Ark of the Covenant
|Light iron-age reading|
|Gabbin' with God|
The Ark was built per instructions given by (apparently) God to Moses when the Israelites wandered the desert. It measured 2.5 cubits (around 45 inches) in length, 1.5 cubits (around 27 inches) in both height and width. It should have been constructed out of acacia wood and gold plated on both the inside and the outside, and the lid was adorned with twin cherub statues.
The exact contents of the Ark vary depending on whether one is gleaning its contents from the Old or New Testament. According to the Old Testament, the contents are said to be the original stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. However, it has been debated whether both tablets are contained within one Ark, or for that matter, if they even exist. Yet according to the New Testament, the inventory sheet has grown to include Aaron's staff and a golden jar of manna in addition to God's Top 10 List of Don'ts.
The Ark is perhaps most well known for its capabilities as "a radio for speaking to God", as well as the fates for those who misuse it. The Ark served as God's only material connection to the world. According to the Bible, when God wanted to speak to Moses, he would do so out of the twin cherubs with a cloud becoming visible.
The Ark also supposedly killed those who would misuse it through holy fire and other such phenomena. However, given the conditions of the desert, as well as gold's ability as a conductor, some scholars believe that these deaths could be attributed to a severe static shock.
 Current location
The whereabouts of the Ark are currently unknown. It was lost when the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonian empire. Some believe it was hidden prior to the attack, in a cave near the Dead Sea, or in possession by the United States in some classified location. Christians in Ethiopia claim they have it at the Church of Saint Mary of Zion, where it is guarded by the "Keeper of the Ark".
 Pseudoarchaeologist claims
Pseudoarchaeologist kook Ron Wyatt's alleged discovery of the Ark of the Covenant is, like his other "discoveries", incredibly light on evidence. Photos taken during Wyatt's excavations in the Garden Tomb area in Jerusalem are blurred and Wyatt's original records have been removed from circulation.
There is certainly a chamber at the site, the purpose of which remains unknown, but Wyatt's claim to have seen a chest of beaten gold is supported only by the blurry photos he took. It is also alleged that he saw a giant sword, possibly formerly belonging to Goliath, and certainly not broken off from a huge statue somewhere.
The site of the Ark was also claimed by Wyatt to be below the site at which Christ was crucified. Wyatt is claimed to have found a strange black substance, later tested and found to be human blood. It's claimed to be the blood of Jesus because it contains half the number of chromosomes that would normally be present in a human male. Human males normally have 46 chromosomes, with 23 coming from the mother and 23 from the father. Jesus, having been the product of virginal conception, would have only obtained 23 chromosomes from his mother, Mary. Of course, this ignores the fact that a person missing half their chromosomes would be unlikely to develop in any normal sense as a human being. 
Wyatt and his supporters have not explained how the tests on the blood were performed, nor have they released the data necessary to confirm their claims.
 Ancient nuclear reactor "theory"
George Sassoon and Rodney Dale proposed that the Ark of the Covenant contained a nuclear reactor. Supposedly, the Ancient of Days described in Exodus was a device that stored algae, the manna that the Israelites ate to survive. The ark ran for 6 days but required the seventh day to rest, proposed to be the origin of the Sabbath. 
 See also
- ↑ Jesus, as God with a material body, obviously does not count for some really odd reasons.
- ↑ Jewish Virtual Library: The Lost Ark of the Covenant by David Shyovitz
- ↑ Wyatt's Ark of the Covenant records have been withdrawn
- ↑ Some photos and a rather uncritical write-up of Wyatt's findings
- ↑ Assuming, of course, that Jesus was parthenogenic and not simply conceived out of wedlock, the "virgin birth" being a convenient way to avoid adultery charges.
- ↑ To better understand this problem with Jesus only having 23 chromosomes, imagine trying to write a novel without the use of nouns and vowels. With only 23 chromosomes, Jesus would look like something from a b-movie, assuming he even survived beyond the zygote phase.
- ↑ George Sassoon, Rodney Dale, The Manna Machine