Thor Heyerdahl decided to recreate the seagoing crafts of 3,000 BC. There were written records of giant oceangoing reed boats (sailable and steerable.) There were also drawings that he used in his constructions. One book documented his two attempts at papyrus boats RA I and RA II. The second book is about his Berdi reed boat, Tigris (The Tigris Expedition.) These boats could hog and snake to their hearts content because their floatation was due to the reeds, not a hollow space. He found marsh people who still mixed tar and pitch to make waterproof coatings. Tar was too hard and pitch too thin.
A careful reading of the Bible shows that it is a reed boat described. A reed boat would be unsinkable even in a storm, such as the Bible describes. I have a site that goes into detail. http://sites.google.com/site/noahsfloodsite/
As a sidelight, the claim that the world was one continent is based on one verse that says the land was divided. Probably a better interpretation is that people parceled out the land at that time, but best to stick to the thread idea, the boat that does float.
That sounds like RA 1 that was not built tightly and had to be abandoned short of reaching America. The second was tied tightly and sailed all the way across the Atlantic. The Tigris was built with new knowledge that the reeds must be picked, as I remember, in December. None were built using the tar and pitch used by the ancients, but the RA II and the Tigris lasted months. One recent reed shipbuilder built the ship with dried out reeds and did not make it half way across the Atlantic. The pieces of tar that were found in ancient shipbuilding sites had grooves for the reeds on one side and barnacles on the other. Our surviving records list two standard boats, the 300 and the 100. We think that they refer to some cargo capacity, but are not sure. What we do know is that we don't know all the secrets of reed shipbuilding that the ancients discovered. We can't say that they couldn't have built large boats until we learn more. For example, what type of mast did the Mata Rangi employ? Thor Heyerdahl stressed that a single pole mast like wooden ships use would destroy the ship. It is so easy to make the mistakes that the ancients learned to avoid.
I think the defining answer was several pages back when it was made clear that
* the boat would shear itself to pieces, even IF it floated safely * the boat would not float upright, it would roll, yaw and pitch and spin and then sink within a few minutes of a torrential flood * the boat would spring so many leaks it wouldn't last 40 days, let alone a year, no matter how calm the waters * the boat was non-ventilated, so the animals and people would die * it would be physically impossible to fit all the animals of all the world into a space that small * it would be physically impossible to fit all the food for all the animals of the world for a year into a space that small, even IF there weren't that many animals * it would be physically impossible to keep enough food fresh enough for all the animals of all the world to eat, without magical non-electric fridges and ice that kept cool but didn't melt * it would be physically impossible for a crew of 8? 12? to muck out AND run the ship containing all the animals of all the world, for 40 days and nights (let alone a year) * it would be physically impossible, even given magic scaling-up and magic trees, for one man to make a boat (that was the wrong shape to even float safely) that large with stone-age tools, even IF it took him 40 years * it would be physically impossible for that amount of water to even appear and then disappear from the surface of the earth * it would be physically impossible for such a small tribe of people to populate the entire earth in what amounts to three generations, even IF you handwave the inability of these people to cross the great oceans and seas
so, given that every. single. one. of those is an impossibility, isn't it just a tad unlikely that it ever actually happened?
That is true, if they interpreted the Bible right. If, instead, the ship was a reed boat, and the flood was a once in ten millennium flood in Sumer and the animals rescued were the animals of Sumer, all a reasonable interpretation of the verses, then most of your points are not valid.
*Reed boats are made to twist *Not sure about this point - yawing, rolling, etc. *There are no such things as leeks on a reed boat. Water drains through. *Ventilation depends on the interpretation - not sure *It is possible to put 2-7 animals of each type in Sumer on the ark *It is physically possible to fit enough dry food on the boat. *not sure if any food for carnivores was needed. *It is physically possible to muck out and man the boat for this much more limited # of animals. *Who said that Noah did not hire people to help him make the boat? *It is physically possible for a giant river flood (plus a possible landslide generated tsunami) to occur *It is physically possible for a small group and survivors from outside the flood area to repopulate Sumer.
Therefore, you did a great job of proving the interpretation does not represent a real event. That does not prove that the event described in the Bible never happened.
A couple of points. If the only animals on the ark were the wild animals found in the marshes of southern Sumer, the area flooded, and only the domestic animals that were adapted to the intense heat of Sumer, then there were not too many animals on the Ark.
If there were no significant predators in the region, other than cats, and other small carnivores, then meat for the carnivores would not be a problem.
Reed boats, like the Tigris made by Heyerdahl, remained seaworthy after months continuously in the seawater. They did not use the tar and pitch that the ancients used, which may have increased the length of time. We do know that chips of tar that we found from these ancient boats had significant sized barnacles on them, showing that they spent much more than a few weeks in the water.
Reed boats are solid crafts, not hollow like wooden boats. waves washing over the boat just flows down through the reeds. It is impossible for the boats to sink. They can break apart or run aground, but they can't sink. The Hogging and other bending movements that cause wooden boats to sink are not a problem with reed boats.
We have thousands of years of continuous boat building experience. What you say about wooden boats is true. We have lost most of the scientific knowledge of Reed boat building. The ancients had at least a thousand years to make many errors and learn improvements. We have only made 10 to 20 reed boats, and do not know all of their secrets. Did they solve all the problems you mentioned. When I said "I don't know." I meant that we have no scientific evidence if reed boats can overcome those problems.
Yes, some verses seem to be better interpreted as a whole world flood. Other verses seem to be better interpreted as meaning a regional flood. When you examine the original Hebrew in detail, either interpretation can be supported. When two interpretations seem equally valid, I prefer the one that fits known science much better.
Yes, a reed boat has problems, but more to do with sailing angles. wooden boats have a single mast that allows them to point closer into the wind. I love you who claim that they get waterlogged without examining the archaeological, historical and scientific evidence. You are the same ones who claim the Christians don't look at the science. Remember, these ships stayed in the water for over a year, the marsh floods could stay flooded for over a year, and this is a perfectly reasonable scenario.
It was interesting to read how Heyerdahl hired reed boat builders from Africa (Sudan or Chad) The boat became waterlogged before it reached America. He then hired reed boat builders from Lake Titicaca who built reeds boats made firm, tied very tightly. Though tar and pitch were not used, it sailed to America easily. Then He built a bigger boat out of Mesopotamian reeds. This time, he learned that the reeds had to be picked in December. Something in the reed allowed it to resist the water far longer. Again, with no Tar and pitch, the boat sailed for many months and at the end, this still very seaworthy boat was burned in protest to the Arab/Israeli war. Recently, a group tried to build and sail a boat east from America. They took these lessons but allowed the reeds to dry out without properly rehydrating them. The boat broke apart. Again, they did not use the tar and pitch. We do not know why tar and pitch were used, but ancient Sumerians always used the mixture. They built boats they called the 100 and other boats called the 300. The 300 was clearly used to trade all the way to Pakistan. They had to wait for the monsoon winds to change to sail back. We have recovered tar chips that have reed grooves on one side and barnacles on the other side. We have not learned all the secrets of the ancient boatbuilders because we have not learned even how or why the tar and pitch were used. We have learned that, built right, they don't become waterlogged like happens with some building methods.
As for size, we have proven that huge wooden boats can't be built. Giant Reed boats may or may not be possible. It has not been proven either way.
As for the posts that mention the Elephants, I am not arguing for elephants. Read my posts before you criticize.
Aramco reprinted part of Heyerdahl's Book, Tigris. It lists the harvesting of the reeds. I got the month wrong. Not tying the bundles tight, and harvesting in the wrong month leads to waterlogging. Done right, they claim it will last at least 9 months. Notice also the reference to loads in excess of 18 metric tons. http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198006/voyage.to.the.past.htm
Another site describes the reed boats of the Euphrates but refers to the oceangoing tar chips with barnacles and also concludes that the boats were seaworthy for extended periods. They conclude that the tar helps extend the length of time that the boat/rafts remain seaworthy. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3284/is_293_76/ai_n28946720/
Sorry, it is only an interpretation of the Bible that puts all animals of the world in the Ark. It is another and very doubtful interpretation that puts extinct animals on the ark. I have studied the passage, including the Hebrew and see that another valid interpretation is that it was a local flood and only the animals of that local region that were on the ark.
No that is not what I said. The ancients had thousands of years to perfect their reed boat building. We try to recreate their technology and make many of the mistakes they made. That is why I referred to the variety of mistakes we made. Though there were very good reasons that people eventually went to wooden boats, the reed boats were practical crafts. Practical Anthropology puts the theories of Theoretical anthropology to the test and often refutes theories. That has been happening with the reed boats. Even with the tar coating, we do not know why it was used. Was it waterproofing? Was it protection from wear and tear? some other reason? This is not settled.
More important was the length of time before reeds became waterlogged. One additional reference on my web site was the reed huts that the marsh Arabs lived in. They were floating structures. Every year, they added more reed bundles to compensate for the old (more than one or two years old) that had become waterlogged. Again, it shows the reeds do not become waterlogged in a few weeks.
At various times I have stated exactly where I stand. I believe that every word of the Bible is accurate, but the traditional interpretations are not. All along I have stated that the flood was regional, the ark was a giant reed boat/raft, and the animals rescued were only the ones that lived in the region, the Sumerian marsh area. Don't expect me to defend the traditional interpretation.
Yes, once a bad interpretation is chosen, one has to keep inventing new miracles to defend the original mistaken theory. This is much like the Ptolamaic earth centered star system. Copernicus made the sun the center of the solar system and eliminated all the corrections. I read someone who claims King Arthur was a warlord in a small section of Cornwall. The Archaeology seems to agree, but later writings magnified the event. People writing after the Bible magnified the event.
There are no high hills in the region of Sumer. Visibly, it is just a very flat plain with a "bowl" of the heavens above. The only hills/mountains were the proto-ziggurats. They were considered the mountains that reached into the heavens, the heavenly mountains by the Sumerians. It would make sense that the Jewish/Christian God would cover them and then have the ark land on them as an emphasis that that religion was false. All the visible "mountains" under the visible heavens were covered.
Of course, if the Ark was built with reeds, as the Bible indicates, it doesn't matter if the Ark twists because it is the reeds that float, not open spaces as in wooden boats. All ocean going boats of 3,000 BC were reed boats, so this makes sense. When built right, they were very sturdy in rough weather. This would explain why it was called an Ark rather than a ship.
Well, that word 'rooms' is actually a word that means erect and is a form of the word that means reeds. The word for wood is also translated stalks, and reeds fit the word stalks. Also, the only other floating craft called an ark was made of reeds. Furthermore, wood boats were only caulked at the seams with tar. The ancient reed boats and even modern reed objects of the area are coated inside and out with a mixture of tar and pitch. Rooms were built on top of the reeds. Large craft could have several stories. Thor Heyerdahl's, The Tigris Expedition, is a good book to read.