biblical Yahweh.


The Zohar - The Light in the Ark –


Ancient traditions have come down to us in reference to the Zohar, the light within the ark, which has taken on a mystical capacity in ancient secret societies.  This is described as a round globe, which emitted light within its own power or a large pearl, which soft light spread throughout the ship. 


David Fasold, in his studies on the Tendurek site, suggests that the Zohar was actually a light window, which traversed the entire length of the central ark corridor. “In a cubit thou shalt finish it above” is stated in ancient texts and 20.6 inches from the top the ‘skylight’ offered light to the entire interior, a ventilation port for the water-pump ventilation system and allowed enough cleansing rain to filter down and cleanse the interior, carrying waste down to the hull poll below.






The Drogue Stones


Herodotus described the drogue stone, called a ‘braking stone’ as used in Egypt as “a pierce stone of about two talents (115 pounds) … and the stone is made fast also by a rope to the after part of the boat.  So, driven by the current… the boat and the stone dragging behind on the river bottom keeps the boat’s coarse straight.”  (Fasold, Ibid)


Inscription on Papyrus of Ani of ship with drouge stone





     Drouge stones found at Kazan, to the west of Tendurek, now are tombstones.  Note pilgrim graffiti on stones


The purpose of the drogue stones in a ship 270 times larger than the vessels Herodotus was describing, was not to brake a ship by dragging on the bottom of the water but to brake the forward motion of the ship by the resistance of the flat surfaces of the stone anchors.  According to Fasold, it was take about 15 tons of drogue stone needed to brake the forward propulsion of the ark.   





The Ark Interior and the Door


In Tablet XI of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim states, “I checked the poles, and laid in all that was necesssary.  ”This would become a daily routine for Noah as the center of the ship was constructed with hogging-truss support poles of cedar, which in essence became a reverse suspension bridge for they held the ship in tension from the interior.  Within these poles, three was necessary.  ”This would become a daily routine for Noah as the center of the ship was constructed with hogging-truss support poles of cedar which in essence became a reverse suspension bridge for they held the ship in tension from the interior.  Within these poles, three decks were constructed in a lattice-work frame for the habitation of the animals and man.


The center of the ship was in essence a drain way, between the natural cubicles where animals were kept. This was like a narrow atrium or corridor for walking amongst the animals and where the waste would be deposited into the ocean below, to be washed away from rain coming down from the Zohar overhead and washing down to the hull pool below.


The Hull Pool / Water-Air Pump Ventilation System


The Ark and drouge stones stabilizing the ship as it faces a wave


In the center of the main support raft was a large hull pool measured at 26 x 201 feet. (5300 square feet)  This design is used today in salvage boats and drilling rigs.  The function in a boat such as the ark would have served several purposes: 

(1)     An open hull pool would have created considerable drag and slowed the forward momentum of the ark,

(2)     the water lifting up into the hull pool would have stabilized the entire ark structure,

(3)     whenever the ark would crest a wave, the anchor lines plus the stability of the drouge stones would have prevented any shearing from the forces of the waves causing sudden changes in direction or momentum of the ark,

(4)     it also acted like a keel in reverse without concern for striking bottom,

(5)     served as a drain for water within the ark and

(6)     it would relieve the hogging stress loads on the widest part of the ark, and

(7)     it would create a ventilation air compression piston action so that when the ark would crest a wave, air would be sucked into the Zohar above and then when it settled into the troughs of the wave, it would push the air back out. 


This ship would have been designed to actually breath.  The boatmen would control the drouge stones from within the hull pool and in extreme rough waters, a film of oil could trickle down the drouge lines to form a film on the sea surface to calm the wave action.  This ship was built as a true survival vessel.       


Go to Part Four-The Flood as the Day of Judgment