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?
Thasos, which is near Macedonia, has long been rumored as the potential resting place of Alexander the Great, who died in Babylon in 323 BC after conquering Persia and consolidating Eurasian power. The connection between the great military leader and the ten commandments -- none of which he could truly be said to have followed -- is unclear, which makes the news that they were discovered together even less credible.
That being said, the Ark of the Covenant has inspired travelers and explorers for hundreds of years and is likely to continue to do so. It is worth remembering that pilgrimages remain part of the modern travel culture and that visiting relics or searching for them is quite popular in much of the world.
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.
We can't vouch for the authenticity of every one of these relics, but they are revered by many of the faithful.