ARK of the COVENANT -- Aksumite Kingdom (Axum), Anonymous, Late 4th - Early 5th Century

Ark of the Covenant, Aksumite Kingdom (Axum), Anonymous, Late 4th - Early 5th Century

Aksum is the purported home of the Ark of the Covenant. According to regional tradition, the Ark is housed in the Church of Mary of Zion. The Ark, according to legends, was brought to Aksum by King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba's son and placed under guard. No one but the one guard priest is allowed in, and thus no one can verify the Ark's existence.

According to the Kebra Nagast, when Menelik came to visit his father in Jerusalem, his father gave him a replica of the Ark, and commanded the first-born sons of the elders of his kingdom to go to Ethiopia and settle there, which they did, and are there to this very day.

The sons of the elders did not want to live away from the presence of the Ark, so they switched the copy with the original and smuggled the Ark out of the country. Menelik only learned that the original was with his group during the journey home.

Bronze unit, Munro-Hay 51, BMC Aksumite 83 ff., aF, Aksum mint, weight 0.557g, maximum diameter 10.5mm, Late 4th - Early 5th Century; obverse Greek legend: BACI LEYC (King), draped bust right in head-cloth; reverse Greek legend: + TOV TO APECH TH XWPA (May This [the cross] Please the Country), small cross in circle.

Having been at Kagnew Station in nearby Asmara made the knowledge of Aksum inevitable, and as early as 1963 began inquiring into its exact history and of course this led to the accumulation of coinage relating to the Ark's passage to Eritrea from its home which was then under siege.

So, then, I present this wonderfully high voltage reading artifact from the Kingdom of Aksum, back in the 4th-5th century A.D.

All that having been said, I do not apologize for the price; this coin has been with me and we are buds. I am looking for a good home for him, one that features its former owner back in antiquity. Are you that one? If you gulped or felt a quiver at that thought, the answer is clear.