In the annals of archaeology, it ranks as the most bizarre excavation team. Led by a handsome British aristocrat, its members included a Swiss psychic, a Finnish poet, an English cricket champion and a mustachioed Swede who once piloted a steamboat on the Congo River. None had any training in the field.And it all went downhill from there.
Nor was the object of their search ordinary. This motley assemblage arrived in Jerusalem in 1909, when the Holy City was still under the authority of the Ottoman Empire, ruled from Istanbul. They sought nothing less than the famed Ark of the Covenant, along with treasures gathered by King Solomon 3,000 years ago that, according to legend, were later hidden.
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