Monday, October 29, 2012

Eight places to look for the Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant is one of those artifacts from history that will always attract attention. The famed Israelite box, known to us from the Hebrew Bible, is said to have been the footstool of God, was kept in the temple and contained the ten commandments, Aaron's rod that budded and some samples of manna.

It is said that when carried into battle the Israelites were invincible, except for that time with Hophni and Phinehas. The Philistines captured the Ark and ended up with a case of hemorrhoids. 

At some point the Ark disappeared. Josephus tells us that by the time Herod built the Second Temple the Ark was nowhere to be found. But that hasn't stopped people from looking. Like the Holy Grail and the Kennedy assassination, people will be talking about it forever.  Last year it was claimed it was found in the tomb of Alexander the Great. And from time to time Discovery Channel claims that the Ark was a small alien constructed nuclear reactor that made manna. Yet, no one has found the missing Ark.

Recently ran a list of eight places where the Ark is said to be resting.  The article also lists how these spots were chosen and why they are doubted.

The Tomb of King Tut
A 1922 picture of the early excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun shows an object, the Anubis Shrine, fits the description of the Ark of the Covenant. Shortly after photographs of the excavation spread, a small group of archaeologists to claim the artifact is indeed the Ark.

A hidden room at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres in France
An extremely well preserved 12th Century cathedral, Chartres Cathedral is best known for the two unusual spires straddle the building and reach a height of over 340 feet.

An unmarked cave in Modern Jordan
In an account written within the second book of Maccabees, an account of Jewish history during the Babylonian captivity written in Greek during the 2nd Century B.C.E., suggests the Ark narrowly survived the Babylonian siege.

One of 64 Locations designated in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Among the Dead Sea Scrolls unearthed in the late 1940s, archaeologists found one scroll featuring writing along a thin piece of copper scroll.

Held in South Africa by the Lemba Tribe
The Lemba reside in South Africa, particularly Zimbabwe, and claim to be the "lost" tribe of Israel. A 1999 DNA survey links the Lemba to priestly families in Israel, lending a small amount of evidence to this claim. The Lemba treat their Ark in accordance to the religious tenets prescribed for the Ark, carrying it on poles and avoiding contact with the chest.

An Ethiopian Orthodox Church
The Chapel of the Tablet at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum, a city in Northern Ethiopia, claims to have the Ark of the Covenant. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church places copies of the Ark within every affiliate church in Ethiopia.

On the bottom of Lake Tiberias
Lake Tiberias, also known as the Sea of Galiliee, is thought by a group of Shia Muslims to be the current resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

A government storage facility
This hiding place lacks substantial evidence, but the idea that the Ark of the Covenant is held in a nondescript crate deep in a government warehouse snuck into popular culture thanks to the Indiana Jones series and the nature of shows like Warehouse 13.

1 comment:

  1. ..."small alien constructed nuclear reactor that made manna"...I destroyed some brain cells watching that show, alternating between my mouth hanging open in disbelief and peals of laughter.