In general as time goes by jobs become easier due to for example mechanistation or increased use of computers. Think how easy it was in the past to build a house and compare that to how easy it is to build a skyscraper today. Despite this you would think some things would never get any easier, for example the job of being Indiana Jones. Jones is a tomb raider (lets be honest) and so far in his exploits we have seen him tangle with the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail and many other items. But quite frankly for these two named pieces he need not have gone to all that trouble.
We all know from the work of Graham Hancock (The Sign and the Seal) that the Ark is at Axum in Ethiopia (I still think this is Hancock's best piece of work). It's in a church not open to anyone and it is guarded by a single monk who is the only person allowed to see the Ark. At least that is how the story has been told (if you're wondering why it's there Solomon had an illegitamte son with the Queen of Sheba and he took the Ark back home to Ethiopia - that's why it appears to vanish from the Bible). But news reaches our ears which has some bits of excitement in it.
His Holiness Abuna Paulos Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church announced in Rome in June of this year "The Ark of the Covenant has been in Ethiopia for many centuries. As Patriarch I have seen it with my own eyes, and only a very few people have been able to do this so". Well in the December 2007 issue of The Smithsonian magazine he said he had not seen it, so he has seen it relavtively recently. And the use of the rather intriuging so far...
It appears that on Friday 19 of June at 1400 local time in Rome Prince Aklile Berhan Makonnen Haile Selassie and Duke Amedeo D'Aosta and His Holiness Abuna Paulos revealed to the world that “All that is known about the Ark is perfectly explained in the Bible. The state of preservation is good because it was not made by human hands, but is something that God has blessed. There are many writings and much evidence of the presence of the Ark in Ethiopia. It is not reasonable that someone expects us to claim that we have something that we do not have. I am not here to give proof that the Ark is in Ethiopia, but I am here to say what I have seen, what I know and what I can testify about. I did not say that the Ark will be shown to the world. It is a mystery, a cult object”. Paulos then stated that within two years a museum would be built and it would be up to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia as to whether the Ark would be on display.
So within two years the Ark might or might not be on public display.
And as for the Holy Grail itself, the cup of Christ, it was recently offered on ebay for a starting price of $90 000. It didn't make this price so it was offered for sale again with a starting price of a much more conservative $9. And this time it sold for a mere $1 525. A bargain. And here is the text describing this not quite priceless artefact:
"Amazing 2000 years old possible magic Holy Grail
According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the last supper, said to possess miraculous powers.
The grail comes from the collection of Hermann Sudermann (1857 - 1928), a german famous artwriter and art & antiquities collector.
The grail was now found in Berlin, packed in old 6 textil sheets, all with the monogram E. B., normally stands for Eva Braun, who was the wife of Adolf Hitler.
We can not reconstract the history of this wonderful piece, what we know is, that the grail is definitly approx 2000 years old (this is not a joke, it is the truth) and was in use during the lifetime of Jesus Christus. If it is the original cup of the Last Supper we can not say but the grail couldn’t have been anything very elaborate: it would certainly have been something simple and utilitarian, made of terra cotta.
This relict is made out of terra cotta and measures approx 5,2 x 3 inches, very good condition" Sic throughout
So that proves it - couldn't be anything else really could it.
And just in case you want to see it and the ebay page is no longer extant here for posterity is the Holy Grail now owned by... Someone with far too much money than sense.