Artifacts hold significant value to the world whether of historical, cultural, or religious importance. Through the discovery of many ancient archaeological sites and artifacts we have learned much about the way previous civilisations lived, although many questions still remain unanswered.
Artifacts without any religious significance are deemed almost priceless, so it should come as no surprise that an artifact with some religious meaning would be even more costly. Here we countdown to the most valuable religious artifact in the world.
Iraqi Jewish Bible – $104,000
The Iraqi Jewish bible was discovered in 2003 by Harold Rhode during a search of Suddam Hussein’s service headquarters in Baghdad by U.S. invasion forces.
Thousands of Iraqi ancient artifacts were discovered along with the Jewish bible in the waterlogged basement and the bible was later transported to the U.S. for conservation.
Dating back to 1540, the bible was riddled with mould and is currently being held at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Life of Christ Vargueno Cabinet – $205,000
Originating in Spain, the Life of Christ Vargeuno Cabinet was carved in 1560 and is made of enamel, iron, and ivory.
Featuring high relief scenes of the Crucifixion and Lamentations of Jesus Christ on the surface, the stand features portraits of 4 evangelists, and opening the cabinet reveals 14 enamel paintings which depict the life of Jesus Christ.
While not particularly rare, these cabinets still cost approximately $200,000 to acquire, which equates to playing a whole lot of real money slots!
Father, Take This Chalice Away From Me – $937,000
Produced in the 16th century, Father, Take This Chalice Away From Me is a renaissance artifact of 150cm high and 85cm wide.
The title of the artwork was taken from a passage in Luke 22:42 which speaks of Jesus and disciplines sleeping and praying in the Gardens of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion.
Jesus is depicted kneeling in a landscape of braided acanthus leaves, looking towards the heavens at a naked angel, who has relieved him of the chalice.
Death Mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun – $2,100,000
Found by Howard Carter during a discovery of the tomb of King Tut in 1925, the Death Mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun is made of 11kg of solid gold and is embedded with semi-precious stones.
King Tut became the ruler of Egypt at just 9 years old and reigned supreme from 1332-1323 BC until his death at 18.
The inner coffin of Pharaoh Tutankhamun is also made of solid gold, weighing over 100kg, and the death mask can be viewed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Codex Sinaiticus – $2,600,000
Considered to be the world’s greatest biblical treasure, the Codex Sinaiticus dates back to 4th century AD making it the world’s oldest bible.
Handwritten in Greek, the Codex Sinaiticus was found on Mount Sinai and includes the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.
Measuring 38.1 x 34.5cm, the largest portion of the manuscript – 694 pages – is held at the British Library in London, while the remainder was divided between 3 other libraries around the world.