Noah's Ark appears in the Genesis flood narrative (Genesis chapters 6-9) as the vessel in which God spares Noah, his family, and a remnant of all the world's animals from a world-engulfing flood.
The flood myth is common to many cultures around the world, and the biblical version appears to have its primary source in the Mesopotamian myth of Utnapishtim in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The earliest known written flood myth is a Sumerian flood myth found in the Deluge Tablet in which the hero is named Ziusudra.
Searches for Noah's Ark have been made from at least the time of Eusebius (c. 275-339 CE), and believers in the myth continue to search for it in modern times. Many searches have been mounted for the ark, but no confirmable physical proof of the ark has ever been found. There is no scientific evidence that Noah's Ark existed as it is described in the bible, nor is there evidence in the geologic record for the biblical global flood.
THE WORD ARK
The Hebrew word for the ark, teva, occurs twice in the Torah, in the flood narrative (Book of Genesis 6-9) and in the Book of Exodus, where it refers to the basket in which Jochebed places the infant Moses.
In the Latin Vulgate Bible, teva is rendered as arca, 'a place for safe-keeping'. Old English summaries and translations of the Vulgate text used the English word ark, which at the time meant 'a chest, box, coffer, close basket, or similar receptacle'. It seems only to have been around the twelfth century that English-speakers started to understand the name of the Ark as being a different word from the ordinary word for a box.
The figure of the reclining Noah at the lower left echoes the figure of Adam on the Creation of Adam and Eve panel above, and the centre line of the composition through the figure of one of Noah' sons connects visually with the open space between God and Eve above. The Noah panel represents another kind of fall of mankind, with Noah being the new Adam from whom humankind will again populate the earth. The ark in the distance, in the shape of a pyramid, seems to extend the entire width of the panel, again suggesting that its contents would repopulate the entire earth.
(Lorenzo Ghiberti , Noah and the Flood, 1425-52, Baptistry, Florence)
WAS NOAH'S ARK A PYRAMID?
What did Lorenzo Ghiberti know that we don't? Why would he depict Noah's Ark as a pyramid?
"I was shocked when I noticed the Great Pyramid on the Baptistry doors. There happened to be an American art historian standing near me who was educating his friend about the iconography before her. I asked him about the pyramid. He said the pyramid is actually Noah's Ark!"
It stands to reason that Ghiberti - who won the famous 1401 competition to design the panels for the Baptistry doors - would have had iconographical guidance similar to that imposed upon Vasari and Zuccari. So it follows that some learned monk instructed Ghiberti on what to depict and where. Did this monk possess some arcane knowledge about the true identity of Noah? Did he know that the story of Noah's Ark actually refers to Ancient Egypt?
Most Egyptologists believe that the Pharaoh Khufu, who reigned between 2551 and 2528 BC, built the Great Pyramid, while his son Khafre may have built the second largest pyramid at Giza, and the Great Sphinx. Since Khufu’s reign falls well before the Great Flood of 2349 BC, it supports the idea that the Great Pyramid was built by the antediluvian ancestors of Seth and Enoch, just as stated by the Jewish historian Josephus.
In Book Three, we discussed Josephus’ record of the astronomy developed by the Sethites and the two monuments they built to preserve their knowledge before the Flood. (two pyramids?) In the same book, we used the Biblical Chronological Time Chart to identify the Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh Khufu not as Enoch - as some scholars and legends have incorrectly done - but as possibly Noah. If this pharaoh was Noah, the Pharaoh Khafre would have been Shem. If Khufu was Noah, this does not mean that either Noah or Shem actually built the Great Pyramid and Great Sphinx, however.
In fact, some Egyptologists now believe that the Pharaohs Khufu and Khafre did not build either monument, but merely repaired these structures that were built hundreds of years before. Though archeologists often ignore this because it contradicts their views, a stone carving called the Inventory Stela that was found between the paws of the Sphinx suggests that Khufu and Khafre only repaired the already ancient architecture at the Giza Complex that was falling into ruin.
That Noah could have been a pharaoh is not a surprise - there are many similarities between the biblical Joseph and the pharaoh Yuya, for example. And many 'alternative' historians now believe that Moses was Akhenaten, who escaped to Amarna with his people and his Queen Nefertiti, and where he set up a new society dedicated to the veneration of the monotheistic sun-god Aten.
Another alternative: Moses is Ramesses II (Ra = King, Messes = Moses)
source: Jesse Waugh:
THE KUFU SHIP
The Khufu ship is an intact full-size vessel from Ancient Egypt that was sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza around 2500 BC. The ship now is preserved in the Giza Solar boat museum.
The ship was almost certainly built for Khufu (King Cheops), the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Like other buried Ancient Egyptian ships, it was apparently part of the extensive grave goods intended for use in the afterlife, and contained no bodies, unlike northern European ship burials.
Khufu's ship is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved vessels from antiquity. It measures 43.6 m long and 5.9 m wide.
It was thus identified as the world's oldest intact ship and has been described as "a masterpiece of woodcraft" that could sail today if put into water, lake and river. However, the vessel may not have been designed for sailing (no rigging) or paddling (no room).
The ship was one of two rediscovered in 1954 by Kamal el-Mallakh - undisturbed since it was sealed into a pit carved out of the Giza bedrock. It was built largely of Lebanon cedar planking in the "shell-first" construction technique, using unpegged tenons of Christ's thorn. The ship was built with a flat bottom composed of several planks, but no actual keel, with the planks and frames lashed together with Halfah grass, and has been reconstructed from 1,224 pieces which had been laid in a logical, disassembled order in the pit beside the pyramid.
It took years for the boat to be reassembled, primarily by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities' chief restorer, Ahmed Youssef Moustafa (later known as Haj Ahmed Youssef). Before reconstructing the boat, he had to gain enough experience on Ancient Egyptian boat-building. He studied the reliefs carved on walls and tombs, and many of the little wooden models of ships and boats found in tombs. Haj Ahmed visited the Nile boatyards of Old Cairo and Ma'adi and went to Alexandria, where wooden river boats were still being made. He hoped that modern Egyptian shipwrights might have retained ship building methods that would suggest how Ancient Egyptians built their ships. Then he investigated the work of shipwrights who built in a different tradition.
The history and function of the ship are not precisely known. It is of the type known as a "solar barge", a ritual vessel to carry the resurrected king with the sun god Ra across the heavens. However, it bears some signs of having been used in water, and it is possible that the ship was either a funerary "barge" used to carry the king's embalmed body from Memphis to Giza, or even that Khufu himself used it as a "pilgrimage ship" to visit holy places and that it was then buried for him to use in the afterlife.
The ship is housed in The Khufu Boat Museum, a small modern facility resting alongside the Great Pyramid. The first floor of the museum takes the visitor through visuals, photographs and writings on the process of excavating and restoring the boat. The ditch where the main boat was found is incorporated into the museum ground floor design. To see the restored boat, the visitor must climb a staircase leading to the second floor. Floor to ceiling windows allow for much sunlight and the wooden walkway takes the visitor around the boat where the visitor can get a close view of its impressive size- 143 feet long (44m) and 19.5 feet wide (6m).
The Khufu ship has been on display to the public in a specially built museum at the Giza pyramid complex since 1982. Its discovery was described as one of the greatest Ancient Egyptian discoveries in Zahi Hawass's documentary Egypt's Ten Greatest Discoveries.