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"Noah's Ark" Prehistoric Site Exhibits Unique Placement of Artifacts

Archaeological remains, from a monumental wood structure on Mount Ararat, indicate later cultures venerated the locale by placing artifacts at an entrance to the site.

 

Miami, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/25/2013 -- Harvard University educated archaeologist and president of the archaeological contract firm PRC, Inc., Dr. Joel Klenck, reports that a prehistoric site on Mount Ararat in Turkey, associated with Noah’s Ark by several religious organizations, exhibits a unique division of artifacts.

Klenck remarks, “Archaeological sites on Ararat, which comprise a monumental wood structure, smaller wood edifices, and a cave, originate from the Late Epipaleolithic Period (13,100 to 9,600 B.C.). Inside the monumental wood structure, there is a very interesting placement of artifacts.”

The archaeologist states, “To access the structure, later cultures excavated a sharply angled passage through rocks and glacial ice to access an entrance to an ancient monumental wood structure. This entrance, Locus 4, is also sharply angled and features a rudimentary stair-like feature, a notched log, in the center of a narrow passage made of cypress wood. The base of Locus 4 comprises a rectangular installation, exhibiting a series of cypress planks on the floor covered by a dark bitumen or resin material, which leads to four other loci at the site. In Locus 4, cultures from the Pottery Neolithic Period (7,000-5,800 B.C.) to the time of the Bronze-Iron Age transition (around 1,350 B.C.), deposited ceramic containers and other artifacts. These mostly small bowls were filled with libations or other materials as evidenced by stains in the interiors of several of these containers. Other artifacts found at the base of Locus 4 include a basalt figure resembling a claw or foot, a limestone artifact, and an artifact of unknown composition—perhaps originating from a naturally occuring petroleum-based substance.”

Klenck continues: “It is extremely interesting that the ceramic bowls from later periods were only found in Locus 4. Farther into the interior of the structure there appears to be no ceramic remains but artifacts from the Late Epipaleolithic Period comprising stone bowls, wild grains and legumes, a non-ceramic container, and bone and flax artifacts. The placement of the artifacts suggests that later visitors venerated the locale by leaving ceramic artifacts and other objects at an entrance to the site without significantly disturbing the interior of the wood edifice with their own material culture.”

The archaeologist remarks, “The deposition of small ceramic objects at temples is a very familiar practice in the Levant during the Bronze Age (3,000-1,200 B.C.). During this period, worshippers would leave small votive bowls or juglets in pits within a cult area. Two examples of this practice are the archaeological sites of Byblos in Lebanon and Tel-Haror in Israel. What is interesting about Locus 4, in the monumental wood structure on Ararat, is that the ceramic artifacts represent cultures temporally separated by thousands of years. The ceramic artifacts evidence that cultures, from the Pottery Neolithic Period (7,000-5,800 B.C.) to the time of the Bronze-Iron Age transition (around 1,350 B.C.), considered the monumental wood structure on Mount Ararat to be special—so special that they deposited whole ceramic bowls and other artifacts at the entrance to the structure without significantly disturbing the interior of the edifice.”

The archaeologist concludes, “The placement of the artifacts in the monumental wood structure on Mount Ararat is unique and reveals that the site was considered a place of veneration for thousands of years by different cultures. These acts of veneration helped preserve the more ancient material culture, from the Late Epipaleolithic Period (13,100 to 9,600 B.C.), within the interior of the structure.”

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