Eric has just been interviewed on GMA. Professor Cline is one of the most experienced field archaeologists in the area of ‘biblical archaeology’ and has published several volumes making the results of archaeological field work accessible to the general public. He’s a genuinely delightful person and quite learned. We serve on the ASOR Media Relations Committee together (along with Cargill and Magness and Vaughn and Meyers and Wright) and he has done in his interview here and in other non-academic settings exactly the sort of thing the Committee is urging all professional archaeologists to do: engage culture with accurate and intelligent information to refute the ridiculous folly too often passed off on it.
The interview kicked off with Robin Roberts with photos and video of the Turkish and Chinese team and the assertion that they are 99.9% sure they have found the ark of Noah. Nick Watt sets the scene for the interview by doing a report on the alleged discovery and several preceding ‘discoveries’. You can watch the video (if you can endure the advert at the beginning) here.
Roberts asks about the carbon 14 dates and Cline responds that a proper team of archaeologists needs to examine the find independently. Then he suggests that the wood of Noah’s ark would most probably have been used for housing so that instead of looking for the ark we should look for the house of Noah, since wood would have been scarce after the flood (tongue in cheek).
The conversation then moved to the attempt of ‘arkeologists’ to prove the bible – something which archaeologists don’t do since their purpose is not to prove but simply to present findings.
Eric did a great job, was quite relaxed, and did not come across as one of those aloof academics that one sees so often on news programs.
Incidentally, Eric has also been interviewed by Time Magazine on the topic of the ‘ark’s discovery’. When the story is published a link will doubtless be provided.