In the Bible, the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ is a chest containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments – and it was memorably sought by the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
But the real Ark might have been located by American Biblical scholars, who claim that the relic is in Ethiopia, guarded by monks.
They admit that they are not ‘100%’ sure that it’s the real Ark, but it’s an entertaining yarn nonetheless.
The US-based Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute (BASE) claim to have tracked the Ark to a church in Ethiopia
The investigators claim that a sect of Jews transported the Ark to Egypt, then up the Nile to Ethiopia.
The researchers arrived at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in the city of Axum, where priests claimed the Ark was within, but that the investigators were not allowed to see it.
The researchers write, ‘I was able to speak, through an interpreter, with the Guardian of the Ark, who told me that no other man besides himself could lay eyes on the Ark, that it was an absolutely holy object. He said that the world would not be allowed to pollute it by looking at it. He added that he and the villagers would protect the Ark with their lives, if necessary.
‘Interestingly, we were shown two silver trumpets that bore a remarkable similarity to the trumpets pictured on the arch of Titus in Rome, commemorating the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Trumpets like these were an essential part of the implements used in Temple worship.
‘Subsequent to this initial investigation, we located and interviewed two people who have claimed to have seen the object resting in St. Mary’s of Zion. The first was a 105-year-old priest who once was the Administrator at St. Mary’s of Zion. On two occasions, he said, when the Guardian of the Ark died and a new guardian was trained in the worship rituals, he was able to gaze upon the relic. He described it as a gold box with two winged angels on top.’
The BASE researchers wrote, ‘At this juncture, we cannot say with certainty that it is, but neither can he say for certain that it isn’t.
‘What we have concluded is that St. Mary’s of Zion church in Axum, Ethiopia, is the resting place either of an incredible replica of the biblical Ark of the Covenant, or, of the actual Ark of the Covenant itself.’