“Death has always surrounded it. It is not of this earth,” Salah warns Indy about the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Despite the warning, and several other perils that await him, Indiana Jones embarks on an adventurous journey to find the biblical artefact before Nazis could get their hands on it. After all, it had the power of gods that could destroy anything, let alone win a war. Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark is a catalogue of biblical secrets that leaves the audience wondering whether the Ark was a figment of imagination or really existed.
According to the Hebrew Bible Book of Exodus, it is real. The Bible says, the Hebrews used the Ark to house the stone tablets on which God etched his Ten Commandments. But the Ark wasn’t just any other chest holding a holy relic, it is believed to have had its own fabled powers. Even though Hebrews considered the Ark as a gift of God, some greedy ones used it to their advantage. As written in the Book of Joshua—the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible—Israelis used the Ark to bring down the incredible wall of Jericho to conquer the city. The wall now lies hidden in a heap of ruins, concealing the stories of the past 10,000 years, and probably, our empirical link with the Bible.
Jericho, arguably the oldest city in the world, dates to 9000 BCE. From the melting Ice Age to the early human migration; from the Bronze Age to the battle of Jericho in Bible, Jericho has seen it all. Even the dawn of human civilisation begun at the doorstep of Jericho when humans were still hunters. To trace the history of the city, one needs to start from the beginning when the environment was changing radically.