Saturday, January 11, 2014

Paging Dr. Jones, Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.

A recently-translated Hebrew text, a magazine article suggests, may have clues about the location of several treasures from the biblical era of the Kingdom of Israel, including the Ark of the Covenant.

Built to hold the tablets of the Ten Commandments, the Ark was placed in the original temple finished by King Solomon. A few hundred years later, it was lost either when the Egyptians looted Jerusalem or when the Babylonians wrecked the city; no one knows for sure. The translated Treatise of the Vessels seems to have clues to the location of the Ark and several other treasures from Israel during that era.

Finding it, of course, could still be difficult. And no, not because some of the accounts of the treasures being spirited away for safekeeping attribute the action to angels, or because the Treatise itself dates from the 1400's, about 2,000 years after the events it is supposed to examine.

But because the scholarly work of the translation is found in a book called Old Testament Pseudepigrapha More Noncanonical Scriptures Volume 1. It's going to take one of the world's greatest archaeologists to dig through musty layers of syllables that thick.

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