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on 11 June 2006
This book is quite hard to believe, the story of where the Ark of the Covenant rests is surely going to be very contreversial. However, I have lived in Ethiopia and been to all the places that the author mentions and it is true that Ethiopians believe with a passion that the Ark rests in Axum. When I read the book I can take my mind back to Axum, Lailibela and Addis and feel exactly what he feels. I hope that people who read this book take time to imagine the rich history that Ethiopia has and perhaps they will be inspired to go see this beautiful country for themselves and make up their own minds.
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on 16 January 2003
This book is a wonderful, gripping descent into ancient history and biblical myth. Part adventure, part archaeological detective work, the reader can't fail to get sucked in as the author's obsession with his subject carries you along.
The search for the fabled Ark Of The Covenant, in which it is said that Moses placed the Ten Commandments etched upon tablets of stone, takes in a journey through distant lands and the sands of time. The style of writing conveys each step of the journey in vivid and eminently readable detail as you wait for the next clue to emerge from some ancient script or stone carving.
For anyone who has even the slightest interest in biblical stories, the mysteries of the ancient world, or of some of the great figures in history, this book will keep you enthralled.
Meticulously researched, written with verve, gusto, and no little skill, and with a tantalising quest at its core, this is one of the best, and earliest, books in the now saturated alternative archaeology genre. READ IT !!
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I can thouroughly recommend this book to any reader. Hancock explores the whole history of the arc and leads the reader to a gripping finale with a twist.
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This is an exceedingly interesting book, albeit controversial, for anyone interested in "history's mysteries." For those of us who have pored through the works of Zecharia Sitchin and dared to ponder questions that the scientists and religious authorities regard as sacrilegious (after all, science itself is a religion), this is especially interesting material. You don't have to believe in Hancock's theories (although he offers a weighty, serious argument for them) in order to love this book. Even if you regard the idea of the Ark of the Covenant resting in Ethiopia (or the notion that the Ark even exists) as preposterous, you can enjoy this book in the same way you can delight in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories; this book is about solving a mystery. Just as Holmes' series of adventures often resulted in no real, firm, graspable truth, so is the case here. This detracts little from the story, however. The final judgment is left up to you, the reader, which is the trademark of any substantive mystery--only in this way can the great and unattainable "truth," in its most esoteric sense, be discovered.
Granted, Hancock is not a scientist or theologian, but this may in fact serve as his greatest qualification for tackling the types of lofty problems he embraces. After all, the vast majority of scientists and theologians dismiss without consideration the sorts of "wild" ideas discussed in this book; if not for the open minds of men like Mr. Hancock, many truths that have now been established would remain jokes told by the arrogant "experts" over tea--take, as an example, the discovery of Troy. As for the content of this book, it truly is a mix of history, religion, and archaeology. This is not Indiana Jones' quest for the Ark of the Covenant, so anyone looking for that sort of action will be disappointed. Anyone expecting to see pictures and Hancock's personal descriptions of the Ark will also be disappointed. Whatever rests in the Church of Saint Mary of Zion in Ethiopia will not and probably should not be revealed to the eyes of anyone other than its appointed guardian.
What you will find in this book is a lesson on the history of the ancient Israelites and of the Biblical Ark, a history of Ethiopia (which I for one had never really heard the first thing about), a history of the mysterious Knights Templar (truly fascinating and mysterious men), and an enlightening story of Gothic architecture and mediaeval literature. Parzival is not an easy book to read, and thus it is rather unknown, even though it is just as important (and, if Hancock is correct, much more important) than Malory's better-known treatment of King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail. The idea Hancock presents, namely that the Holy Grail was in fact the Ark of the Covenant, manages to bring together the story of the two most important Biblical artifacts in history. If you have an open mind and a zest for "understanding," then this book should definitely be included on your reading list. Believe Hancock's opinions or not, the tale he tells is fascinating, dramatic, and intellectually enlightening.
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For people that are looking for a genuine attempt to locate the one true Ark Of The Covenant, one should no look further that this excellent book.
From the get go Graham lays out the Ethiopean legend and follows it up with some first class research and investigation.

His links to the Ethiopean government realy helped him pursue the Ark. He followed up on every piece of information scrutinised his own theories until proven otherwise, and would stand the test of his own investigations to disprove his own work.

So many researchers into the Ark fall into the trap of investigating only the areas of research that prove thier own theories. Graham's work is open and honest and is a breath of fresh air when comparing this type of book against the many other biblical researchers.

A ripping well written yarn from start to finish, a book I couldnt put down and although I didnt always agree with some of his findings his thorough investigations made me think otherwise. This book should be the hallmark for all biblical scholars.
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on 17 October 2014
Good interesting read, trail and research great... Felt somehow that the author was a bit arrogant in approach when dealing with other cultures and beliefs but we have to appreciate the honesty. obviously cannot say more as it would spoil the read, But in conclusion interesting, wanted to read more, building on the foundation laid and the search for knowledge continues. Thanks
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on 29 April 2007
I am a big fan of Graham Hancock's work and particularly this book. In a nutshell Hancock goes on a quest to find the lost Ark of the Covenant. In Indiana Jones style Hancock takes off to Africa and straight into a civil war in Ethiopia! For it is a church in the holy town of Axum, Ethiopia that apparently houses the Ark. Although no one is allowed to see it other than the church's guardian.

Hancock is very thorough in his investigation, outlining how the ark was stolen from the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem and how it eventually ended up in Axum. Along the way he mets native Ethiopian Jews that seem to practice a form of Jewish religion which has not been practiced since the time of the First Temple. Are the ancestors of these people the one's who brought the Ark to Ethiopia??

However, aside from being a well researched and totally plausible book, Hancock also highlights the rich and colorful history of Ethiopia with its religious monuments and temples. This book is a must for all interested in the religious and ancient history.
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on 28 March 2006
From the time I began to read this book I was hooked. The ideas put forth manage to walk a fine line between improbable and absolutely obvious, and then combine the two in order to create a concept that is both believable and logical.
I found myself almost transported to the places discussed in the book. And I wished that I could have followed the journey as the author searches for the Ark of the Covenant.
The book shows a wonderful insight into the Christian traditions of Ethiopia. Interesting ideas on the downfall of the Knights Templar. And many more ideas that make more sense than the conventional wisdom already put forth.
This is a must read book for anyone that is in any way interested in tthe Ark of the Covenant.
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on 31 October 2015
Graham Hancock done a great deal of research before writing this book. I've been to the Holy Land, Ethiopia and Charter and confirm that the details regarding all these places as presented by Graham are accurate. I found the book compelling to read and makes one think a lot. I agree with many of Graham's views, but not all. I wish I would have read about Lalebela as written in the book before visiting the place. However, after reading the book, what I seen there made more sense. For any one interested in the Ark of Covenant, that is the book. Also it is an important book to read if you are planning to visit Ethiopia and especially if that visit is going to include Aksum.
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on 19 February 2009
A must-read for anyone interested in the Ark of the Covenant or historical mysteries regarding ancient relics and the origins of religions in general. The author has made an in-depth investigation, carefully studying a constellation of primary sources, and he takes the reader along on field trips from France to the Middle East, and from Scotland to Ethiopia through Egypt. Like a good whodunit with many twists, much better than an Indiana Jones film, the book is fascinating all the way through till the bottom line. The reader follows Graham Hancock from Jerusalem to a remote monastic island in Lake Tana, Ethiopia, one clue leading to another clue in one of the world's greatest historical puzzles. The evidence often seems so compelling it is hard not to agree with most of the author's views. Even though I have to disagree with Hancock's final conclusion as to where the Ark might be located today, this book should be considered as one of the most thorough research works on the Ark of the Covenant ever done.

Sylvain Tristan, author of "Les Lignes d'or" ("The Golden Lines"), Paris: Alphée 2005
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