April 13, 2005
Indiana Jones was wasting his time
Indiana Jones was wasting his time. There was no need for him to start raiding the lost ark in Egypt or Jordan or wherever those Harrison Ford films were set. As any Ethiopian Orthodox Christian will tell you, the original Ark of the Covenant is right here in Axum. It is actually said to be in this church.
Not surprisingly, you are not allowed to see it. The only man with that right is the "keeper" – a secretive man in the yellow robe who ducked into the church as soon as he saw my camera. Last year, the church authorities had to surround the building with a spiky fence after a Hungarian tourist tried to jump over the existing barrier to get in to the church and its holy of holies. Given the current interest in things like the Ark – sparked by pseudo-history books like the Blood and the Grail or whatever it is called – it is surprising they don't get more attempts.
I am a bit hazy about exactly how the Ark ended up here. I think it is something to do with the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon. She – or her retinue – or her son with King Solomon brought it back to Ethiopia where it has stayed ever since. Perhaps someone out there could flesh out the story.
Posted by aheavens at April 13, 2005 1:51 PM