Letter: Solid rock

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The Independent Culture
Sir: "Trade dies in the land of lost Ark" says your Frontline piece by Justin Huggler (22 October). A claim reinforced with "Mount Ararat, the resting place of 'Noah's Ark'", and "Archaeologists claim to have found Noah's Ark, not on Ararat, but on a nearby mountain".

No properly qualified archaeologist has made such a claim - though Atlantis- believers might. And far from the lenticular outcrop concerned being of "fossilised wood" or "bundles of reeds" a mere 6,000 years old, listen to the head of the oldest geology faculty in the southern hemisphere, Professor I R Plimer, of Melbourne University, who has examined the site: "It is a resistant outcrop of interlaminated metabasalt, calc-arenite and chert (ie, part of a dismembered Cretaceous ophiolite sequence)...."

In other words, this "Ark" is rock, more than 60 million years old.