06/25/20 • 46 min
The word Ararat brings to mind an adventure into myth and history and in this episode, I talk to Rick Antonson about his journey to the fabled resting place of Noah’s Ark, as well as some of the research into Biblical history and ancient myths of the flood.
My ARKANE thrillers center around Biblical archaeology, history, and myth, so this was a particularly exciting interview for me!
Rick Antonson is an author, professional speaker, and world traveler. Today, we’re talking about his book, Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark: An Odyssey to Mount Ararat and Beyond.
- The history, mystery, and myth surrounding Ararat and Noah’s Ark
- Versions of the flood story
- The complications of climbing Mt. Ararat
- The lure of (slightly) dangerous travel
- What travel might look like in the future
- Recommended books
You can find Rick Antonson at RickAntonson.com.
Transcript of the interview
Jo Frances: Rick Antonson is an author, professional speaker, and world traveler. Today, we’re talking about his book, Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark: An Odyssey to Mount Ararat and Beyond. Welcome to the show, Rick.
Rick: Thank you for having me.
Jo Frances: I’m so excited. I was just saying before we started recording, this is just catnip to me. I just love stuff about Noah’s Ark and Ararat. So, I want to ask you, so why choose Ararat?
There are so many biblical archeology sites around the world. What drew you to this adventure?
Rick: Each trip it seems has its own little curious motivation, but I find that there are levels of them that continue to overlap. So part of it was as a youngster, four, five, nine years old, whatever, I first encountered the story of Noah’s Ark and Mount Ararat.
Secondly, there was a book on our shelves. Me and my brother, older brother by a year, shared a bedroom and we shared a bookshelf, and one of the books there was about a fellow who in the early ’50s, a Frenchman had gone to Mount Ararat, actually, seeking to find Noah’s Ark, believing as he did as a person of faith, that it actually had landed there.
And those two things along with...as time went on and I was older wanting to go, and be places that were uncommon, that the phrase gets used, off the beaten path, but it really was to try and do something that maybe friends, and family, and others weren’t doing. And one day I was looking at a map and across my mind came Mount Ararat.Khor Virap, an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain. Photo licensed from BigStockPhoto
Jo Frances: It just has a romance about it, really. Because you’re in Canada. And I’m in Europe and, you know I’ve traveled in the Middle East. Do you think there is something quite different when you’re from North America, Canada to come to the Middle East?
Rick: Well, first of all, the last couple of years, my wife, Janice and I were living in Europe because of my wife’s job. And then before that, for five years, she was in Australia and I was back and forth, and then the last couple of years living there.
So I probably bring a different perspective, but the further away you are from any destination, the more romantic, perhaps forbidding, foreboding a place could be. And the Middle East is so characterized by turmoil that to actually plan on traveling there has to put safety at the front of your mind and also just loads your planning table with history, almost overwhelming history.
Again, you know, layers of it that one wants to sift through before they go. But you also don’t want to take away that traveler’s awe by being too prepared.
Jo Frances: Absolutely. And you mentioned that overwhelming layers of history, which is certainly true.
What is history and what is myth when it comes to Ararat and the flood?
Rick: The ‘Reader’s Digest,’ Peter Rabbit short version is that great flood stories appear throughout the world, all over the planet. There have been perhaps localized floods but they were great floods to the people involved.
So the factual part is that if a flood happened in 5,000 BC almost anywhere in the world, if you had never traveled more than 20 miles from Bath in any direction and you didn’t know anyone else who had, and that part of ...
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