The Evidence- Man’s First Home in Turkey
It all began in Turkey- here was where mankind was reborn so to speak. Remnants of the numerous and varied nations which all were “born” when they were divided by the confounding of the language, can still be found here: “Turkey has so many archaeological sites that no one has yet been able to count them. An educated estimate is that there are some 40,000, ranging from scattered burials to the magnificent remains of sumptuous cities. As the land bridge between Asia and Europe, Anatolia [Turkey] has witnessed a unique procession of peoples and civilizations. In this varied landscape one finds Neolithic settlement and Bronze Age cities, and, in a continuous chronology, the mingled artifacts of the Hittites, the Assyrians, the Phrygians, the Lydians, the Ionian Greeks, the Persians, the Armenians, the Hellenistic Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Seljuks, the Frankish Crusaders, and the Ottoman Turks. The great majority of sites are in unpoliced rural areas, many of them only recently opened up by the building of roads.” (PP, p. 56.)
The Fertility of the “Ararat Plain”
The area where the ark came to rest was in a mountain range just a few miles south of the Araxes Valley or Ararat Plain (PH, p. 35). The Aras (Araxes) River runs through this valley, beginning in Erzurum, Turkey, (west of Noah’s home), and traveling east it then forms part of the Turkish- Russian and Turkish-Iranian border. The 2 volcanic Ararat mountains arose in this plain and can be seen from the site of the ark as arising abruptly from the green, fertile valley. This area possesses a “special fertility” (PH p. 35) which is indicative of the special provisions God made for the first family in reestablishing life on the planet. In 1989, Ron photographed a roadside vegetable stand in the area near the ark where a local farmer was selling his cabbages- the largest we have ever seen anywhere! (See photo at right).
Plant Foods from Seeds Brought on the Ark
Before Noah and his family entered the ark, after he was told by God to take 2 of every unclean animal and 7 pairs of every clean animal, he was further instructed:
GEN 6:21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
This indicates that all of the food for both the people and the animals was plant-life; food products that could be gathered and would last throughout the entire time they were in the ark. And from this food they would have had seeds, even if they didn’t bring seeds with them (which I suspect they did). When they left the ark, they began to sow the seeds that would produce food. And the archaeological excavations reveal evidence which fit this scenario perfectly. I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read the following concerning the evidences found in eastern and central Turkey: “Paleo-botany had provided evidence illuminating the earliest stages of the cultivation of emmer and einkorn wheat and two-row barley, with subsequent mutations resulting in improved strains; but still the problem of the ultimate geographical sources of the wild grains found in the earliest excavated settlements awaits solution,…” (PH, p. 4). “Even more important than the different varieties of timber available for building were the species of edible plants. Of these of course the most important are the cereals, but also the most problematic because of the unsolved questions of the origins.” (PH, p. 10). It was in Anatolia (Turkey) that many plants were “reborn”- planted there by Noah and his family from seeds brought there from before the flood,- and from there, carried to the various parts of the world: “Anatolia is situated at the meeting of three principle zones of distribution of plants: these are the so-called Euro-Siberian zone (Europe, Russian and Siberia), the Irano-Turanian zone (the steppes of central Asia, Iran and central Anatolia) and the Mediterranean zone…. Recent work has shown a large percentage of plants which are endemic, that is, confined to Turkey: this is particularly true of the Taurus ranges, where the Irano-Turanian and the Mediterranean botanical zones meet.” (PH pp. 9, 10). This last quote is especially exciting for it tells us that in the general region of south central Turkey, there is a large number of plants that are found ONLY there! Well, what does that mean? It indicates that some of the original plants Noah brought from the pre-flood world never made it past the region of Babel. When the time came that the groups left the area, it looks like they only took with them the major grains and staple plant foods leaving behind a variety of plants whose beginnings were in the pre-flood world.Noah Even Planted Fruits Which Today STILL Grow in the Cold Climate
Not only did Noah and his family have grain foods- they had fruits, which is rather amazing considering the climate of the northeastern part of Turkey. To this day, Turkey has fruits which thrive in spite of it’s cold climate: “…apples, plums, apricots, peaches and mulberries are common in the eastern highlands, including the districts round Lake Van, where they are hardy enough to survive the severe winters” (PH, p. 10). Remember Noah’s vineyard?: GEN 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:.Yet, vineyards are usually found in warm climates, certainly not in regions with such dreadfully cold winters as eastern Turkey. But,: “The vine is a hardy plant at home in much of Anatolia, Trans-Caucasia and the Urmia basin, the grape-bearing type being vitis vinifera,…” (PH, p. 11). To sum up the evidences, the earliest found specimens and forms of many, many food plants are found in the ancient settlements extending outward from the area of the ark and Ron’s site for Babel in south central Turkey. Turkey even has some plants today which are found no where else on earth. How can these things be explained? There is no explanation except for the Genesis account.
The Advanced Technical Knowledge of Noah and His Family
The first people to inhabit the earth after the flood, Noah and his immediate family, were NOT primitive- they possessed the vast knowledge of the pre-flood world. However, the world was barren just after the flood. The only materials they would have had AT FIRST to work with would have been the things that they brought with them on the ark. They may have even “cannabalized” parts of the ark until the trees had time to grow large enough to use for timber, and they found natural sources for metals and substances with which to fashion tools, such as obsidian.
One of the most exciting discoveries for Ron when he was working on Noah’s Ark was the large amount of metal he found in the remains of the ship. (See our video “Discovered- Noah’s Ark” for detailed information and analyses.) He believes that the material used for the ballast, which is a type of slag or waste product of metal production, was the slag which resulted from the production of the metal fittings of the ark. Since it was handy and heavy, it just made sense that they would use it for the ballast. But Ron believes there was a further reason why this was used. After the flood, Noah and his family would have needed metal to make implements for farming and tools. But until they found natural sources of the various metals, Ron believes they used the metals from the ballast and perhaps even some of the metal fittings and objects on the ark to make their implements. Of course, this theory would only be worthy of consideration if evidence was found of metal-making in the area…
Earliest Site of Metal Working- Just a Few Miles from Noah’s Home!
A few miles from the site of the ark, in the Araxes Valley, is a vast complex of extremely ancient stone fences radiating outward from an ancient stone house. Behind this complex (to the north) is a very ancient stone altar located upon a ridge between 2 hills. In front of this house Ron found 2 tombstones which indicated that they were marking the graves of Noah and his wife, and therefore we believe this was Noah’s home. Just across the dirt road (to the south) is the village in which a large number of the anchor stones with crosses carved on them stand. On the north side of the ridge of hills that contains the altar is the Araxes River and across the river is the site of Metsamor. Here, within a few miles of Noah’s home, is what has been termed “one of”, if not “THE” oldest metallurgical site ever found! Analyses of copper found there showed 14 different alloys, including tin, lead, antimony and zinc. (PH, p. 70).The sophistication of this metal-working center has fascinated archaeologists as this site is termed, “indeed unique in its complexity and long life”. (PH, p.68.) This metallurgy center is quite sophisticated. “Clay pipes inserted in the furnaces for use with bellows were also found. Likewise of this first phase at Metsamor are phosphorus brickettes:… Phosphorus was used in the smelting of cassiterite to obtain tin.” (PH, p. 68.)
Earliest Bronze-Making and Glass-Making
Archaeological sites are excavated to discover the sequence of materials- those found directly above the virgin soil with nothing below them represent the earliest occupation level. At Metsamor, the earliest phase yielded bronze slag, (PH, p. 68) a discovery which continues to puzzle archaeologists as they believe man progressed very slowly through the various stages of knowledge – first the discovery of fire, then the invention of the wheel, then cultivating crops and domesticating animals, and then much later, knowledge of metals and metallurgy. Yet here is evidence that man appeared “on the scene” with tremendous technological knowledge, producing an alloy (bronze) which requires tin and sometimes includes zinc for increased hardness.
And not only did they produce sophisticated metals here, they produced GLASS! “Glass making also flourished at Metsamor, as indicated by six types of metallurgical material, including zinc and manganese, alloyed in different ways to make different colours.” (PH, p. 110). Remember Ron’s theory about the ballast and metal objects from the ark? Several large ballast samples from the hull of the ark that Ron had tested showed over 85% manganese!
Ron has documented the use of very large rivets on the ark. It seems reasonable to expect that Noah and his sons would have passed the usage of rivets on to their descendants, and that is exactly what the evidence shows. At Amiranis-Gora, north of the area of the ark, a cemetery revealed pottery with “knobs along the top of the shoulder…(that) seem to imitate rivets.” (PH, p. 67).
But should there be any doubt, another very puzzling group of artifacts came to light in 1974 and 1975. A Turkish antiquities dealer brought the objects to the Adana (Turkey) Museum, giving first one and then another explanation of their origin. While their exact origin isn’t known, it is known that he obtained them in the region and that they date to very near the third or early second millennia BC. Included in this group of artifacts are numerous copper knives, swords, chisels and axes. One interesting feature is that 2 of the swords are almost 36 inches long, “…which would have been difficult to wield with one hand”.( AS, vol xli, p. 185). But the feature that interests us now is the fact that these have been dated to very early times by the archaeologists, and used RIVETS to attach the handle! In fact, all of the knives used rivets.
As Noah’s Family Grew, They Expanded Their Settlements Throughout the Araxes Valley (Ararat Plain)
As we discussed earlier, we must take certain things into account as we look for evidences. As Noah’s family grew, (but before they had left for Babel), and as the animal population grew, there would be the need to expand and establish settlements at some distance from one another. Abraham and Lot had to separate because the land couldn’t accommodate all their herds: GEN 13:7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle:… 8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. This passage tells only of 2 families having to distance themselves from each other to provide enough pasturage for their animals. Certainly, as Noah’s family grew, they would also face the same situation and need to expand. To illustrate the importance and vital necessity of land to these earliest of peoples, there is the example of the Aryans who invaded India at a much later date- “…They wanted land, and pasture for their cattle; their word for war said nothing about national honor, but simply meant `a desire for more cows.’.” (OH, p. 397.)
As we explained earlier, the Ararat Plain, or Araxes Valley is about 80 to 90 miles long, beginning a little west of Mt. Ararat and extending through present-day Iran into the USSR. After careful study, we believe the evidence shows that this valley was the general area that Noah’s family expanded throughout, and since the ark (the region of Noah’s home) is in the region of the western portion of this plain, the direction of general expansion would have been to the east.
Abraham’s Family Lived in the Area Just South of Babel
Just as some food for thought- the Bible records that the rebellious against God migrated west. What did those who remained faithful do? Did they migrate to the east? Or did they remain in the area? The next Biblical event in Genesis is the selection of Abram (Abraham) to be the father of the chosen people, and we discover that he is living in Ur of the Chaldees (called “Urfa” today), which is within 100 miles of Babel. Given the call to go to Canaan, he and his family set out, stopping in Haran (Harran) about 35 miles south of Ur, where Terah dies. The evidence shows conclusively that Abraham’s family settled in the region a little south of Ron’s site for Babel, in the area of the Euphrates “loop” and the tributary, the Balikh River. Sarûgi (Serug, Abraham’s great grandfather’s name) today called Sürüç, is located halfway between the Euphrates and Harran. A town called Nahuru (Nahor, the name of Abraham’s grandfather as well as a brother) is known from both the Cappadocian tablets and the Mari texts to be in the same region. The name of Abraham’s father, Terah, is preserved at Til-sa-Turah, the “ruin of Terah” in the Balikh Valley. “What is remarkable is that all these geographical names are found in the district of Haran- according to the Biblical traditions it is precisely in this region that Abraham’s family stayed.” (EH, pp. 195-6.) Where the rest of the righteous, if any, went, we have no way of knowing. But, this evidence of Abraham’s family in the region indicates that they remained here when the others migrated to various other regions. They must have been a very prominent family due to the fact that the cities are named after his family members which indicates that they were the founders of these cities, or that they took up residence in existing cities which were abandoned (we’ll cover this more in depth later) and renamed them.
Nakhichevan in Soviet Armenia- Founded by Noah?
Near the eastern end of this valley is a town called Nakhichevan (just east of the Iranian border in the Armenian USSR.) Numerous Armenian traditions ascribe the founding of the city of Nakhichevan to Noah (EN, vol VII, p. 172). The evidence Ron found indicates that Noah and his wife were buried at the ancient complex we discussed earlier near the final resting place of the ark. We have assumed that therefore Noah and his wife most likely continued to maintain their original home here until their death. However, it seems very logical that as the patriarch of the family, Noah would have traveled with his younger family members as they explored the region in search of suitable areas to establish new settlements, then returning to his own home. Therefore, the traditions that state that he founded Nakhichevan could be based on actual fact.
Willem van Ruysbroeck of France, who spent Christmas day 1254 AD in this city, wrote about his travels in this region for the French king, and related the following: “Near this city [Nakhichevan] are mountains in which they say that Noah’s Ark rests; and there are two mountains, the one greater than the other; and the Araxes flows at their base; and there is a town there called Cemanum, which interpreted means “eight,” and they say that it was thus called from the eight persons who came out of the ark, and who built it on the greater mountain.” (QN, pp. 85-86). This account is interesting because it does contain some very important statements which indicate that the people WERE aware of the true site of the resting place of the ark. Notice that he says the ark rests in the” mountains” (plural), not ON the “greater” mountain. His account is the most accurate of any of the ark stories we have read, especially considering that he is relating stories about events which occurred over 3,500 years earlier. He gives 2 basic statements- that near Nakhichevan are some mountains which contain the remains of the ark. THEN, he mentions the “greater and lesser” mountains (Greater and Lesser Ararat) which are located next to the Araxes River, and that the town called “eight” is “on the greater mountain”. His account is accurate with one exception- the town called “eight” (Kazan where Noah and his wife were buried, and where most of the anchorstones are found) is not ON the mountain, but several miles from the base of it.
The traditions connecting Noah to this eastern end of the Araxes Valley seem to confirm the fact that Noah’s family spread out in this direction. Until the people left for Babel, this was the most logical region for expansion because it was easily accessible and flat, it followed the Aras (Araxes) River and it is extremely fertile. It also gives more insight into why the Biblical account was so precise in stating that those who founded Babel traveled “from the east”- Noah’s family had spread out in an eastward direction from the original landing site of the ark and Noah’s home. When the time came that this group banded together and left for “parts unknown”, the only direction they could travel was west (or “from the east”) as there were mountains to the north, the Caspian Sea to the east, and no major river going south for them to travel along.
Another Ancient Metal-Working Center ALSO in the Araxes Valley!
Another evidence which gives credence to the idea of Noah’s family expanding eastward along the Aras (Araxes) River is the fact that the other very early metallurgical center was at Nakhichevan! (PH, p. 54) There is no doubt that the immediate descendants of Noah would be those who had the earliest knowledge of metallurgy and employed it from the beginning.
But Where are All the Early Metal Objects?
Once again, we must understand certain facts in order to view the evidences properly. When ancient settlements are excavated, the archaeologists think that just because they find no metal objects that the people who lived there didn’t have metals. But metals were a precious commodity for a very long time, some even today. When people moved, they left their pottery behind because it was easy to make a new batch after they reached their new location and it was too bulky to try to carry on long journeys. This is not to say that they left every single piece- perhaps they used some to carry supplies in, but for the most part, pottery would be the objects left behind, along with other implements made of plentiful materials such as animal bone and obsidian. And these things ARE found in abundance in ancient sites. But metal implements would be considered very valuable and would therefore be carried along when people moved. For that reason, we cannot expect to find metal objects in these early sites. Even if an implement or tool is considered obsolete or new ones are desired, the metal from the old objects could be reshaped into the new items. Therefore, the absence of metal objects in an excavated site- especially these early sites that clearly have been abandoned and not destroyed by invaders- is to be expected. Well over 1,000 years later, when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC, he collected all the metal objects as spoils of war. (II Kings 25:13-17).
It is the tendency of scholars to try to explain evidences in the light of their own theories (most of which do NOT include the Biblical account). They constantly try to explain “advanced cultures”, such as the people who operated the metallurgy site at Metsamor, as having coming into an area from another area. Yet, they must admit certain things which absolutely point to the fact that the people in the region of eastern and northeastern Anatolia didn’t come from anywhere else; NEITHER did they receive their advanced knowledge from any foreign influence! (PH, p. 47). Well, actually some of them DID come from somewhere else, but it may as well have been another planet because the pre-flood world that was their original home was completely destroyed. For all practical purposes, mankind began again there; Noah’s descendants were BORN there; their advanced knowledge came from Noah and his sons who brought it from the pre-flood world. And from this region, mankind spread across the face of the earth. Evidences indicates that this Araxes Valley is the “original home from which this culture subsequently expanded in all directions.” (PH, p. 44.)
The Rapidly Growing Population of Predatory Animals
Why did the people remain in the Araxes Valley instead of immediately setting out to other regions? Well, for one thing, the population had to grow. Then, we must remember that there were no maps- the entire world was unknown to them. Oh, perhaps sometimes a group would scout around in the immediate vicinity looking for natural resources, etc. But there were other things which had to be considered- one of which we will now discuss. To fully comprehend the situation of those who lived just after the flood, we can only try to put ourselves in their situation. The problem is that we cannot even imagine what the world around the ark was like when the animal kingdom was reintroduced to their home, planet earth. It must have been terrifying at times, especially after a period of time, after the animals had grown in numbers.
After the flood, Noah and his family faced a world completely destroyed. In this “new, ragged and barren world” they had the task of breeding the animals from the ark and raising the first crops. As their families grew, they would have needed to establish their separate homes in communities where they could protect themselves and their domesticated flocks and herds from the rapidly increasing numbers of predatory animals. These predators, such as lions and tigers, reproduce in litters, having 6 or more young at a time, with very short gestation periods as opposed to people and domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep and goats who generally produce only one or 2 offspring at a time with much longer gestation periods.
With such a diversity of animals breeding freely in the region, many of which were predatory and quite dangerous to man and other animals, it would be extremely important for families and communities to remain together in order to provide protection for each other as well as for their flocks and herds. Ancient sites in Turkey have revealed large stone walls which, in the absence of any evidence of invaders, could only have only been for protection from the wild animals. Also, many ancient homes have been found which had no doorway but were entered through the roof by ladders which also could have been for this same purpose. Some were built side by side almost as one single unit, with doors entering a central courtyard with a single exit to the outside. (See PH, NN, EC and the numerous AS journals.) Also, many buried their dead below a stone slab under the floor of their houses which could very well have been to protect them from being dug up and eaten by animals. Man has long recognized the necessity of preventing animals from acquiring a taste for human flesh. A good example of this is the “man-eating tigers” we hear of occasionally.
The rapid growth of the predators must have made life very dangerous for Noah’s family. The situation was still the same during the time the children of Israel were entering the promised land: Exo 23:29 I will not drive them [the Hivite, the Hittite and the Canaanite] out from before the in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beasts of the field multiply against thee. Sadly, this situation set the stage for Nimrod’s claim to fame and great power as a result of his prowess as a hunter. There is a great deal of evidence of animals in the region which are no longer found there, such as an ostrich seen on a Hittite stele from Turkey. (IS, p. 100.) They have also found “…teeth and other fragments from the skeletons of hippopotamus, elephas antiquus [an extinct type of elephant], horse, cave bear and hyaena.” (MA, p. 14). These were not fossils- they were post-flood animals. They had much more to contend with than we can imagine.
Nimrod’s Influence Felt Even in This Century
Some things make such a monumental impression on people that they tend to be passed down through many, many generations. One such thing was the time when mankind and the vast array of rapidly reproducing animals began repopulating this earth again in close association with one another after the flood. We may have never given this a second thought as we read the story of Babel, but the evidences tell a story we need to think about. In the figurines and pottery forms of the earliest people, animals always were a major subject. On the one hand, people were very dependent upon cattle, goats and sheep for so many of their necessities. But on the other hand, they must have lived in great fear and danger with all the predators now competing for food. Nimrod, the great hunter, is the first person mentioned after the flood other than names given in the genealogies. We know he was a great man and that he built Babel, along with 3 other cities (and presumably more, since this was said to be the beginning of his kingdom). But what made him great, I believe, was his famed reputation as the “great hunter”.
One author who traveled much of Middle East in 1948, writes about a tale told him by Sir Leonard Woolley, the famed excavator of Ur.
“[He] once told me that the grandfather of a trusted overseer of his had killed a lion…. Here and there in the foothill region of Northern Syria, lions survived well into the second half of the nineteenth century. If a man wished to acquire fame and fortune (and also if he was strong and somewhat foolhardy!), he would announce that he would challenge a lion to single combat on a certain date…. The challenger was bound by certain traditional rules. He was allowed no weapon save a single sword. He was, however, allowed to swathe his left arm and hand defensively. This he did by wrapping them in enormous quantities of black goat’s-hair yarn (the stuff of which the black Beduin tents are woven). The lion advanced, and eventually sprang…. Lions, as they bite, automatically bring up their great fore-paws to help them hold and injure the prey. But here both fangs and claws spent their force in the entangling wool. This was the moment the man must seize. While mouth and fore legs were thus occupied, he must manage with one stroke of his sword to hamstring the lion’s left hind-leg. It is then only a matter of skill and agility to keep out of the range of the jaws while stabbing the creature to death. I say `only’; but obviously the skill and agility required were very considerable, and the man might still be mauled. Hence, the overseer’s grandfather killed his lion safely. He thenceforward had the appellation of Lion-killer added to his name, and never had to do any more work, as lion-killers were entertained at the public expense for the rest of their lives.” (FA,, pp. 168-170.)
Perhaps this may help us understand why Nimrod’s reputation as a great hunter was important enough to be mentioned in the Biblical account. It was and still is no easy task to tangle with wild animals. But before we had guns, it was a much more daunting one. And apparently those who were brave enough to take on these savage beasts were looked upon as god-like; especially considering the fact that Nimrod convinced everyone that he WAS a god. And so, 4,000 years later, in some remote area of northern Syria (close to Babel), those who killed lions received the great title of “Lion-Killer” and never had to work another day in their life. Even King David’s great fame included his abilities to kill dangerous animals. He killed a lion and a bear (Isa. 17:34-36).