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At the landing site of the ark – Page 2

Gertrude Bell

At that time, the British research traveler Gertrude Bell visited the mountain. She climbed the summit, where the ark landed, and took some photos. These are (almost, more on this later) the only images that are available from the ruins of an old monastery on the top of the mountain. And she knows to tell a lot about the Cudi and his story:

More documents of Gertrude Bell concerning the Mount Cudi can be found in the digital archive of Newcastle University in England:

Bells Photos of Cudi are also archived online:

Hard to find, but very instructive: This panoramic image shows the view from the top of Cudi.

The most important parts of the diary: »Thursday May 13, 1909: Off at 4 with Selim and the donkey, Abdul Mejid (one of my soldiers) Kas Mattai and Shim'un to Judi Dagh [Cudi Dag]. We walked for about 21/2 hours up through oak woods acanthus and along the upper slopes of the hills under precipitous crags. Then I climbed to the top and found alpine uplands with snow wreaths and a high rocky peak. [...] At the bottom of the crags we left the donkey with Mejid and climbed up for half an hour to the sefinah which we reached at 8.35. The scarlet tulip still in flower round it.«

The crew of Gertrude Bell on the summit of Mount Cudi.

Sefinah – landing site of the Ark

Gertrude Bell continues: »There is a good deal of ruin, rough chambers which have all been roofed with boughs and tree trunks and a tank built below where a snow wreath lay. One of the buildings is of very large stones and may be old. A little below on the S side are more ruins on a platform - this may have been the plan of the old monastery.«

(Nearly) the only picture of the so-called Sefinah was taken on the year 1909  Did the ark land on this peak?

»The actual ziarah consists of an open walled round space with some roofless chambers to the W. I think it is Moslem. In one of the chambers and in the enclosure there is a small niche to the S - mihrabs?

The view very fine and rugged but extraordinarily desolate. In the great valley to the N I saw only 4 villages, the largest was Shandokh which is the seat of some Kurdish aghas. We lunched and slept and left at 12.15.«

In her book »From Amurath to Amurath« she offers some more background information: One the peak that is called »Ship of the Prophet Noah  Sefinet Nebi Nuh«. »There was once a famous Nestorian monastery, the Cloister of the Ark, upon the summit of Mount Jûdî, but it was destroyed by lightning in the year of Christ 766. Upon its ruins, said Kas Mattai, the Moslems had erected a shrine, and this too has fallen; but Christian, Moslem and Jew still visit the mount upon a certain day in the summer and offer their oblations to the Prophet Noah. That which they actually see is a number of roofless chambers upon the extreme summit of the hill. They are roughly built of unsquared stones, piled together without mortar, and from wall to wall are laid tree-trunks and boughs, so disposed that they may support a roofing of cloths, which is thrown over them at the time of the annual festival.«

And what happend at Mount Cudi in the years since that May 13th in 1909? Not much. But some things sound interesting:

Dr. Friedrich Bender

Not a good photo but an interesting find: geologist Friedrich Bender seems to have found 6500 year old pieces of wood at Mount Cudi.

Also in Bible and Spade (Autumn 2006) you find an article from the German geologist Dr. Friedrich Bender, who found remains of wood at investigations at Mount Cudi in 1953. Kurdish Moslems told him that he could find remains of the ark of Noah at Cudi. He managed to find something on the southern slopes in a height of 1700 m, what he describes like this: »The shallow basin, open towards the south, is surrounded by the thickly banked, massive limestones and dolomites of the Cudi Group  (Altinli 1963). On the 6th of April, 1953, it was largely snow covered. Underneath the snow cover was a loamy silt sediment, which turned to a dark brown to black color at 0.80 to 1.00 m [2.6 to 3.3 ft] depth, and contained crumbly, up to pea-sized decayed wood remains. Many of the small wood fragments were bound together by an asphalt- or tar-like substance. My Kurdish guides did not permit any further digging or detailed examination. They considered the location a holy place.«

Bender was able to examine some of the remains with C-14 and found that it should be 6500 years old. He mentions that other archaeological findings point on a Great Flood in Mesopotamia in that time.

Dr. Charles Willis

Much more information you can find at the Mt.-Cudi-Page of NoahsArkSearch.Com. Plans to travel to Mount Cudi has Dr. Charles Willis, California. In 2008 he planned an expedition, but probably it will fail because of the dangerous situation in the southeast of turkey. He published his knowledge in the web: Ancient World Foundation. In the 1980s he went to Ararat four times, but then he began to believe that the landing took place on Mount Cudi. He has been there in 1995, 1996 and 2004 but it seems he didn't climb the mountain, yet.

Kurdish Guerilla-Fighters

The only photos that were taken on the top of Mount Cudi in recent times that I know, can be found in an online photo album of the kurdish organisation HPG. The Homepage of that group is also available in English. One of the photos is named »sefine.jpg« and shows  the landing place of the ark!

This picture is named »sefine.jpg«.


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