When Researchers Took 3D Scans Of A Turkish Mountain, They Seemingly Solved A Biblical Mystery

Whatever your religious persuasion, the impact that the Bible has had on the world is largely indisputable. For some, these verses from the earliest times can even be taken literally. Following this logic, then, it only stands to reason that archaeologists may be able to find actual evidence from the ancient times of the Old Testament. And a researcher who has scanned a mountain range in Turkey apparently claims to have done exactly that – and they may have located the remains of Noah’s Ark.

According to the Bible, Noah’s Ark was only built because of the great flood. And the original story of Noah and his Ark is in the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis – chapters six to nine. This is where you’ll also find an account of the creation of Earth and the fall of Adam and Eve.

So the story goes, God is unhappy with the way that part of his creation, the human race, has failed to meet his expectations. In Genesis, it says, “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” God decided to act forcefully, too, as the Bible verse continues, “… I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air…”

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But there was one man whom God believed to be worthy of saving: Noah. As Genesis says, “[He] was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” God also apparently decides to save Noah’s wife as well as his sons Japheth, Ham, Shem and their wives.

God’s punishment of humanity – excepting Noah and his kin, that is – is to take the form of a huge flood. He warns Noah of his intention and bids him to build an ark, giving him detailed instructions. Yes, according to the Bible, God decrees, “The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits and the height of it thirty cubits.”

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God further instructs Noah that the ark should not only be home to the devout believer and his family: a pair of all the animals of the world should be saved by the raft, too. So it says in the Bible, the deity tells him, “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.”

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The flood duly comes in what Genesis tells us was “the six hundredth year of Noah’s life,” and it lasts for 150 days – killing all living things on the planet save those aboard the boat. Finally, the flood abates, and God promises Noah that “[never] will [He] again smite any more every thing living.”

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Genesis does tell us where the ark came to rest. Yes, the Bible verse says it ended its journey “upon the mountains of Ararat” after the flood. And incredibly, reports in May 2017 seemingly line up with this. You see, researchers said they’d potentially found evidence of the remains of the Ark on Mount Ararat.

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The discovery in question was made by a documentary film outfit from Hong Kong called Noah’s Ark Ministries International – whose members are evangelical Christians. According to The Daily Express, filmmaker Yeung Wing-cheung said, “It’s not 100 percent [proven] that it is Noah’s Ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent [likely] that this is it.”

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The researchers claim to have discovered bits of timber which they have carbon-dated to 4,800 years ago. And they unearthed this evidence at an eye-watering altitude of 13,000 feet on Mount Ararat. This is a dormant volcano in Turkey – just across the border from the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

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It seems that the Ark is remarkably well preserved. According to The Daily Express, Man-fai Yuen – another member of the research team – said, “The structure is partitioned into different spaces. We believe that the wooden structure we entered is the same structure recorded in historical accounts.” And this picture purports to show the interior of the Ark.

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Amazingly, we even have a photograph of one of the researchers inside the structure that the Noah’s Ark Ministries International team claims they found on the mountain. One of the researchers, Panda Lee, was also interviewed by The Daily Express, saying, “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.”

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But this isn’t the first time that scientists claim to have discovered Noah’s Ark – far from it. In fact, people have said they’ve found the fabled ship for centuries. In 1722, for instance, a French Benedictine monk called Antoine Augustin Calmet opined his thoughts in his dictionary of the Bible. He wrote, “It is affirmed, but without proof, that there are still remains of Noah’s Ark on the top of this mountain; but M. de Tournefort, who visited this spot, has assured us there was nothing like it.”

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And in 1876 the British aristocrat and explorer James Bryce climbed Mount Ararat. He claimed to have found a piece of wood that was five inches thick, and he said this was certainly a fragment from Noah’s Ark. Moving on to the 20th century, astronaut James Irwin mounted a series of fruitless expeditions in search of the Ark.

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Yet although Mount Ararat has been the focus of most searches for remains of Noah’s Ark, other locations have also been favored by some. For example, in the 1980s and ’90s the Ark Discovery Institute claimed that the remains were actually to be found at the Durupinar site on another Turkish mountain: Tendürek. But geologists say the ark-like shape there is a natural occurrence.

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But Noah’s Ark Ministries International chose to focus their efforts on Mount Ararat and studied the area from 2010 onwards. Seven years after their project began, the group released a YouTube video which seemingly depicted a cave with walls covered in fossilized timber from the Ark.

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And you may feel a sense of déjà vu, as Yeung Wing-Cheung – presumably the same researcher – apparently told Agence-France Presse a familiar statement in 2010. You see, the scientist is quoted as saying, “It’s not 100 percent [proven] that it is Noah’s Ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent [likely] that this is it.” Peculiar indeed.

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Back in 2010, though, National Geographic seemed to be less than convinced by the finds announced that year. And the venerable publication’s report quoted archaeologist Paul Zimansky, a Middle East expert from Stony Brook University. He said, “I don’t know of any expedition that ever went looking for the Ark and didn’t find it.”

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However, another expert seemed to be more convinced about the validity of the team’s findings. In 2017 The Daily Express returned to the Mount Ararat story once more. But now, there was a new expert to speak on the discovery of Noah’s Ark. Professor Dr. Oktay Belli told the newspaper, “The flood is not a myth, but a real incident mentioned in all holy books.”

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Conversely, in another article that covered the story, the paper had quoted British archaeologist Mike Pitts who had a decidedly different stance. He told The Daily Express, “If there had been a flood capable of lifting a huge ship four kilometers up the side of a mountain 4,800 years ago, I think there would be substantial geological evidence for this flood around the world – and there isn’t.”

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But new evidence emerged in November 2019 about the possible location of Noah’s Ark. And this time, researchers switched their focus to the Durupinar site that we mentioned earlier. Then, it appeared that Mount Ararat’s claim to be the site of the remains of Noah’s Ark was momentarily eclipsed. That’s because the Durupinar site is located on an entirely different mountain.

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The Durupinar site is set on Mount Tendürek in eastern Turkey – just a couple of miles north of the country’s border with Iran. The mountain lies some 30 miles to the southwest of Mount Ararat, and it’s an inactive volcano that extends to an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet. For reference, Tendürek covers an area of some 250 square miles.

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And the Durupinar site is set in the Turkish province of Ağrı, which is about 18 miles from the summit of Ararat and ten miles from the historic city of Doğubeyazıt. Some structures in the region date back more than 2,700 years to the time of the Urartu kings. These were Iron Age rulers who commanded what is often called the Kingdom of Van.

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The Durupinar site sits at around 6,500 feet above sea level – seemingly making it a plausible spot for Noah’s Ark to have landed upon as the floodwaters receded. But what has fired the imagination of researchers bent on finding the remains of Noah’s boat is a peculiar boat-shaped stone structure at the center of this enigmatic site.

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And this strange geological feature on Mount Tendürek was apparently first discovered many decades ago. You see, it was a Kurdish shepherd called Reshit Sarihan who first noticed the structure in 1948. Fascinatingly, it’s said to have been revealed from beneath layers of earth displaced by earthquakes and washed away by heavy rains.

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It took over a decade for this spot on the flanks of Mount Tendürek to get its name, though. In 1959 Captain İlhan Durupınar was flying a mission with the Turkish Air force on behalf of NATO. His plane was taking aerial photos around the Aararta Mountains – including Tendürek. Durupinar’s images included a shot of the strange boat-like formation on the mountain, and the site subsequently took on the captain’s name.

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Durupinar informed the Turkish government of his find, and he and others journeyed to the site to examine it in 1960. Sadly, though, their investigations failed to turn up any archeological material. And they certainly tried novel methods, such as blowing up sections of the site with dynamite. However, a photograph of the so-called boat was published in Life that same year, and this image piqued the interest of an American called Ron Wyatt.

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Wyatt – a devout Christian – was working at a hospital in Madison, Tennessee, as a nurse when he saw the picture in Life. And, incredibly, it inspired him to start a career as an amateur archeologist. But it was 1977 before the Seventh-day Adventist was able to visit the site himself. And once he was there, he was in no doubt. In his eyes, these rocks in the shape of a boat were the remains of Noah’s Ark.

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So, through the 1980s and ’90s, Wyatt promoted his belief that Noah’s Ark had been found at the Durupinar site on Mount Tendürek. He did his best to convince others of his view, including the U.S. astronaut Colonel James Irwin. Nevertheless, the latter, although a believer in the literal truth of the Bible, rejected Wyatt’s assertions about the Ark after visiting the site himself.

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Wyatt even managed to convince a real scientist – geophysicist John Baumgardner – to join him in his investigations. And although the expert flirted with creationism, he did have a geophysics Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1985 Wyatt and Baumgardner – accompanied by ex-U.S. Merchant Marine officer David Fasold – mounted an expedition to Mount Tendürek.

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When the party arrived at the Durupinar site, Fasold was not only convinced that what he saw was a shipwreck: he believed it was the remains of Noah’s Ark, too. The former officer measured the rock formation and found that it was 538 feet long. This, in his view, matched the Biblical description of the Ark, which says that the ship was around 515 feet long. And that, apparently, was close enough to convince Fasold.

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Fasold had brought advanced ground-penetrating radar equipment with him, too, and claimed that the readings he took showed that the “shipwreck” had a regular structure consistent with the interior of a vessel. What’s more, the team found some large rocks nearby with holes drilled in them. Fasold was convinced that those must be primitive anchors which Noah would have used.

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But Baumgardner – who was, as far as we know, the only actual scientist on the expedition – took a different view once he’d seen the site for himself. Yes, the expert was unconvinced by what he found there and concluded that the boat-shaped rocks were a natural formation. And that has been the position taken by serious geologists.

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Whatever the truth of Wyatt’s assertion that the formation at Durupinar was the remains of Noah’s Ark, though, it’s hard not to respect the man for his dogged determination. In 1990, for instance, he managed to recruit an Australian named Dr. Allen Roberts to accompany him on another expedition to Mount Tendürek. But the trip did not turn out as they’d planned.

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Terrifyingly, guerrillas from the Kurdish Workers Party – which was active at the time in this volatile border area between Turkey and Iran – kidnapped Wyatt and Roberts along with three others. The five were held captive for three weeks, but in the end the Kurds released them unharmed. Wyatt was a man who was prepared to take risks, then, in his zeal to promote the idea that he’d found Noah’s Ark. However, he sadly died in 1999 – before the world was fully convinced of his ideas.

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And that brings us to the most recent claims that have been made about the boat-like formation on the slopes of Mount Tendürek. The man behind the latest story is filmmaker Cem Sertesen – director of the 2017 documentary Noah’s Ark. He claims to have new information about the Durupinar site. He’s now made another documentary, too, about what he says may be the rocky remains of Noah’s Ark.

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In November 2019 Sertesen told the Anadolu Agency – a Turkish news bureau – that he’d been examining the Durupinar site. The agency’s story was picked up by various media companies, including the British tabloid The Sun and Fox News. Sertesen worked with a computer engineer and archeologist called Andrew Jones as well as the geophysicist John Larsen. Their university affiliations or academic credentials, if they have them, were not mentioned. However, they are credited with modeling the site in three dimensions.

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Sertesen explained to the Anadolu Agency that the three-dimensional images of the formation at Durupinar had been made by using cables to transmit electric signals through the ground. And he described what the research had found, saying, “These are the actual images of Noah’s Ark. They are neither fake nor simulation. They show the entire ship buried underground.”

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Surprisingly, though, after Sertesen’s initial burst of confidence, within the same Anadolu Agency article, he seemed to contradict himself. He said, “It’s a ship, but it’s too early to be called Noah’s Ark. We have to do a lot of work. This can only be done with the support of universities and the Turkish state.”

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Sertesen has made a new documentary, meanwhile, called Noah’s Ark-2. It features his underground three-dimensional footage, which may or may not show the biblical vessel. As yet, the film has no release date. However, if and when the documentary comes out, no doubt we’ll be able to make a judgment about Sertesen’s claims based on the evidence he provides.

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And thousands of miles away, another mountain-side discovery appears to shed new light on a famous Biblical story. Yes, after ice was taken from Mount Kilimanjaro in 2000, scientists set to work analyzing the valuable samples. When they investigated what had been taken from the famous landmark, however, the experts found something entirely unexpected – and completely stunning. You see, the ice doesn’t just tell us a great deal about how our planet has changed over the millennia. It also appears that the fragments could be evidence to support a well-known Bible passage in the Book of Genesis.

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That said, ice cores – including those ones from Kilimanjaro – can often shed light on events in human history. Scientists extract the cores by drilling into glaciers and ice sheets around the world – everywhere from the tropics to the polar regions – either by hand or with specialist machinery. And as power-drilled cores can travel to depths in excess of two miles, elements of that ice may have been on the planet for as long as 800,000 years.

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But how can these cores tell us so much about the Earth? Well, many ice fields and glaciers have been formed over millennia, and as each layer of ice is added it creates a record of the climate during that time. For example, water may contain preserved bubbles of air that originate from the period in which it froze. And these findings can then be examined in a lab in order to decipher information such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during a particular era.

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In that way, ice cores can provide key information about former climatic conditions on our planet. But that’s not all. In some cases, you see, the cores can also help us to understand events in human history for which there is no credible documentation. And, on occasion, they may be able to prove that fables such as those contained in the Bible actually do have some basis in fact.

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Furthermore, as we’ve already mentioned, those ice cores from Mount Kilimanjaro did seem to confirm a story from the Old Testament. We’ll look at the precise details of the discovery in a moment, but first, let’s learn more about Kilimanjaro itself. And this tale takes us back many millions of years – to a time before humans had evolved in Africa.

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As some may know, Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park. Geography buffs will tell you, too, that the United Republic of Tanzania – to give the country its proper name – is located on the east coast of the African continent and has borders with eight other nations, including Kenya and Uganda. Tanzania’s 885 miles of coast also overlooks the Indian Ocean.

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Kilimanjaro National Park, meanwhile, sits near Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya and covers 652 square miles. And the sprawling land in fact plays home to a group of indigenous people: the Bantu-speaking Chaga, who migrated to the area from about the 11th century onwards. The Chaga’s economy is largely based on agriculture, and their arabica coffee beans are exported around the world.

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The Chaga are certainly not alone in the park, however, as the attraction also hosts a wide variety of wildlife – including elephants and leopards. Also living on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro is the tree hyrax – a nocturnal mammal with a bushy coat that is actually a distant relative of the elephant. Blue monkeys, western black and white colobuses and Cape buffaloes have all taken up residence in Kilimanjaro National Park, too.

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Mount Kilimanjaro itself, meanwhile, consists of three peaks – all of which have been formed from currently inactive volcanoes. This trio is comprised of Kibo, which has a summit 16,893 feet above sea level; Mawenzi, which rises to 16,893 feet; and Shira, which possesses a summit of 13,140 feet from sea level. Of the three, however, only Kibo could potentially erupt again in the future.

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Shira’s life as an active volcano started around two and a half million years ago, with this explosive period lasting for some 600,000 years. Today, though, Shira has a large plateau at around 12,500 feet that is surrounded by the remnants of its caldera – or the lipped edge typical of a volcanic mountain. The caldera has been much reduced over the millennia, too, as the result of erosion.

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The volcanic activity from Kibo and Mawenzi, though, was much more recent – taking place about one million years ago. And, as it happens, Mawenzi and Kibo also have a plateau between them – known as the Saddle – at an altitude of about 14,400 feet. All of Kilimanjaro’s rugged peaks also have a range of features, including secondary summits, pinnacles and ridges that have been formed by the eroding action of wind and rain.

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The environment around the dormant volcano is pretty verdant to boot. About 1,000 square miles of the land around the mountains are forested, although the Kilimanjaro foothills are cultivated by local farmers. There, they harvest a selection of crops, including beans, sunflowers, maize and wheat. The coffee mentioned earlier grows a little higher up the slopes, however, at an altitude of around 3,000 to 6,000 feet.

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As for the highest of the three Kilimanjaro peaks? Well, it appears that Kibo last erupted between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Evidence for this comes in the form of fumaroles – breaches in the rock surface that still give off gases. Kibo’s caldera, meanwhile, is a little over one and a half miles across and includes the Reusch Crater. This feature was named after mountaineer Gustav Reusch on the occasion of his 25th climb to the mountain’s summit.

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Of course, for East African people, Mount Kilimanjaro has been a familiar landmark for thousands of years. But it was only as recently as 1848 that modern Europeans first got a close-up view of the majestic, ice-covered peaks. And the lucky men in question were two German missionaries: Johann Krapf and Johannes Rebmann.

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What’s more, on May 11, 1848, Rebmann wrote an entry in his diary that documented what he and Krapf had seen. According to Hans Meyer’s 1891 book Across East African Glaciers: An Account of the First Ascent of Kilimanjaro, the explorer explained, “This morning, at 10 o’clock, we obtained a clearer view of the mountains of Jagga – the summit of one of which was covered by what looked like a beautiful white cloud.” Jagga was an alternative name for Mount Kilimanjaro at the time.

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Rebmann’s diary entry continued, “When I inquired as to the dazzling whiteness, the guide merely called it ‘cold,’ and at once I knew it could be neither more nor less than snow… Immediately I understood how to interpret the marvelous tales Dr. Krapf and I had heard at the coast of a vast mountain of gold and silver in the far interior – the approach to which was guarded by evil spirits.”

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Then, once Europeans had managed to reach Kilimanjaro, there were a number of unsuccessful attempts to climb to Kibo’s peak. Finally, in 1889, Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller made it to Kibo’s summit, which is on the south side of the mountain’s crater.

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Meyer – a German geographer who wrote that aforementioned book about Kilimanjaro – had made the attempt on Kibo twice before but had failed on both occasions. At the age of 31, however, he finally succeeded along with his Austrian mountaineer companion. The two had reached the summit thanks to a carefully planned system of well-supplied base camps.

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It would be nearly another 25 years, though, before any European reached the summit of Mawenzi. That technically more arduous climb was conquered in the end by Germans Fritz Klute and Eduard Oehler in 1912. And, of course, ever since those milestones were achieved, people from all around the world have flocked to Kilimanjaro to trek up its slopes. As many as 25,000 visit the mountain each year, in fact.

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At well over 19,000 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest peak; it’s also the highest free-standing mountain anywhere in the world. And, naturally, the landmark’s height is the reason why it features snow cover and glaciers even though it is in the tropics and relatively close to the Equator.

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Indeed, night-time temperatures on Kilimanjaro’s slopes and summit can fall to as low as −20 °F. Yet despite this, it’s well established that snow cover and glaciers atop the mountain have been shrinking. And while this phenomenon occurred for most of the 20th century – melting was recorded from 1912 to 1953, for instance – ice cover diminution has only continued at a faster pace since then.

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Scientists view the decreasing amount of ice on Kilimanjaro as part of a wider global trend of glacial retreat, with some even believing that the material will have disappeared entirely from the mountain by 2060. But while the dissipation of the ice has been linked to climate change, there may also be other local environmental factors at work – such as deforestation.

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In any case, in 2000 researchers drilled six cores from Kilimanjaro’s ice as a means of helping determine the causes of the mountain’s disappearing frozen water reserves. A team led by Ohio State University geologist Lonnie Thompson camped for about a month at an altitude of 19,300 feet on the slopes of Kilimanjaro in order to retrieve the cores.

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Getting the required samples was hardly easy, either. For one, the operation led by Thompson required no fewer than 25 different permissions from various Tanzanian agencies. And after the team were finally given the green light, they still had to get their equipment up the mountain to the drilling site – a task that ultimately entailed no fewer than 92 porters.

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Meanwhile, the holes drilled to extract the cylindrical ice cores varied from 30 to almost 170 feet in length, with most at the higher end of that range. Then, two years after the cores had been obtained, Thompson and several of his colleagues published a paper that was based on analysis of the ice samples and entitled “Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change in Tropical Africa.”

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And as the name of that article suggests, the reason why Thompson and his fellow scientists had traveled up Mount Kilimanjaro was in order to study the impact of climate change on those high ice fields. But there was yet another find along the way. Ultimately, you see, the group also appeared to verify a story from the Book of Genesis.

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Before we show the relevance of the scientists’ research to that tale in the Old Testament, however, let’s just take a look at the dating methods that they used. First off, the way in which the age of the ice cores was calculated actually had its origins in nuclear bomb tests that had taken place in 1951 and 1952. You see, those tests had actually released an isotope called chlorine-36. And once this radioactive material had been detected in the cores, this could subsequently be used as a marker to date the whole historic extent of the ice cylinders.

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Upon investigation, then, the cores offered evidence of a drought in Africa that had started about 8,300 years ago and persisted for some 500 years. Thompson explained this discovery further in a 2002 press release from Ohio State University, saying, “We believe that this represents a time when the lakes of Africa were drying up.” The ice also showed a later drought that took place around 5,200 years ago.

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But it was a third drought from about 4,000 years ago – and which lasted for 300 years – that seemingly tied in with the story of Joseph as recorded in the Book of Genesis. And as it happens, that tale is not only found in the Christian Bible but also in the Islamic Qur’an and the Jewish Torah.

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As some may already know, the purported events of Joseph’s life are recounted in chapters 37 to 50 of Genesis. And according to this account, the man in question was the 11th son of Jacob, who had been born when his father was married to his second wife Rachel. It seems, too, that Joseph was a particular favorite of his dad’s.

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The story goes that Jacob subsequently gave Joseph “a coat of many colors” as a means of showing his affection. But apparently this gift – with its clear connotations of favoritism – made Joseph’s brothers intensely envious. And as Genesis relates, the men’s antagonism towards their young brother was only heightened by the mystical dreams that Joseph claimed to have – as well as his reported ability to interpret them.

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Then the Bible claims that the brothers seized Joseph in a fit of envy. Some of Joseph’s siblings are said to have wanted to murder him, in fact, but instead he was supposedly sold into slavery to a band of traders whose camel train was on its way to Egypt. And in order to conceal their crime from Jacob, the brothers reportedly smeared Joseph’s coat with goat’s blood and presented it as evidence that he had died.

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So, as the tale relates, Joseph began life in a foreign land as a house slave to a rich Egyptian called Potiphar. Unfortunately, though, Potiphar’s wife Zuleika apparently took a shine to Joseph and made her feelings known. And while Joseph is said to have rebuffed those advances, his reward for loyalty to his master was to be thrown into prison after Zuleika laid false rape charges against him.

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The Book of Genesis also says that Joseph’s talent for interpreting the dreams of others came to the fore when he was incarcerated – and that he actually performed such a service for two of his fellow prisoners. These men were no ordinary criminals, either; one had been the Egyptian pharaoh’s chief baker, while the other had worked as the ruler’s cup-bearer. Joseph’s translation of the cup-bearer’s dream, then, was that he would be restored to his previous position. The baker, on the other hand, would be executed. And as the Bible tells it, both prophecies ultimately proved correct.

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Then, a couple of years later, the pharoah himself apparently had a strange dream. In this vision, he reputedly saw seven emaciated cattle eating seven well-fed cows; he also imagined seven wilted ears of corn eating seven healthy ears of grain. And although no one at court could tell their ruler what these disturbing scenes meant, the pharaoh’s restored cup-bearer remembered his former prison mate’s dream-interpreting talent.

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So, the biblical account claims that the pharaoh sent for Joseph, who would tell the other man the meaning of his dreams. In Joseph’s eyes, it’s said, Egypt would enjoy seven years of plenty before subsequently suffering seven years of famine. And the pharaoh was reportedly so impressed by the former slave that he would appoint him to be his vizier – a senior adviser and official.

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As the story explains, Joseph as vizier then set about storing great quantities of grain during the seven good years that followed. In this way, when the seven years of drought and famine came along – just as had been predicted – these grain hoards were able to see Egypt through hard times.

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And it’s this period of drought recorded in the Book of Genesis – and which scholars claim took place between approximately 3,600 and 3,700 years ago – that ties in with the findings of Thompson and his team. You’ll remember that the ice cores showed a drought had likely started in the area about 4,000 years ago and extended for some three centuries.

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More specifically, the evidence that the scientists had uncovered for this barren period had been a thin layer of dust in the ice cores. And along with the account in Genesis, there are other ancient records that indicate Egypt had been troubled by a drought so severe that it ultimately put the authority of the pharaohs at risk. Before then, parts of the Sahara desert as we know it today had been fertile land.

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And this unusual conjunction of biblical storytelling and modern scientific fact seems to further bolster the tale of Joseph’s drought prophecy. Yes, while very few take the Old Testament as literal history, Thompson’s Kilimanjaro ice cores appear to show that verifiable facts from thousands of years ago are nevertheless woven into its tales.

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