10 Commandments resting place

Trip Start Dec 01, 2011
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153
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Trip End Jan 20, 2013


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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Monday, November 19, 2012

We flew to Axum which is basically northern most point in Ethiopia that is geared towards tourists. It is quite close to both Sudan and Eritrea, but the border crossing are not great, so it is not a popular point to move onto those places.  From this point, we have roughly 10 days to work towards Addis Ababa to fly out to our next destination of Cairo.  Axum is famous for supposedly having the 10 commandments or ark of the covenant located here. 

There are several historical sites around Axum including the Tomb of Kaleb, the Stelae fields, Queen of Sheba's bathing pool.  All three of these sites were not so impressive compared to other places I have seen around the world.  The Tomb of Kaleb was two underground chambers that once contained Axumite emperors in the 6th century.  There is even contradicting stories about if he is truly buried here.  The Stellae fields contained one tall obelisk structure per former emperors of Ethiopia.  There are roughly 75 pillars here that have designs all over them and inscriptions.  The tallest standing one is 23 Meters and one has fallen over that was around 30 Meters.  The Queen of Sheba Swimming Pool is a small reservoir that supposedly the queen bathed here, but this debatable.  It is very funny that people bath in this dirty place and also that only men bath in it and it’s the Queens pool. 

The compound of the St Mary of Zion.  They actually spell it as Tsion, but it is the same as Zion.  Ethiopia’s first church was located here and was built in the 4th century.  There is a new church or cathedral here that was built in the 1960s.  This compound is supposedly where the Ark of the Covenant is hidden.  I read the history of why people from Ethiopia think the Ark of the Covenant is located here and the short version of the story is that apparently King Soloman and his descendants once had control of the ark and they apparently followed King Soloman’s history back to Ethiopia and say the ark came with him.  The Queen of Sheba apparently married King Soloman and when she returned from Israel, she brought back their son and somehow the ark came here along the line when it was in the family’s possession.  It’s a huge mystery, however Ethiopia’s territory did apparently spread up to Sudan, which bordered Egypt, so that is possibly geographically that this happened.  They also say the name of Ethiopia comes from Ethiopic, who was Noah’s grandson and he founded this country.  Ethiopic’s son founded Axum, which is this city. 

I arrived this compound, saw the museum and both new and old cathedrals and at the end was like where is the ark located?   I know that no one gets to go inside, but they say it is hidden somewhere in the complex and no one except the guardian can go inside.  I have in the past seen picture of where people think it is located, but I did not see this location inside here.  To be honest, I do not believe the 10 commandment tablets that Moses had on Mt Sinai still exist and if they do, I do not believe they exist in Ethiopia.  It is very possible, but after touring these sites around Axum and the history is very contradictory and have several versions of the stories.  This history of those sites stories contradict each other from the period of 400-1600 AD.   The ark came before Christ.  If the history of Axum got lost during the last 1500 years, I highly doubt that they somehow Ethiopians kept the history that came over 5,000 years ago.  Again, it is possible, but very doubtful. 
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