Where is the ‘Ark of the Covenant’?
Back in November 2011, there were reports that the fabled Ark of the Covenant, said to contain the remnants of the Ten Commandments, had been discovered along with the Tomb of Alexander the Great on the Greek island of Thassos.
The Focus Information Agency, a Bulgarian outfit not exactly renowned for accuracy, reported that Grekomania.ru, a Russian web portal that purports to be an “official information partner of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Greece,” had claimed that a group led by Nikolaos Kumardzis, an archeologist apparently unaffiliated with any other dig, had identified one of the world’s great treasures. At least one Armenian newspaper ran a similar story.
Thassos, which is near Macedonia, has long been rumored as the potential resting place of Alexander the Great, who died in Babylon in 323 BC after conquering Persia and consolidating Eurasian power. The connection between the great military leader and the ten commandments — none of which he could truly be said to have followed — is unclear, which makes the news that they were discovered together even less credible.
That being said, the Ark of the Covenant has inspired travelers and explorers for hundreds of years and is likely to continue to do so. It is worth remembering that pilgrimages remain part of the modern travel culture and that visiting relics or searching for them is quite popular in much of the world.