Monday, July 16, 2007

Biblical archaeology update Book blends beach and biblical reading
In From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible, Eric Cline blends the stuff of summer — sun, sand and stories — with archaeology to come up with some surprisingly intriguing beach reading. Who doesn't love a good mystery, especially one thousands of years old?

The Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, the Ark of the Covenant and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel are all biblical mysteries that resonate today. "These mysteries are not ancient history," writes Cline in his book's introduction. "They are still very much around today, showing up every few weeks in newspaper headlines."

. . .

Where the archaeology is clear, Cline finds convincing evidence that the biblical conquests around the 12th century B.C. weren't the work of Joshua and his horn but an invading army that overthrew the Hittites and severely checked the ancient Egyptians, leaving the Israelites behind to take over ancient Israel. Similarly, the best evidence suggests the Ark of the Covenant was not buried under Temple Mount, but captured and melted down by Nebuchadnezzar's invading army in 586 B.C.

Probably. Leastways, I've always figured the Ark was at some point seized as war booty and melted down for other purposes.