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The Secret Artifact

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This is the most difficult story I've ever had to tell. I've waited 30 years to tell it. And I hope, when it's over, you'll understand why I've kept it secret until now. [onscreen] The Story of The Secret Artifact With Historian Eli Hunt I'm Eli Hunt and this is my own story. The story of the secret artifact. You already know how this story starts. When I was 10 years old, my parents took me to the ruins at ancient Olympia. Most of the tourists were paying attention to the best preserved parts - the Temple of Zeus, the palaestra colonnade, the entrance to the stadium. I was more interested in the piles of rubble, the places no one was looking. My parents didn't even notice I had left their side. It was 2 hours before they found me digging through the dirt a few meters behind Pheidias’ Workshop, the site where supposedly one of the seven great wonders of the ancient world had been made - the great gold and ivory statue of Zeus. They were quite mad at me for running off, until I showed them what I’d found - a small bronze statue of a snake goddess. And as you know from my biography, I turned that statue in to the museum, although of course I really wanted to take it home with me. Later, their researchers authenticated it as a lost work of Pheidias. They were thrilled, my parents were as proud as could be, and the media dubbed me a young hero of history. I’ve been an avid fan and researcher of the ancient Olympic games ever since. As fantastic as it sounds, all of that really is true. But it’s not the whole truth. Yes, I discovered an ancient bronze artifact, and yes I gave it to the museum. But I found something else that day. And I didn’t tell a soul. I kept it, and I’ve studied it, for decades. I still don’t know if I completely understand it. That’s why I’m sharing it with you now. Time is running out. You may understand what I have failed to. Here is the truth. The sculpture was hollow, and when I ran my finger along the inside, I felt something rough - a piece of old, weathered paper. A tiny scroll, written on both sides, in English - not ancient Greek. I had no idea what it was. Was it some kind of riddle or poem or prayer? I couldn’t tell. But somehow, the fact that it was written in English - that made it okay to keep the scroll. It wasn’t ancient. It didn’t belong to the museum. It belonged to me. I've long since memorized the words I first puzzled over that day in ancient Olympia. The cryptic directions begin with “When the time comes, there will be no more time… When travelers appear, they will be washed clean by Lethe… As you wait for the six, you can build a House of Salomon...” And so on. At the end, a simple line, “Instructions for preparing the Lost Ring.” You can read all of it for yourself. But what I want you to know is this: I have been building that house for decades. Now, it's time to share what I have built with you. I realize at this point, you may not trust me completely. Surely, some of you will feel as though I have been cheating you by withholding what little I do know about the lost ring. So let me share one more story with you. Do you know how the agonothetai and the hellanodikai punished athletes who were caught cheating at the ancient Olympics? They created a giant statue of the cheater and put it on a pedestal right in the center of Olympia. It was the ultimate public shaming. Now if this were 160 BC, maybe you would want to make a statue of me, for cheating you of the knowledge I’ve had. I wouldn’t blame you. But the Greeks had another tradition – extending the olive branch when it was time to make peace. That time is now. I know that I can trust Ariadne, and that I can trust you. No more secrets. I’ve opened the portal to you. From now on, what I see, you see. We are in this together. [onscreen]

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 54 seconds
Country: UK
Language: English
Producer: Eli Hunt
Director: Eli Hunt
Views: 3,023
Posted by: ehunt on Feb 27, 2008

This is the most difficult story I’ve ever had to tell. I’ve waited 30 years to tell it.

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