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Colonel Foley Tells Story of Search for “holy of Holies’

October 12, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Further revelation regarding the archaeological expedition which attempted to find the Ark of the Covenant on the site of Solomon’s Temple, were made by Col. Cyril Foley, who headed the expedition. Continuing his story in the Sunday “Express” here, Col. Foley explains why the search for the Ark failed.

The expedition, in excavating in the Kedron Valley, found many subterranean passages and a shaft, 107 feet deep, Col. Foley writes. Old Jewish day lamps, pottery, jars, metal balls used by the Romans during Titus’s siege of Jerusalem, as well as Roman coins of Titus’ period, were also discovered.

“The results of the excavations destroyed the hope of finding the Ark,” Col. Foley relates, “but left the possibility of finding the tombs of Solomon. David and Hezekiel, who were buried somewhere on Mount Ophel.”

It was decided to resume work in 1910, but in the meantime several members of the expedition suborned the Sheik of the Mosque Omar with one hundred golden sovereigns to allow them to enter the Mosque after dark and to raise the square stone with the ring which covered the passage down which the sacrificial blood was emptied in Solomon’s time. After three days of work the Sheik’s brother also demanded money which, being refused, he informed the authorities regarding the whole story, and as a result the Sheik was executed and the whole scheme smashed. The expedition, however, discovered data of great geological value, Col. Foley asserts.

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