Temple of Edfu
Deep in southern Egypt in the city of Edfu lies an ancient Egyptian temple, built by the Ptolemaic kings to appease Horus, the god of the sky and the protector of the Pharaoh. This is the Temple of Edfu.
However, an interesting antique found here is the Ark of Horus. A small statue of Horus was placed in the temple’s Holy of Holies (yes, exactly like Solomon’s) and was accessible only by the Pharaoh and the high priest. Priests would then transport the statue in an ark resting in a small boat held by two poles. A wall carving of the Ark of Horus in the temple showed that two bird-like creatures were sat above the boat facing each other. This ark is still available there to see. Hundreds of visitors could just be casually strolling past the glory of God. Think about that…
Some of the keen-eyed of you might have already noticed something about the name of this place. But anyway, this is a city situated in southern Turkey, close to the border with Syria. But what’s the relation between the Ark and what looks like your everyday ordinary city?
According to the Shi’a sect of Islam, a Hadith states that the Mahdi, an Islamic Messiah-like figure, will appear in the end times and will bring forth the Ark from a “place called Antioch”. This was an ancient Greek city, one of the wealthiest capitals of the ancient Middle East, and its ruins lie in, yes you guessed it, modern-day Antakya. The Mahdi will then unveil it to the world as a sign of his dominion and power. Imagine it though, a golden shining chest emerging from the depths of a burger shop in downtown Antakya. Absolute scenes.