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AFROMET - The Association for the Return of The Maqdala Ethiopian TreasuresDetail from the amulet of Emperor Tewodros
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the treasure
Tabots (9)

The British Museum currently holds nine tabots taken in the aftermath of the battle of Magdala.

Given the sacred nature of the tabots, Museum staff have promised never to put them on display. The gesture is appreciated. But it raises the question of why the Museum is insisting on holding on to exhibits that it can never show.

A Tabot is traditionally kept wrapped in cloths at the centre of an Ethiopian Orthodox church.

It focuses the presence of God in every Ethiopian church. Its removal is an act of sacrilege comparable to the removal of the Reserved Sacrament in an Anglican or Catholic church.

It is only ever seen by the priest and represents the Ark of the Covenant, which the Israelites used to carry the Ten Commandments as they travelled to the Promised Land. Ethiopian Christians believe they still possess the original Ark.

Current location

The British Museum, London
 
treasure count:
468 items
still missing
10 items
returned
(still counting)

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recent discoveries

Cameronians' cross
Reed shirt
Lancaster miscellaneous
Halifax miscellaneous
Throne cloth
Dundee scroll

full list of

missing treasure
returned treasure

see more

human remains
icons
manuscripts
military hardware
miscellaneous
personal effects
religious artefacts
royal regalia
tabots

current locations

The British Library
The British Museum
Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum Halifax
Dundee University Museum
Edinburgh University Library
The John Rylands Uni Library
Lancaster Museum & Priory
National Archives of Scotland
The Sch°yen Collection
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Windsor Castle

Other locations

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