Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia Imam - Ali ibn abi Talib; Prophet Adam; and Prophet Nuh (Noah).

Is this the Final Resting Place of Noah? It is Certainly One of the Contenders

(Read the article on one page)

The tale about a huge ship (of Biblical proportions) that enabled the survival of all of the species of animals around the world sounds impressive, but also quite unbelievable. Nonetheless, its builder, Noah, is one of the most popular biblical figures. Furthermore, he is an important prophet in Islam. Although his story, perhaps inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, has existed for thousands of years and is known by billions of people, the place of Noah’s burial remains unknown. 

Around the world, people in their first years of life learn the story of a man who saved many people and animal species from death under the waters that came with a horrible flood. The ‘Ark’ story, known since ancient times, became so popular that it is a world-famous myth known in most of the cultures long before its iteration as part of the Bible. However, most of the stories related to Noah are nothing more than oral history.

Noah's ark on the Mount Ararat, Simon de Myle, 1570.

Noah's ark on the Mount Ararat, Simon de Myle, 1570. ( Public Domain )

A Sailor Named Noah

Apart from the biblical notes and the information that comes from other descriptions of a similar flood (like the Epic of Gilgamesh), no information can provide identifying personal data about Noah. Religious people believe that Noah lived for about 950 years. This number appears among the believers of modern religions. Moreover, it is confirmed by the Bible. According to the Book of Genesis:

''20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.''

Sadly, there is no historical source, apart from the religious texts, which confirms this data from the biography of Noah. Moreover, through the ages dozens of researchers (some more, some less professional) have tried to prove their own ideas about the possible biography of this legendary man.  One of the most credible pieces of research was accomplished by the team led by Robert D. Ballard. His goal was to explain the biblical flood in a scientific way.

From Shipwreck to Tomb: The Rival Claims

The most famous story says that the famous Ark ended its voyage on the slopes of Mount Ararat, now in eastern Turkey (but for a very long time in Armenia). The importance of this claim is based on a religious issue, as Islam dominates Turkey and Armenia has always been related to Christianity. Furthermore, one of the possible tombs of Noah is located in territory contested by Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Noah's Tomb or Mausoleum in Nakhchivan, Postcard, circa 1917.

Noah's Tomb or Mausoleum in Nakhchivan, Postcard, circa 1917. ( Public Domain )

The mausoleum located in Nakhchivan is located on the land known as Kohna-gala, meaning ''Old fortress''. Many Armenians believe that this is traditionally their territory, but currently, it officially belongs to Azerbaijan. The construction was built around the 8th century AD, but could possibly be a little younger.

It was rebuilt many times and now the main building contains the remnants of the former one. Inside the burial chamber there is a column and according to the explanations presented by guides, this is the place where the relic of Noah was buried. Thus, it seems that even the locals don't see the mausoleum as the original burial place of Noah, just a temple for a relic deposit.

17th century Noah Mausoleum, Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan.

17th century Noah Mausoleum, Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. ( Public Domain )

The Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq, is a destination for the pilgrimage of millions of people every year. The average number of pilgrims is about 8 million people. It is a holy site for Muslims who follow the Shia belief (the ones who accept that Muhammad had an ancestor – Ali ibn Abi Talib). The followers of this faith believe that Ali was buried next to the legendary Adam and Noah.


The bible can not confirm the age of the character 'Noah.' As a work of fiction and legend, it can only reiterate the supposed age of him.

bjcorbin's picture

According to the Book of Jublilees… “And Noah slept with his fathers, and was buried on Mount Lubar in the land of Ararat.”

This implies Noah did not venture far from the mountain the Ark landed, so if you can identify the correct tomb, you likely identify the correct mountain of the Ark’s landfall. My research still points to Alvand mountain in Iran, but open to other research and opinions.


Don't bother looking here, you won't find the tomb of Noah in this place or any other. Funny how Islam believes in so much from the Jewish Tanakh.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century BC. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Every two years, when the Winter or Summer Olympics comes around, we hear about how the games staged at Olympia in Greece since 776 BC came to a sudden end in the late fourth century AD. The finger is pointed at the Christian Roman emperor Theodosius I (AD 379-395)

Myths & Legends

An illustration of Vasilisa the Beautiful, by Ivan Bilibin.
[…] In the evening the girl laid the table and began waiting for Baba-Yaga. It grew dark. The black horseman swept by and it was night. The skulls’ eyes began to shine. The trees creaked, the dead leaves crunched, the earth trembled, and there was Baba-Yaga…

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Ancient Technology

Mammoth in the Royal BC Museum in Victoria (Canada). The display is from 1979, and the fur is musk ox hair.
In Sivershchina, close to the village of Mizyn in Ukraine is one of the oldest and most unique settlements of humans – and it was discovered in a parking lot. The now well-known archaeological site, known plainly as the Mizyn parking lot, dates back 18-20 thousand years.

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article