Mystery Explored: Hunt for the Lost Ark
Expedition Dates: July 9 – July 22, 2004


For centuries, adventurers and archeologists, the devout and determined, and, yes, even Indiana Jones have all searched for the Bible’s most sacred lost treasure: the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, despite all its fame, it mysteriously disappeared from the pages of history thousands of years ago. How could something so powerful and holy simply vanish without a trace? That’s what I was hoping to find out when I followed a trail that started where the Ark’s story begins—on Mount Sinai. Next, I explored a secret maze beneath Jerusalem, and visited Deir es Sultan, an Ethiopian monastery located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was there where I learned of the connection between the Ark, King Solomon, and the Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia. So I traveled to Ethiopia’s Debre Damo monastery, one of the country’s most ancient libraries, to read ancient manuscripts about King Solomon and his son, Menelik I, who may have brought the Ark to the sacred island monastery of Tana Kirkos, my next destination. My journey finally ended in Axum, Ethiopia, a holy town where many believe the Ark is still kept and protected today.

Sponsoring Institution: The History Channel

Experts involved:
Father Justin, St. Catherine’s Monastery
Dr. Gabriel Barkay, Archaeologist
Mr. Bob Cornuke, BASE Institute
His Grace Abba Kewistos, Archbishop of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Jerusalem
Mr. Misgana Genanew, Ethiopian Guide
The Monks of Debre Damo Monastery, Ethiopia
The Monks of Tana Kirkos Monastery, Ethiopia
The Guardian of the Ark, Axum, Ethiopia

Locations Visited:
Jerusalem, Israel
St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
Mount Sinai (Gebel Musa), Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tana Kirkos Monastery, Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Debre Damo Monastery, Ethiopia
Church of St. Mary’s of Zion, Axum, Ethiopia



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