Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Resting place of the Ark of the Covenant to be site of new archaeological investigation

Kiryat Ye’arim, 10 kilometres west of Jerusalem, is believed to be the site of a temple mentioned in the Book of Ezra

    Artist's impression of the Ark of the Covenant
    Artist's impression of the Ark of the Covenant (Wikimedia Commons)

    One of the most important and mysterious biblical relics is the subject of a major new archaeological dig at Kiryat Ye’arim, near Jerusalem.

    The Ark of the Covenant first appears in the Book of Exodus, when Moses is instructed to build a container for the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written.

    It then appears prominently throughout several books of the Bible as a source of miracles before apparently being looted by the Babylonians as detailed in an ancient Greek translation of the third Book of Ezra, 1 Esdras,

    And they took all the holy vessels of the Lord, both great and small, with the vessels of the ark of God, and the king's treasures, and carried them away into Babylon

     1 Esdras 1:54

    Several theories have been offered for its disappearance and current location, with claims made for a secret resting places on Mount Nebo, in Ethiopia and even Warwickshire.  But a team led by Israel Finkelstein and Christophe Nicolle from Tel Aviv University and Thomas Römer from the College de France seems confident of making a major discovery on the site of the ancient temple at Kiryat Ye’arim.

    “The place is important for several reasons,” Finkelstein told The Times of Israel. “It’s a large, central site in the Jerusalem hills that hasn’t been studied until now. It may be the only key site in Judah that hasn’t undergone a systematic archaeological excavation.”

    The dig is set to commence in early August and continue through September.

    Kiryat Ye’arim is mentioned in the Book of Samuel as a place where the Ark of the Covenant was stored at for 20 years after it was returned to the Israelites by the Philistines.

    While it is later described as having been then transported by King David to Jerusalem,

    Finkelstein still believes that the site may still be important in Ark history.

    The likelihood of discovering a Jewish artefact of unparalleled historical and theological importance remains low, but nevertheless the dig may well produce new and valuable information about the history of Iron Age Judah.

     

The Diary

Melania's Twitter faux-pas

Michael Moran

Yesterday, 16:04

Melania's Twitter faux-pas
Film

8 non-Jews in Jewish roles

Michael Moran

Thursday, May 4, 2017

8 non-Jews in Jewish roles
World

92-year-old war hero to stand trial over death of 'Nazi collaborator'

Michael Moran

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

92-year-old war hero to stand trial over death of 'Nazi collaborator'
JCTV

Janet Street Porter's Loose Women faux pas

Michael Moran

Monday, May 15, 2017

Janet Street Porter's Loose Women faux pas
Features

The Top 9 Jewish celebrity pets

Michael Moran

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Top 9 Jewish celebrity pets
Film

Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Michael Moran

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Film

Film review – Alien:Covenant

Michael Moran

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Film review – Alien:Covenant
The Diary

Streisand: 'Sexism cost me an Oscar'

Michael Moran

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Streisand: 'Sexism cost me an Oscar'
The Diary

Neil Gaiman says 'no' to Virtual Reality

Michael Moran

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Neil Gaiman says 'no' to Virtual Reality