By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12/13/2012 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard, famed for discovering the Titanic back in 1985, has claimed to have found evidence for an even more historically significant ship - Noah's Ark from the Old Testament. According to the bible, Noah fled and floated upon the waters for 40 days and 40 nights. Ballard says that the Black Sea was once merely a freshwater lake, until an enormous wall of water from the Mediterranean 200 times more powerful than Niagara Falls swept it and everything else away, Noah, his ark and all.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We went in there to look for the flood," Ballard told ABC News. "Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed ... the land that went under stayed under."
Ballard's team is studying the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey in search of a civilization lost since biblical times. The recent dig is in response to two Columbia University scientists who say they have connected the end of an Ice Age, when frozen sheets covered North America and stretched to the North Pole.
When they melted, yielding the Earth's terrain the world is familiar with today, what happened to the water?
"The questions is, was there a mother of all floods?" Ballard asks.
Through carbon dating of shells found on an ancient shoreline 400 feet beneath the surface of the Black Sea, scientists have established a timeline for that catastrophic event that happened around 5,000 B.C., Ballard estimates. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah's flood could have occurred.
Some archaeologists have supported the story of Noah, citing similar details passed along in narratives from Mesopotamian times, notably "the Epic of Gigamesh."
"The earlier Mesopotamian stories are very similar where the gods are sending a flood to wipe out humans," biblical archaeologist Eric Cline says. "There's one man they choose to survive. He builds a boat and brings on animals and lands on a mountain and lives happily ever after? I would argue that it's the same story."
Ballard claims that his team has found not just the shore and the shells, but pottery and even shipwrecks, evidence. Ballard doubts that Noah's Ark itself will ever turn up.
"It's foolish to think you will ever find a ship," Ballard told ABC News. "But can you find people who were living? Can you find their villages that are underwater now? And the answer is yes."
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