Lost Ark Discovered?

International adventurer journeys to a remote corner of Ethiopia to provide compelling evidence for Ark's Resting Place

Colorado Springs, CO 350 miles inland from the coast of the Red Sea lies the Ethiopian City of Axum. It looks like dozens of other mud-hut villages strewn across Ethiopia's rugged Abyssinian Highlands (ancient Cush). At the center of the town is a simple chapel?a thick walled shrine, known as the Chapel of Saint Mary of Zion.

The Chapel is the most venerated of the countries more than twenty thousand churches and monasteries. Within its crude walls sits an object whose nature, appearance and fate have puzzled and fascinated man since the days of Moses. Robert Cornuke, the president and founder of BASE (Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute) recently traveled to Axum with a team to find out if the lost Ark was indeed located in this barren land.

In his latest book, In Search of the Lost Ark of the Covenant (Broadman and Holman), Cornuke explains how he journeyed to Egypt, Israel, and Rome to search for clues leading to the Ark. "Sometime between the tenth and sixth centuries," he says, "the Ark of the Covenant simply vanished from the pages of biblical history. Yet, in Ethiopia today, one can hardly find a single individual out of a population of sixty-million who harbors the slightest doubt that the ark lies quietly in state in the chapel at Axum."

Cornuke explains how the Ark is protected by a man referred to as "The Guardian of the Ark." It is kept in absolute isolation and cloaked in darkness, as originally in the Holy of Holies. Although Jewish tradition argues the Ark lies hidden somewhere in the city of Jerusalem, Cornuke claims these theories are based more on legend and myth than actual facts?and an unbiased reading of the Bible.

A former criminal investigator and SWAT team member, Cornuke started BASE to help provide archaeological evidence to validate biblical truth. "On a level I would trust as a police investigator," he says, "it was a curious legend from the biblical land of Cush that caught my attention. I found my gaze turning to North Africa, a country whose national identity seems intertwined with the Holy Ark."

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