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The Ark of the Covenant


Staff member
by Jim H » Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:36 pm

There has been speculation that the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant was in Ethiopia. Was there ever an official search by Italian or Commonwealth occupation forces to try and confirm this rumor?


Staff member
by SUPERMARINA » Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:57 pm

The Italian company Cogne was able to find platinum in the Haud region, the same county crossed by the author of the King Salomon mines novel during Lord Napier expedition in 1866. The same mineral mission was slaughtered in March 1941 after it was seized by a British party landed in Somaliland with the order to get those people before the South Africans.
The tradition tells that the secret of the mines is encrypted in an Axum obelisk and someone says that's just the one which is in Rome and the British want so much back.

Bye EC


by Lupo Solitario » Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:37 pm

mmm...I wonder if moving this topic in some "fantasy" section...


by Jim H » Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:14 pm

You don't believe the Ark of the Covenant existed Lupo?

I would have assumed that some undertakings by the Vatican would have occurred after Abyssinia was occupied.

An interesting article is linked here.

http://goafrica.about.com/cs/adventures ... k_axum.htm

I cut and pasted the information below.

Is the Ark of the Covenant in Axum, Ethiopia?
A modest stone temple houses what the Ethiopians claim is the original Ark of the Covenant, for which knights, adventurers and crusaders have searched for more than 20 centuries.

Housed in a plain stone temple next to Axum's Saint Mariam Tyson Church, the Ark is protected by a 3 foot fence and an unarmed monk - the chosen guardian - who will spend the rest of his life in the temple. His reward: he is the only person on earth permitted to enter the inner sanctum and set eyes on the box in which the Ten Commandments were stored by Moses.

Lined with gold
All of Ethiopia's other 20,000 churches keep a replica of the Ark, in a room known as the Holy of Holies, and a church without one is considered unconsecrated. The Ark is described by a former guardian, Keshe Gebeze Gebre Abmaru, who retired 2 years ago at the age of 100, as: "a wooden box, lined with gold and topped with a solid gold lid, on which two gold cherubs stand, wings outspread." Abmaru, speaking to Ross Herbert of the Independent Foreign Service, also claims that the temple houses the actual stone tablet on which God inscribed the Commandments.

He describes the tablet as a polished, off-white slab and adds, "when you come close to it, you tremble and are frightened."

Priceless relics

Although the Ark and the tablet are not on view to anyone except the guardian, the traveler will, with the aid of a few dollars, be able to persuade a monk to wheel out a few treasures from the neighboring church. These include the golden crowns of Ethiopian Emperors, dating from as long ago as the 4th century, bejeweled amulets and crosses and ancient illuminated manuscripts. Even more amazing than these treasures is the fact that they are protected by only a few iron bars, a rusty padlock and a handful of unarmed monks.

Silver Trumpets

Archaeologist Bob Cornuke, inspired by the writings of journalist and author Graham Hancock, journeyed to Axum to find out more: "I asked the monks at Axum, 'Do you have anything else that might help me to understand better what this object may be that you have, that you call the Ark of the Covenant?' They replied, 'Well, we have the silver trumpets that were brought from Solomon's Temple!' They brought out these beautiful, hammered silver trumpets, very ornate, that they claim were from Solomon's Temple, that were brought with the Ark of the Covenant. Well, we know what these trumpets would look like in history. When Titus destroyed Jerusalem and he brought these trumpets back through the city of Rome, he paraded them in front of the whole city. And this was documented on an archway called the Arch of Titus in Rome today, and these trumpets are the same size, same dimensions as the trumpets that I was shown from the monks in Ethiopia at Axum, where they claim the actual Ark of the Covenant rests today."

Tantalizing truths
The legend is supported in part by many facts apart from the existence of the silver trumpets:

• Ethiopia has one of the world's oldest Christian churches, dating back to 330AD
• For centuries before, Ethiopia was home to a very large population of Falasha Jews (until most were airlifted to Israel in 1980)
• The Ethiopian Jews have always claimed to be descendants of the original Guardians of the Ark
• Ethiopia's Jews practice rituals which disappeared elsewhere in the 7th century BC
• Scholars believe that the Ark was lost between 955BC, when King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem to house it, and 587BC, when Nebuchadnezzar's army destroyed Jerusalem, but never found the Ark
• There is no documented proof that the Ark was ever destroyed

How did it get there?
Ethiopian legend has a remarkable story of how the Ark ended up in the physically and culturally isolated town of Axum: the Queen of Sheba, hearing of King Solomon's great wisdom, went to visit him in Jerusalem
King Solomon requested that she not touch anything in his palace without his permission. If she did, she would have to share his bed with him. The queen agreed to this. That night, the king entertained the visiting queen with musicians and dancers - and an exceptionally salty banquet. After the meal, the king retired to his bed, leaving a pitcher of water outside the door to her chamber. The queen, waken in the middle of the night by a raging thirst, could not resist the pitcher's cool water, and ended up conceiving her only child, Menelik, with King Solomon. Menelik founded Ethiopia, and on a return visit to Israel, either stole or was given the Ark, with which he returned to Ethiopia

About Axum
Axum is the holiest city in Ethiopia and is the place where Christianity was declared the national religion in the 4th century. Axum lies close to Ethiopia's border with Eritrea, and it is here that the Queen of Sheba made her capital. All over the city are relics of a glorious past: the Queen's bath, royal palaces and the amazing monolithic obelisks. The largest, once the world's largest at 500 tons and standing 33 meters high, lies fallen to the ground. The second largest at 24 marts was stolen by Mussolini, and stands in Rome. The third largest still stands and at 23 marts is an impressive sight. The city of Axum was destroyed in a rebellion by Queen Yodit during which she destroyed the Solomic line by slaughtering all the royal princes.

Ruined Palaces
A short walk outside the town are the ruins of King Kaleb's Palace. Slightly further away, up a nearby hill, is Pentaleon Monastery, where women aren't allowed in, but which provides excellent views of the countryside. The ruins of the Palace of Sheba are also outside the town.

Getting there
Axum is connected by air to Addis Ababa, the country's capital, about 500km/310 miles to the south. It's also possible to travel by bus from Gondar, Adwa, Adigrat or Mekele


Staff member
by SUPERMARINA » Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:08 pm

I don't know if the British were interested in the Ark, but the history begins in 1930, when an air photographic mixed mission, Italian and British, tried to do a map of the borders between the Somalilands (that's the region of the mines). The Italians sent the pics to the Istituto geografico militare at Florence to do the maps, the British, more pragmatic, sent a copy of the negatives to the geologist of the University of Leeds.
The Amhara tradition added at the tale that the copies of the ark are in the church while the original is in the Ambesà (the Lion) mine.
There was a great interest in the falascià (the Ethiopian Jews) in the second half of the Thirties by the Jewish Agency and Roosevelt sponsored (See Ciano Diaries) the idea of a Jewish settlement in Ethiopia in 1938-1939.
There were, then, at least two Italian missions, in 1937 and 1938, to search the Elephants cemetery too, in Gimma, but this is - perhaps - another history.

Ok, Mr. Spielberg, the screenplay is ready. What the hell is Indiana Jones waiting?




by Jim H » Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:13 am


There was an interesting documentary on the Discovery or History Channel last week that showed the latest search leading to a lake Island in Ethiopia. In any case, it was good TV.


by SUPERMARINA » Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:28 am

I presume it was on the Lake Tana (And Pavolini, always wandering about this curious legends Hugo Pratt told me many years ago, tried to take Ciano with him there, in 1936, landing there with some flying boats before anyone arrived there first - the project was described, with the original letters, in an old article on Storia Illustrata by Giordano Bruno Guerri).

Bye EC


by CLamb » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:51 pm

Do you recall the year of the article? I'd like to look it up. Do you know of any other investigations by Pavolini in Ethiopia?


by Bearcat » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:15 pm

There was a interesting documentary on the Discovery or History Channel last week that showed the latest search leading to a lake Island in Ethiopia. In any case, it was good TV.

I saw it on the history channel they said it is in a single hut in this town in northern Ethiopia. The hut had a fence around it with guards armed with AK-47's as did the town gates. Only one priest is allowed to be in the hut he is its sole guardian. They actually showed the hut and the priest.


by Jim H » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:02 pm

Anybody have any further info on Pavolini and lake Tana?


by donniechris59 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:47 pm

There are Ethiopian priests who swear they have A COPY of the arc of the covenant. I met a refugee from Eritrea about 20 years ago who is convinced that there is one there. The Ethiopians do not claim to have the original. But they claim to have an exact ancient copy of it.

There is historical evidence that one of ancient Israel's most loyal allies were the ancient Ethiopians. There is evidence that some Ethiopians were fighting side by side with the Hebrews in many of their ancient wars against the various foes Israel faced in the years 900 to 800 BCE. It is plausible that when Jerusalem was sacked by the Assyrians or Babylonians, that a copy of the arch may have been shipped off to Ethiopia (the land of Punt) for safekeeping before the bad guys got their hands on it.

The links talk about the arc and its location in Ethiopia.
http://www.sacredsites.com/africa/ethio ... iopia.html
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ethi ... f-covenant


Active Member
In the Melzi encyclopedic dictionary of 1938 the entry "Axum" states: "In the church Hedar Sion is preserved the Ark of Covenant."