In contemplating the subject of fanciful information and perhaps in hoping to close on the subject – was it footprints from mysterious energy perhaps surrounding a perhaps saint and did that energy surround Christ, too, thus affecting the carbon 14 content of relics? – I came across this story in the Huffington Post Travel Section:
Reports are cropping up that the fabled Ark of the Covenant, said to contain the remnants of the Ten Commandments, has been discovered along with the Tomb of Alexander the Great on the Greek island of Thasos.
The Focus Information Agency, a Bulgarian outfit not exactly renowned for accuracy, is reporting that Grekomania.ru, a Russian web portal that purports to be an "official information partner of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Greece," has claimed that a group led by Nikolaos Kumardzis, an archeologist apparently unaffiliated with any other dig, has identified one of the world’s great treasures. At least one Armenian newspaper is running a similar story.
What more confirmation could anyone possibly want?
. . . Because the Ark of the Covenant story is likely to bounce around the internet, exciting then disappointing people, we thought it would be nice to offer up a selection of places where relics were actually discovered.
The picture is of a toy Ark of the Covenant that comes complete with an archeologist doll from Hasbro toys.
Note below that the description of the Shroud of Turin from HuffPost, which shows that they are not really that much more reliable and accurate than the Russian internet portal or the Armenian newspaper.
- Spear of Destiny (Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem)
- True Cross (a piece discovered in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre)
- Crown of Thorns (the one in a church on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion)
- Holy Grail in Zaragoza, Spain (at least, it’s an artifact of something, maybe)
- Shroud of Turin (the cloth, supposedly used to wipe Christ’s face prior to the crucifixion)
- The Gifts of the Magi (at St. Paul’s Monastery at Mount Athos)
- John the Baptist’s Head (at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria)
- Muhammad’s Beard (Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace)
- The Holy Mantle of Muhammad (also at the Topkapi Palace)
- Buddha’s Tooth (at a temple in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy)
At least to the paper’s credit they say of the Shroud that “[t]he cloth has come under a great deal of scrutiny partially because it provenance is unknown” even if they don’t know what it is.
Why did they omit the relics of St. Columba who, after all, discovered the Loch Ness Monster?