Have you read Graham Hancock’s The Sign and the Seal (Touchstone, 1993) which outlines the description, origin, journey and location of the lost Ark of the Covenant as well as the many mysteries and legends surrounding its historical significance? The story centers around the author’s journey to Ethiopia in 1983 while working for the government on marketing a coffee book (Ethiopia is known for its quality in coffee beans) as well as promoting Ethiopia’s unique cultural and religious importance. During his travels and having been granted special access to several sacred sites, he was able to avoid the typical hazards of an ongoing tribal war. The author describes his first-hand account of the symbolism, legend and truth to the idea that the authentic Ark of the Covenant rests in a modest church in the holy city of Axum and vigilantly watched over by a Guardian Monk whom he is able to converse.
The reader comes to understand that King Solomon built his temple to house the sacred artifact. Solomon’s son, Menelik I, having been birthed a bastard of Queen Sheba, brought the Ark of the Covenant via a circuitous route and accompanied by an escort of Jewish elders eventually to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a rich tradition of Judaic, Christian and Moslem influences, which vie in their ultimate attempt at securing the most powerful object in religious lore (a struggle that has outlasted several centuries).
This story also incorporates the role the Knights Templars played during the 12th – 14th centuries in their excavation of the original temple, their knowledge of the Holy Grail and their monastic quest at securing truth (the great subject of Masonic study).
Those seeking instant gratification will google (images): Chartres+Ark+Prester+Parzival