‘It’s not 100 per cent that it is Noah’s Ark, but we think it is 99.9 per cent that this is it,’ said Yeung Wing-cheung, a filmmaker working with the 15-strong team of fundamentalist Christians exploring the Turkish mountain.
They said wood taken from the site, which is more than 13,000ft above sea level, dates to 2,800BC. If it is the ark, the discovery would be the greatest in the history of archaeology and bear out one of the most famous stories in the Bible.
The team of Turks and Chinese researchers from Noah’s Ark Ministries International in Hong Kong say they made the discovery on Ararat – the biblical resting place of the ark – in October.
At a press conference yesterday to announce the discovery, another team member, Panda Lee, said: ‘I saw a structure built with plank-like timber.
‘Each plank was about eight inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails.
‘We walked about 100 metres to another site. I could see broken wood fragments embedded in a glacier, and some 20 metres long.’
The structure had several compartments, some with wooden beams, the team said.