The queen of Sheba's palace at Axum in Ethiopia,
purported to once have been the home of the Ark of the Covenant, has been found, archaeologists from the University of Hamburg report.
queen was the friend and ally of King Solomon of Israel
in the 10th century before Christ.
According to the Bible, in 1 Kings 10, the Queen of Sheba journeyed to Jerusalem
after hearing of King Solomon's wisdom to see if what she had heard was true. So impressed was she that she gave large quantities
of gold, spices and precious stones to the king of Israel.
was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom," she said. "However I did not believe the
words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame
of which I heard. Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom!
Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel
forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness."
Ethiopian tradition claims the Ark, which contained
Moses' stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written, was smuggled to Ethiopia by their son Menelek and is still
in that country.
The Bible makes no mention of Solomon and the queen of Sheba
marrying or having a child.
The university said scientists led by Helmut Ziegert had found remains of a 10th-century-B.C.
palace at Axum-Dungur under the palace of a later Christian king. There was evidence the early palace had been torn down and
realigned to the path of the star Sirius.
The team hypothesizes that Menelek had changed religion and become a worshiper
of Sirius while keeping the Ark, described in the Bible
as an acacia-wood chest covered with gold. Remains of sacrifices of bullocks were evident around the altar.
at Axum, which began in 1999, is aimed at documenting the origins of the Ethiopian state
and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The discovery was made in the last 90 days.
"The results we have suggest that a
cult of Sothis developed in Ethiopia with
the arrival of Judaism and the Ark of the Covenant and continued until 600 AD," the announcement said. Sothis is the ancient
Greek name for a star thought to be Sirius.
The team said evidence for this included Sirius symbols at the site, the
debris of sacrifices and the alignment of sacred buildings to the rising-point of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.
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