The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark was placed in the First Temple,
but by the time of the Second Temple its location was unknown or disputed.
Christians see the Ark as a symbol of the
Virgin Theotokos. In Ethiopia, the Ark
holds an especially important place in liturgical worship, and a "tabot"
or symbolic replica of the Ark is found in every Ethiopian temple.
(However, a tabot does not look like the Biblical Ark: it is a flat
slab of wood or sometimes stone, which is used as an antimension.)
Norman Hugh Redington
Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.
- The "Lost" Ark:
- Current Location: Under the Temple Mount?
This seems to be the most popular theory, and the one most in
accord with Biblical evidence. However, there is
little to be found about it online which we consider
to be of sufficient quality to index.
Account of a (characteristically) somewhat
hare-brained expedition which combined scientific
exploration of Warren's Shaft with illegal treasure-hunting
on and under the Mount, ending in chaos and rioting
around Pascha in 1911.
--- Philip Coppens
- Current Location: Axum, Ethiopia?
According to the Kebra Negast,
the Ark was brought to Ethiopia by Solomon's son
Menelik. An Ark said to be the original is kept in Axum to this day,
is perhaps the most revered artifact possessed by the Ethiopian Church.
scholars, without seeing the Axum Ark, have tended to dismiss its
a priori, although a few think it may possibly come from the
Temple at Elephantine. The Ark
is also associated in Ethiopia with the islands of
Where the Ark is said to be kept.
--- Ethiopia First
Legend of the Lost Ark Lives On in Africa:
--- Christian Science Monitor
An Interview with the Venerable Getahun Atlaw, Archdeacon of the Ethiopian
Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Israel:
The second half of the interview defends the authenticity of the
--- Augustan Society
The Sign and the Seal:
A sort of condensed version of Hancock's best-selling
book on the Axum Ark.
READ WITH CAUTION: Hancock holds (or pretends to
hold) some outlandish beliefs about the Ark as an Atlantean
high-tech artifact, and he is certainly not Orthodox. Nevertheless,
his information about Ethiopia is so far as we can tell quite sound.
Apparently he decided he could sell more copies if he mixed it
with silliness, and apparently, too, he was right.
- Stuart Munro-Hay:
The Quest for the Ark of the Covenant, (2005).
London: Tauris, 2005. Although unsatisfactory in many respects,
this is the first full-length scholarly study of the
Ethiopian Ark tradition. Munro-Hay takes a minimalist view,
arguing that the object hidden in Axum was only identified with
the Ark in the XVI or XVII Century, and is probably either
a (mediæval) tablet inscribed with the Ten Commandments
or simply an old Axumite inscribed stone.
- Paul Raffaele:
Keepers of the Lost Ark? (2007).
Smithsonian (38/12): 38.
An article on Ethiopian Orthodoxy with some interesting
pictures and an interview of sorts with the guardian
of the Axum Ark.
Current Location: Ireland? Almost certainly
not. That the Ark is at Tara is sometimes claimed to be a tradition
of the Celtic Church. This does not appear to be correct,
but is rather based entirely upon the speculations of XIX Century
sectarian "British Israelite" groups.
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