The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant

by Graham Hancock

Hardcover, 1992



Call number

BM657.A8 H36


Crown (1992), 600 pages


Religion & Spirituality. Sociology. Nonfiction. The fate of the Lost Ark of the Covenant is one of the great historical mysteries of all time. To believers, the Ark is the legendary vessel holding the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Bible contains hundreds of references to the Ark's power to level mountains, destroy armies, and lay waste to cities. The Ark itself, however, mysteriously disappears from recorded history sometime after the building of the Temple of Solomon. After ten years of searching through the dusty archives of Europe and the Middle East, as well as braving the real-life dangers of a bloody civil war in Ethiopia, Graham Hancock has succeeded where scores of others have failed. This intrepid journalist has tracked down the true story behind the myths and legends-revealing where the Ark is today, how it got there, and why it remains hidden. Part fascinating scholarship and part entertaining adventure yarn, tying together some of the most intriguing tales of all time-from the Knights Templar and Prester John to Parsival and the Holy Grail-this book will appeal to anyone fascinated by the revelation of hidden truths and the discovery of secret mysteries.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member mercutio
Summary: Read this book if you love complicated mysteries. Or if you are a game master or game designer looking for inspiration in creating complex backstory.

You've got to give Graham Hancock congratulations on his creativity. He interprets many facts to support his theory that the Lost Ark of the
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Covenant is now located in Ethiopia. Hancock decodes passages from the Old Testament. Then he proceeds to architectural features from Chartres Cathedral in France and Knight Templar churches in northern Africa. He leaves no stone unturned. Too bad that reading his facts critically seems to leave most of them unconnected to each other.

I highly recommend this book for all game masters and game designers looking for ways to structure complex clues and ancient conspiracies. A GM will find this a trove of ways to put clues in temples, tombs and monuments of almost any genre of roleplaying game. Game designers will find inspiration for a fabricating broad sweeps of history that are fraught with secret meaning.
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LibraryThing member TheBeerNut
Hancock starts to get into gear, preparing for the lunacy to follow in his later work. More than anything, this is one man's grovelling apology for collaborating with the brutal Mengistu regime.
LibraryThing member BryanFergus
This is a remarkabe book. While not completely scientific in its approach to archaeology, it has an almost "investigative journalism" feel to it that is very engaging. Although he is not completely flawless in his logic or documentation, Hancock does make one think. His conclusions seem within the
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realm of possibility. This book started something for me. It served as my point of passage into the very interesting world of alternative archaeology.
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LibraryThing member mrlady
I have this book out on perma-loan from my friend Chris. I don't think he's getting it back. Imagine if PBS did a version of Raiders. Minus hot Indi, plus a few more facts. It's intoxicating. This book freaking OWNS me.
LibraryThing member trinibaby9
It is an interesting theory on the ark. It takes a few leaps of faith at some points and stretches the believeability at others. A goodl look into the culture of a people, but I did think it was going to end up having something a little more definitive.
LibraryThing member silverstitcher2
interesting but very slow, it took determination to finish
LibraryThing member paperloverevolution
What's that? The Ark is a radioactive chunk of rock that makes your face melt off?? YES, PLEASE. Hancock actually makes perfect sense - right up until he drags the Masons into it.
LibraryThing member TheoClarke
Well-written hokum in which much speculation is baked into a false fabric of largely unsupported 'facts'.
LibraryThing member Ma_Washigeri
Well I enjoyed the tracking of the Ark (possibly) via Elephantine island Atbara and Takazze rivers to lake Tana and on to Axum. So by the end I had forgotten the load of stuff about ancient Atlantis and weaponised mysterious science, and I can take or leave the Templar conspiracies (not really sure
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I care). And the journey from self-serving semi-villain to Grail (or Gral) penitent did not quite ring true. The author throws a lot of detail at the reader - and comes across as a bit unreliable - so I'm not really sure, for example if Newton was a freemason or not. Never mind the good bits about cultural detective work were good (if true).
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LibraryThing member tuckerresearch
One of the best historical adventure books ever written. Hancock, before he went off the deep end, pulls together various evidence to bolster the contention that the Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia. He makes a good case too. The only thing keeping it from being proved? You can't get into St.
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Mary's at Axum.

Originally read in 1994.
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Original publication date



0517578131 / 9780517578131


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