For centuries, people have make the efforts in vain come locate and recover the Bible"s most sacred objects. Amongst the many sought-after of these spiritual antiquities is the well known Ark the the Covenant.

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This legend artifact is the ornate, gilded case said to have been built some 3,000 years back by the Israelites to home the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. Biblical accounts define the Ark as large, around the dimension of a 19th-century seaman"s chest, make of gold-plated wood, and topped through two large, golden angels. It was carried using poles inserted through rings on that sides.

The Ark has been linked to several of the Old Testament"s miracles. The is said to have cleared impediments and poisonous pets from the path of the Israelites during the Exodus. As soon as the Israelites crossed the Jordan River right into the Promised Land, the holy bible says that the river quit flowing the moment the Ark-bearers set foot in it.

And many think that when the Israelites besieged Jericho, they brought the Ark roughly the city for a week, blowing trumpets until, ~ above the seventh day, the walls fell down, allowing easy conquest. (This is what archaeology is telling us about the actual Jesus.)

But in 597 and also 586 B.C., the Babylonian Empire dominated the Israelites, and the Ark, at the time supposedly save in the holy place in Jerusalem, vanished indigenous history. Whether it was destroyed, captured, or hidden–nobody knows.

One that the most renowned claims about the Ark"s whereabouts is that before the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, it had found its method to Ethiopia, whereby it still stays in the city of Aksum, in the St. Mar of Zion cathedral. Church authorities, however, say only one man, the guardian of the Ark, is enabled to check out it, and also they have never permitted it to be studied because that authenticity.

Another claim is that the Ark was surprise in a warren of i beneath the an initial Temple in Jerusalem prior to the Babylonians destroyed it in 586 B.C. However that theory can"t be tested either, due to the fact that the site is home to the Dome of the rock shrine, spiritual in Islam. Digging beneath it merely isn"t an option.

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Other much more dubious claims exist, too. However perhaps the most famed quest because that the Ark to be on the large screen. In the 1981 movie Raiders the the shed Ark, adventure hero Indiana Jones must uncover the Ark before the Nazis, who intend to usage its strength for people domination.

Searches because that such biblical relics space compelling, states archaeologist and also National Geographic culture fellow Fred Hiebert, yet ultimately doomed come failure. Even if there is an ancient, Ark-like thing in Ethiopia, he asks, exactly how do you determine it"s the one native the Bible?

"We are talking about things the crossroads between myth and reality," that said. "I think it"s great to have stories like the Ark that the Covenant. Yet I perform not believe, as a field archaeologist, that we deserve to use the scientific method to prove or disprove ."