Both Literary and Eye Witnesses
Believe it or not this list is quite extensive but far from complete. We will be highlighting just some of the proposed ark locations as well as ark sightings. For thorough information pertaining to each story, you might want to inquire into the books or articles mentioned in the resources link above.
The Bible in all Forms
Tanakh - Dead Sea Scrolls - Greek Septuagint - Samarian Pentateuch - Pseudepigrapha - Apocrypha - New Testament - Masoretic Text
According to the Torah book of Genesis at Gen 8:4 "In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat" (NSAB) ( ARARAT in Hebrew אֲרָרָֽט = RRT = In Turkish Ağrı Dağı ). The (CEV) put it this way "the boat came to rest somewhere in the Ararat mountains".
The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete edition of the Hebrew Bible ( Tanakh ). It dates to around 1008-1010 A.D. This is what is used for 90 percent of the Hebrew scriptures ( old testament ) in todays bible.
The Dead Sea Scroll (DSS) (1QapGen ) Found in cave one in Qumran known as "The Genesis Apocryphon". Composed in Aramaic states the following: … " in the mountains of Ararat (HWRRT). And afterwards I descended … I and my sons and the sons [of my sons] … for the destruction was great on the earth … after the Flood " .
Range of compositional dates for the work have been suggested from the 3rd century BCE to 1st century CE
According to the Greek Septuagint LXX book of Genesis at Gen 8:4:
and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
Καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἡ κιβωτὸς ἐν μηνὶ τῷ ἑβδόμῳ, ἑβδόμῃ καὶ εἰκάδι τοῦ μηνὸς, ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη τὰ Ἀραράτ.
According to tradition, Ptolemy II Philadelphus (the Greek Pharaoh of Egypt) sent seventy-two Jewish translators—six from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel—from Jerusalem to Alexandria to translate the Tanakh from Biblical Hebrew into Koine Greek, for inclusion in his library. This narrative is found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, and is repeated by Philo of Alexandria, and Josephus (in Antiquities of the Jews).
Few people could speak and even fewer could read in the Hebrew language during the Second Temple period; Koine Greek and Aramaic were the most widely spoken languages at that time among the Jewish community. The Septuagint therefore satisfied a need in the Jewish community.
According to the Samaritan Pentateuch book of Genesis at Gen 8:4:
And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Hararat.
This copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch is the oldest know copy. Written 1100 CE - 1149 CE
The Samaritan Pentateuch contains the text of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, written in the consonantal Samaritan script, a development from the Paleo-Hebrew script.
The Pseudepigrapha Book of Jubilees a second century BC retelling of Genesis and the first part of Exodus. Originally written in Hebrew, specifies at Chapter 7:1 " And in the seventh week in the first year [1317 A.M.] thereof, in this jubilee, Noah planted vines on the mountain on which the ark had rested, named Lubar , one of the Ararat Mountains. "
Dead Sea Fragment of the book of Jubilees
The History of Ararat / Urartu
The term, of Assyrian origin, seems to be geographically descriptive (“mountainous country”?) rather than ethnic, and first occurs in the records of King Shalmaneser I (early 13th century, B.C.E.). He used it to refer to a collection of eight political entities situated southeast of Lake Van, against whom he mounted a successful military campaign. His son (Tukulti-Ninurta) refers to the same area as “the lands of Nairi” and mentions forty-three local rulers whom he defeated there. For a while, the terms “Urartu” and “Nairi” are used concurrently, but finally the more comprehensive geographical term (Urartu) predominates. Natives of the area, however, prefer the designation “the land of Biainili,” and only one known inscription refers to it as “Urartu.”
Lloyd R. Bailey, “Ararat (Place),” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 351.
It is important to mention here that older bibles use Armenia ( ex. John Wycliffe ) in place of of the word Ararat. It is also note worthy that one understands that the Ararat region is synonymous with the Armenian word Urartu know as the Kingdom of Urartu. This country of Urartu located in eastern Asia Minor flourished from the 9th to the 6th centuries BCE. Its center was near Lake Van .
These maps below show the Armenian Highlands and the location of the Mountains of Ararat region ( aka Urartu in antiquity )
The reason why the volcanic mountain today called Mount Ararat (elev. 16,854 ft.) has so many people thinking that this is the mountain that the Ark of Noah came to rest on, is based on all the eyewitness testimonies you will find below. But without actual hard evidence, the mountain remains in question.
The mountains of Urartu Region in antiquity spanned area of 82,000 to 200,000 sq. mi. extending into modern Iran, Iraq, Russia, and Turkey.
2100 BCE - Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, regarded as the earliest surviving notable literature and the second oldest religious text, after the Pyramid Texts. Its flood story is contained on the 11th cuneiform tablet in a series relating to the Gilgamesh epic. The flood tablet as it is sometimes called, related a story of a great flood that destroyed most of mankind. According to the tablet the boat came to rest on the top of Mount Nisir. This mountain is supposedly the mountain known today as Pir Omar Gudrun, near the city Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan. The name may mean "Mount of Salvation".
Some argue that the bible borrowed this story to make the Noah story. One must only read it to see the many difference in the account to ascertain that the two stories and far from similar. Within the Sumerian tablets you will find not one version but two of the flood story, both with different accounts. In one account the Ark is round and in another it is a square. Yet in the bible account its a rectangle. Please note that in history just because a story is written down later than another, it will not make the latter any less authentic or untrue. Particularly when the narratives are so different!
The Sumerian Deluge Tablet Written 1800 BCE
MT Nisir possible location
275 BCE - Berossus - A Chaldean Priest
Berossus writings were published about 275 B.C. in Greek but his works survived only as far as it was quoted by others, notably, Alexander Polyhistor (1st Century B.C.), and by Josephus (1st Century A.D.). A few others also quote him as late as the 5th Century A.D. Berossus' account is basically a version of the Babylonian Flood account. He notes that the Ark "...grounded in Armenia some part still remains in the mountains of the Gordyaeans in Armenia, and some get pitch from the ship by scraping off, and use it for amulets."
These map of Asia Minor illustrates the location of the Gordyaean Mountains ( aka Corduene Mountains )
According to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, Gordyene is the ancient name of the region of Bohtan (now Şırnak Province). It is mentioned as Beth Qardu in Syriac sources and is described as a small vassal state between Armenia and Persia in the mountainous area south of Lake Van in modern Turkey.
610 - 632 CE - Quran
According to the Quran the Ark came to rest on the mountain called Mount Judi. It is situated in south-east Turkey, close to the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
Surah 11. Hud 44:
Then the word went forth: "O earth! swallow up thy water, and O sky! Withhold (thy rain)!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!"