The decayed wooden object lying neglected on a shelf in a museum storeroom didn’t look like anything too exciting. But Tudor Parfitt, Professor of Jewish Studies at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies… was convinced that the object, which resembled a damaged, ancient African drum, was in fact the lost Ark of the Covenant.
One of the most holy objects in existence, the Ark, thought to have dated back to around 1200 BC, is described in the Bible as a form of container that once held the tablets on which were inscribed God’s Ten Commandments.
This is wild stuff. The theory rests on a few assumptions.
1) The Lemba of South Africa and Zimbabwer descend from the Ancient Israelites.
This claim has been largely accepted once the evidence came to light that their priestly caste, the Buba, carry the genetic Cohen marker sometimes called the Cohen Modal Haplotype.
2) Rashi and other were correct that there were two Arks, one wooden, and one gilded.
This is very hard to demonstrate but has decent backing in the mythology.
3) The wood object is of the correct age to be the first of the arks.
It has been carbon dated to 1350, when the Lemba say it was rebuilt. This is not conclusive for or against.
There is lots more. Definitely read this article examining the claims and intrigue surrounding the ark and Mugabe.