Monday, April 6, 2009

Lost Tribes, The Ark of the Covenant, and Robert Mugabe

The Ark of the Covenant is in Africa! And it may have been stolen by Robert Mugabe! And then it get's weird....

According to a story from the UK's Daily Express, Tudor Parfitt, Professor of Jewish Studies at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies, says he found the Ark at a museum in Zimbabwe several years ago.

His hunt started after living with a group called the Lemba in central Zimbabwe who claim to be descendants of one of the lost Tribes of Israel. The Lemba described a holy object recovered from the temple in Jerusalem which was protected by a priestly class. DNA testing revealed that the priests, known as Buba, have the same frequency of a genetic marker found in Levites, the original guardians of the Ark.

This, combined with circumcision, ritual slaughter of animals, and an abstention from pork seem to indicate a connection of the Lemba with the Jewish people. It certainly wouldn't be the first group in Africa with Jewish origins.

The Buba claim that the Ark could shoot fire, but that it exploded in battle, and so a new one was built, modeled after the first. When Parfitt found the wooden ark in a Zimbabwean museum, carbon dating placed it at 1350 CE. He attempted to look into it further, but the object disappeared.

After further investigation, Parfitt seems to believe that Robert Mugabe may have taken the Ark, and no one seems to be willing to even speak to Parfitt, under threat of jail or worse.

Read all about the modern day Indiana Jones here

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