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Archaeologists Discover Ancient Relic Possibly Connected To Moses And The Ten Commandments

Archaeologists from the University of Innsbruck have discovered an ancient artifact that may be linked to Moses and the Ten Commandments, Fox News reported.

Archaeologists have made a major discovery at a ruined chapel in southern Austria. according to They unearthed a marble shrine containing an ancient ivory box that may have links to biblical events, particularly the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses, they told Fox News. The find was located beneath an altar in a chapel at the top of Burgbichl, a small hill in the town of Irschen in the Drava Valley in Carinthia.

The roughly 1,500-year-old ivory box decorated with Christian motifs is a rare find, and lead archaeologist Gerald Glover said it was extremely unusual to find it during an excavation.

“There are about 40 known ivory cases of this kind around the world but, as far as I know, the last one to be found in an excavation was about 100 years ago. The few that remain are kept in cathedral treasuries or on display in museums,” Glover said, according to Fox News.

Another interesting feature of the box's decoration is the motif of a man riding in a chariot drawn by two horses, known as a biga, with the same divine hand lifting him up into the heavens, Fox News reported. Glover suggests that this may represent the Ascension of Christ, combining Old and New Testament themes, a typical practice of Late Antiquity. However, this particular depiction of the Ascension of Christ is unique, adding a unique dimension to the historical and artistic value of this artifact.

The excavations also uncovered two Christian churches, a cistern and various personal belongings of the area's former inhabitants. These finds suggest that during the decline of the Roman Empire, people left the valleys and sought refuge on the more defensible hilltops. (Related article: Archaeologists discover lost 1,800-year-old statue in astonishing condition)

MONTGOMERY, AL – NOVEMBER 18: (File photo) A Ten Commandments monument sits in the rotunda lobby of the State Courthouse Building in Montgomery, Alabama, on November 18. Protesters gathered in Montgomery on August 14, 2003, to demonstrate against Federal Judge Myron Thompson's order that the monument be removed by August 20. (Photo by Gary Tramontina/Getty Images)

“We speculate that this depicts the Ascension of Christ, the fulfillment of his covenant with God. The depiction of scenes from the Old Testament and its association with scenes from the New Testament is typical of Late Antiquity and therefore matches our sacramental vessels. However, the depiction of Christ's Ascension in a so-called bigha (chariot) is very special and previously unknown,” Glover added, according to Fox News.

Further research is planned to explore the origins of the box's ivory, metal and wooden components, and to learn more about its historical context and significance, according to Fox News.

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