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The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 07:38 PM
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The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
Christmas Day 1900 and across the Hill of Tara in Co Meath, a man and a woman may be seen walking, a sense of purpose influencing their actions. Flamboyant nationalist Maud Gonne in the company of Arthur Griffith, editor of the United Irishman and future co-founder of Sinn Féin, are inspecting recent damage done to the ancient monument site.

Random vandalism was not the issue. The culprits, members of the British-Israel Association of London, could instead claim a far more serious, if bizarre motivation, their quest concerning the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

Founded by Edward Wheeler Bird, a retired Anglo-Indian judge, the organisation became the unified mouthpiece of all sections of the British-Israel movement which believed that the Anglo-Saxon race was descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel, the wandering biblical Hebrews. It held many theories, most of which were wonderfully colourful, even logical in a mad sort of way.

Central to them all however, was an underlying conviction in the British right to rule the world. Implicit amid the theorising was extensive rhetoric proclaiming white supremacy and the usual racial megalomania embraced by any chosen people.

So how does royal Tara, the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland fit into this? The British-Israelites, driven essentially by intellectual beliefs, decided the Ark of the Covenant had been buried at Tara and must be retrieved.

It is a great story and well told by Mairéad Carew in Tara and the Ark of the Covenant, published by The Royal Irish Academy. An impressive cast list includes W.B. Yeats, Douglas Hyde, Gonne, Griffith and leading Irish archaeologists such as R.A.S. Macalister, George Coffey and Thomas J Westropp.

There is also the dastardly landlord, Gustavus Villiers Briscoe, who, having been bought by the organisation, sat by heartlessly drinking whiskey as the zealots began their crazy "excavations". There is also an outraged letter to the London Times, signed by a formidable trio: Hyde, Yeats and George Moore.

Nor should history overlook Maud Gonne's clever hijacking of Briscoe's elaborate bonfire planned to celebrate the coronation of Edward VII. Having organised an excursion to Tara for 300 children on the same day, July 13th 1902, Gonne looked at the bonfire and "felt it would serve a better purpose if burnt in honour of an independent Ireland". She lit it and sang A Nation Once Again. Briscoe and the local police were outraged.

Carew examines the story of Tara and the Ark in a lively narrative of meticulous detail and subtle humour. While the archaeological journals of the day gave the episode little space, the newspapers ran with it. According to Carew: "It was the first time that the Irish media had been involved in a campaign to protect a national monument."

But it was far more complicated than that because of the then changing attitudes towards Irish archaeology.

By the close of the 19th century, traditional gentleman Irish antiquarianism had yielded to an increasingly scientific approach. The cultural revival was in full flow. The clash between the British-Israelites and the cultural nationalists at Tara also represented colonialism versus emergent nationalism with their contrasting grasp of symbolism.

While the British-Israelites saw Tara as "a powerfully symbolic site, their 'resuscitated' Jerusalem, and spiritual capital of the British Empire", the cultural nationalists saw the place as a potential capital of an independent Ireland, and both sides drew on archaeology, history and mythology in making their cases.

Although the first approaches regarding possible explorations at Tara were made by the British Israelites in November 1875, all action was confined to a period spanning 1899 to 1902. Considering the amount of devastation subsequently inflicted on Ireland's archaeological heritage in the name of development throughout the 20th century, it is heartening to note the active opposition to excavating Tara.

Among the many interesting quotations used throughout is one attributed to William Bulfin (1864-1910) who travelled Ireland by bicycle and recorded his experiences. A close friend of Arthur Griffith, Bulfin was a shrewd commentator and observed the antics at Tara, not only of the Ark hunters, but also noted the government's evasive side-stepping. He was aware that fear of an exasperated public had been a factor in officialdom taking action but the true heroes were men such as Griffith, Hyde and Yeats and the professional archaeologists.

Of those responsible for the damage at Tara, Bulfin wrote: "Men have been sent to prison for less. But in Ireland there is no plank bed and hard tack for such offenders. They sleep upon the safest mattresses in the country and feed on the fat of the land." Considering he did not have the benefit of planning tribunal revelations to draw upon, his perceptions are impressive.

Elsewhere Macalister, himself a Freemason, writing of the episode years later in his book, Tara: A Pagan Sanctuary of Ancient Ireland (1931), dismissed the British-Israelite theory as "so utterly removed from normal sanity, that piety rather than ridicule should be accorded to those who have been infected with it". On the surface the incident offers yet another tussle between the Irish and the English. Yet there are stranger aspects involved. "The concept of Tara as the centre of a spiritual, religious or cultural conquest of the world is a recurring theme in British-Israelite literature. As Tara was regarded by them as an ancient royal site in the British Empire, the deposition of the Ark there would be evidence that Tara was indeed the spiritual birthplace of the Anglo-Saxon nation." This, the same Tara of which William Wilde wrote: "the memories of Tara have remained a silver thread in the garment of sackcloth he [the Irishman\] has worn for centuries". The same Tara described by Hyde, Yeats and Moore as "probably the most consecrated spot in Ireland".
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 07:38 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
[link to www.newgrange.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 08:05 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
bump Thought it was pretty interesting .
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 4473716
New Zealand
04/25/2012 08:30 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
.

While the British-Israelites saw Tara as "a powerfully symbolic site, their 'resuscitated' Jerusalem, and spiritual capital of the British Empire",
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15042683

The English are such deranged cunts.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 08:30 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
.

While the British-Israelites saw Tara as "a powerfully symbolic site, their 'resuscitated' Jerusalem, and spiritual capital of the British Empire",
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15042683

The English are such deranged cunts.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 4473716


Yeah , complete arrogant scumbags for what they did .
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 4825412
United States
04/25/2012 08:40 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
The Ark is not in the Hill of Tara. If it is in Eire, and I am not saying that it is, it would be located in the West, most likely on a certain set of Isles
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 08:41 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
The Ark is not in the Hill of Tara. If it is in Eire, and I am not saying that it is, it would be located in the West, most likely on a certain set of Isles
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 4825412


spock
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1084634
United States
04/25/2012 08:51 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
Stay tuned...bookmarked for latter May!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 08:55 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
Stay tuned...bookmarked for latter May!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1084634


scratching
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 15036318
United States
04/25/2012 08:57 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
arc of the covenant is basically a woopie seat
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 08:57 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
arc of the covenant is basically a woopie seat
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15036318


5a
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 15036318
United States
04/25/2012 08:57 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
you get a shock and awe if ya touch it
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 7584051
United States
04/25/2012 09:05 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
That was a good read. Thanks OP
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 09:09 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
you get a shock and awe if ya touch it
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15036318


Yeah , only the priests can handle the Holy items/Ark without dying . If they had of found it and were not from the tribe of Levi , they would have died instantly from touching it .
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 15042683
Ireland
04/25/2012 09:10 PM
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Re: The Ark of the Covenant in the Hill of Tara ?
That was a good read. Thanks OP
 Quoting: Deanster


hf Glad you enjoyed it !





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