The Ark of the Covenant, which supposedly has contained the tablets with the Ten Commandments, is the subject of a new search

Ian Harvey
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The fabled Ark of the Covenant is a wooden and gold box that is believed to hold the two stone tablets called the Ten Commandments.

It was lost to history and has never been re-discovered, but archaeologists suspect that it could be at the ancient site of Kiriath-Jearim in West Jerusalem.

Kiryat Ye’arim is located in Jerusalem, Israel Photo Credit

Researchers from France and Israel are getting together to search for this historical artifact.  They believe the Ark rests in a Biblical site that has not yet been extensively explored.  Kiriath-Jearim in West Jerusalem will be opened for research between August 7th and September 1st.  According to the Book of Samuel, the box was stored there for only two decades.

But the ancient site is mentioned many times in the Bible as a place of worship; it is also known as Ba’alah, Ba’ale Judah, and Kiryat Ba’al.  The site has not undergone any archaeological excavation; researchers are excited about being the first to explore this vast central site nestled in the Jerusalem hills.

Joshua passing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant by Benjamin West, 1800

Another place where the sacred Ark is rumored to be is in Ethiopia, where the Orthodox Church claims to have the Ark in the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in the city of Aksum.

It is also thought to be in a cave on Mount Nebo in Jordan – the basis for this claim comes from an ancient text which states that the prophet Jeremiah buried it there.  Mount Nebo is believed to be the area where Moses saw the Promised Land.

Moses and Joshua are bowing before the Ark, painting by James Tissot, c. 1900

The Ark is thought to have been built a year after the Israelites had left Egypt. The Book of Exodus contains a description of how it was built.  It was large and had to be carried on poles. Linked to miracles in the Old Testament, it seems to have vanished from history around 597-586 BC, when the Babylonian Empire conquered the Israelites.

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Scientists believe that even if something which resembles the Ark is found, its authenticity can hardly be proved or disproved through a scientific study. They consider it a Biblical artifact which rests on the border of myth and reality, Mail Online reported. The search for the Ark of the Covenant inspired the plot of The Raiders of the Lost Ark movie in 1981, one of the popular Indiana Jones series.