Timo R. Stewart


The past is a foreign country whose habits and thinking require interpretation. The historian’s task is not only to identify past events, but to make the thinking of the people from that time understandable. This becomes particularly fascinating when examining things that seem difficult to explain. For example, the fact that a group of English noblemen travelled to Jerusalem between 1909 and 1911 to search for the Lost Ark mentioned in the Old Testament, simply on the basis of a cipher discovered by a Finnish poet in the Book of Ezekiel, may sound strange today. But how did it sound to the noblemen’s contemporaries? Or to the members of the expedition themselves? And on what grounds?

It is with questions like these and an enormous archive of notes that I will be travelling to the Saari Residence. My aim is to revise my book, which is based on my historical research on Valter Juvelius and Montagu Parker‘s undertakings in Jerusalem, as well as on the concepts of the Lost Ark, science and myth that prevailed in Europe in the early 20th century. I’m an optimist, so I’ll be bringing my skis along too. If all goes well, my script will be pretty much complete at the end of February, in spite of the skis. Here is a short summary of my work in the form of a VIDEO PRESENTATION.