The Holy Grail
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Axel: What kind of churches were they?
Isabel: There are churches now, but they were not obviously churches then, but they are temples in the shape of a cross…
Luis: You know this…?
Isabel: And they are all hewn out of rock from the top down.
Luis: They are like huge sculptures.
Luis: Yeah, Sculptures. They are carved in rock.
Luis: They are not built buildings but…
Axel: Excavated from the rock face.
Luis: Not exactly.
Isabel: No no no. It is a very geometric building when you look down on it.
Mark: It is cut out of the rock?
Luis: Look from a helicopter! You arrive to Lalibela for example which is where we are talking about…
Luis: You get to Lalibela and you see, Lalibela is a flat place with huts and palm trees, and you say, “where are the buildings?” Then you look from the air…
Mark: From the air?
Luis: …from the air and you see a huge square like I don’t know five hundred metres on every side.
Luis: Here is like an empty corridor of perfect flat walls and in the centre a building in the shape of a cross, for example but this building has not been built there. It is that all this around and all this stone inside the building has been taken out.
Mark: Taken out. It has been sculpt…cut out of the rock.
Luis: They are like huge sculptures rather than buildings. They are not built actually. They are carved.
Mark: Three thousand years old. Monasteries? Temples? Churches?
Isabel: They are connected with…
Mark: Coptic Christian? What is the religion?
Isabel: No. Now they are Christians.
Luis: They are Christian. Ethiopian Christians.
Mark: Coptic Christians.
Luis: No. Ethiopians.
Mark: Ethiopian…I think…
Luis: It is not exactly the same
Isabel: Yeah, there is a difference. It is not quite Christian. It is almost a Zionist Christian.
Luis: No no no no! But…
Mark: But who are the people who built these buildings? What is the name of the place…where these buildings are…?
Mark: What is the name of the people who built the buildings?
Luis: The Amharas. The Amharic people is the big ethnic group in Ethiopia and the one which has been on the throne for, I think… The problem is the Amharic are black, but they trace their path from King Solomon.
Isabel: That is right. They are also totally connected with King Solomon.
Mark: So there is a linguistic genetic thing (that) doesn’t link up somehow?
Luis: There is a temple …in Lalibela…in which only the priest; only one priest can accede (access) to the big relic inside and the big relic are supposed to be the Ten Commandments.
Isabel: The Holy Grail.
Luis: Well, I have heard the Ten Commandments.