Mount Ararat or Mount Judi?
Where did Noah's Ark land? The Bible says: "the mountains of Ararat" .... The Qur'an says: "the heights". Which one? Are they the same place or are they different? Is the Ark at both of these locations? I have received several letters from concerned Christians and Muslims. I tried to look at this objectively and found some interesting things.
Mount Ararat seems to be the easier mountain to find, possibly from the large amount of information about Mount Ararat and all the "famous" searches at that location.
Mount Judi seemed to be a little harder to find. However, through the help of personal and Web friends, I believe I have found some information which is accurate and revealing!
Known in Turkey as "Agri Dagh", Mount Ararat represents the Bible's location for Noah's Ark. To be specific and clear, the bible says the following:
Genesis 8:4 "Then the ark rested ... on the mountains of Ararat." (NKJV)
Note that the bible does not specifically say, Mount Ararat. However, this being the highest place in the mountains of Ararat lends itself to become the biblical location and thus the area of intense Ark searches by many Christians.
Known in Turkey as "Cudi Dagh", Mount Judi represents the Qur'an's location for Noah's Ark. First and foremost, be careful when discussing the location of Mount Judi! There is truly a lot of confusion over its location. What I mean is this:
The following is taken from the article by Bill Crouse in Archaeology and Biblical Research,Noah's Ark: Its Final Berth Vol. 5, No. 3. Summer, 1992.
Cudi Dagh is located approximately 200 miles south of Mt. Ararat in southern Turkey almost within eyesight of the Syrian and Iraqi borders.11 The Tigris River flows at its base. The exact co-ordinates are 37 degrees, 21 minutes N., and 42 degrees, 17 minutes E. In literature it has also been called "Mt Judi", "Mt. Cardu", "Mt. Quardu", "the Gordyene mountains", "Gordian mountains", "The Karduchian mountains", "the mountains of the Kurds", and to the Assyrians: "Mt. Nipur "(see photo #1) . It is also important to note that at times this mountain has even been called "Mt. Ararat". At about 7000 feet altitude it is not a terribly high mountain, though it is snow-capped most of the year. The current edition of the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ISLAM lists it as "over 13,000 feet and largely unexplored." We are unsure of the exact altitude, but it seems strange that it would not be noted on our modern aerial navigation map if it were 13,000 feet!
Most modern maps do not show the location of Cudi Dagh. It is, however, located about 25 miles from the Tigris River (see map), just east of the present Turkish city of Gizre and still within the bounds of the Biblical region of Ararat (Urartu).12
Cudi Dagh overlooks the all-important Mesopotamian plain and is notable for its many archaeological ruins in and around the mountain. There are also many references to it in ancient history.13 Sennacherib (700 B.C.), the Assyrian king, carved rock reliefs of himself on the side of the mountain (see photo #2).14 The Nestorians (a sect of Christianity) built several monasteries around the mountain including one on the summit called "The Cloister of the Ark". It was destroyed by lightning in 766 A.D.15 The Muslims later built a mosque on the site. In 1910, Gertrude Bell explored the area and found a stone structure still at the summit with the shape of a ship (see photo #3) called by the locals "Sefinet Nebi Nuh" "The Ship of Noah". Bell also reports that annually on September 14, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sabians and Yezidis gather on the mountain to commemorate Noah's sacrifice.16 As late as 1949 two Turkish journalists claimed to have seen the Ark on this mountain, a ship 500 feet in length!17
For clarity I add this sensational article from the London Observer:
The Observer (London)
16 Jan 1994
'Arkologists' claim to have found Noah's Ark
By Martin Wroe
LONDON -- Noah's Ark has been found on the Turkish-Iranian border, 32 kilometres from Mount Ararat, according to the leader of a team of scientists that has been investigating the site for six years.
The Turkish government is so convinced by the findings that, after years of intransigence, it has designated the site one of special archaeological interest and agreed to its excavation next summer.
The remote site contains a buried, ship-like object, resting an altitude of 2,300 metres.
At 170 metres long and 45 metres wide, it conforms almost exactly to the 300 cubit by 50 cubit boat that God told Noah to build, according to Genesis 6 in the Bible.
On surrounding terrain, the American and Middle Eastern scientists have identified huge stones with holes carved at one end, which they believe are "drogue-stones," dragged behind ships in the ancient world to stabilize them. Radar soundings indicate unusual levels of iron-oxide distribution.
Salih Bayraktutan, head of geology at Turkey's Ataturk University, estimates the age of the 'vessel' at more than 100,000 years.
"It is a man-made structure and for sure it is Noah's Ark."
The site is directly below the mountain of Al Judi, named in the Qur'an as the Ark's resting place.
David Fasold, an American shipwreck specialist with no religious affiliation, has led the investigation. He says subsurface radar surveys of the site have produced "very good pictures."
"The radar imagery at about 25 metres down from the stern is so clear that you can count the floorboards between the walls."
He believes the team has found the fossilized remains of the upper deck and that the original reed substructure has disappeared.
But the findings have infuriated the scores of Christian Ark-hunters who travel to Turkey, convinced the Ark will only be found on Mount Ararat.
Fasold, who calls himself an "Arkologist," also argues that it was not a great flood that pushed the Ark into the mountains. He says it was "an astronomical event causing a tectonic upheaval, a tidal bore causing gravitational pull in the ocean waters that forced the boat into the mountains."
Some of Fasold's team of geophysicists and geologists are reserving final judgement until the excavation and carbon-dating.
But in a British TV series on the environment next month, team member Vendyl Jones, a Middle East archeologist and inspiration for film character Indiana Jones, says it is "between maybe and probably" that they have found Noah's Ark.
As you see in the drawing, the "buried ship" or the item discussed above is located south of Mount Ararat by 20 miles.
Additionally, as indicated by the drawing, Mount Judi is locate 30 miles south of Lake Van which is 200 miles south of Mount Ararat.
Even with the above information, could Mount Ararat and Mount Judi be the same location? Bear with me and let's see.....
Taken from Charles Berlitz, The Lost Ship of Noah, we find the following:
Mount Judi, Spelled Cudi-Dagh in Turkish means "highest" or "the heights" in Arabic and for this reason a number of people in Eastern Turkey, including some Islamic scholars, think Al Judi refers to Ararat. But Cudi-Dagh is actually located south of Lake Van, rising to a height of 7700 feet. The local tribesmen there maintain that the Ark drifted to a high point in the Cudi mountain chain and that the remains of it are still on the top of Cudi-Dagh, the highest mountain in the area. ....
There is a mountain named Judi. There is a mountain named Ararat. They are both located within the bounds of the Biblical region of Ararat (Urartu). It is very possible that both the Bible and the Qur'an speak in unison on this issue. Could it be that both Mount Ararat and Mount Judi are the same location? As you can see, some of today's authors use the two words and locations interchangeably regarding the location of the Ark.
In peace, I submit to you that the Qur'an location of "the heights" and the Bible location of the "mountains of Ararat" are the same location even though there are two different mountains named as such. The location that is currently studied and the highest location in the Ararat region is Mount Ararat. It is this mountain that can be identified by both holy books as the mountain that Prophet Noah's Ark rested. As always, I humbly say, inshaa Allah (let it be according to God's will).