Whoever has The Object is the most successful culture on the planet while they have It - but It can be taken by force.
Obviously the Egyptians had It "first" (I don't know who made It or where It came from. The Ancient Egyptians apparently didn't know how to make one; witness them tearing out across the desert, desperate to get It back. And thereafter, their culture/civilization declined. But I'm getting ahead of myself.)
The culture of Ancient Egypt lasted for thousands of years, with accomplishments in art & architecture that still affect the world to this day.
The whole reason he went back was to get The Object. He was willing to risk his own life, and that of his children (or a fate worse than death). He had the highest level of insider knowledge, but he had to hide his identity. He wore a veil, and had someone else speak for him, because someone in the Egyptian royal court would have recognized his face and/or voice. (I'm here treating the OT account as "mythicized history", rather than completely made up as some have alleged.)
"Let my people go!" was a retcon. The rulers of our world have been committed to keeping this knowledge from the masses.
The Old Testament of the Christian bible clearly describes the dangers of this Object, and the several people who were killed simply by not following the instructions on the proper handling of It. [The OT reference to The Object as an "Ark" & - physically - a box is not necessarily Its only form/manifestation; the Templars (see below) were said to have a "head" that they used to communicate with.. something.]
Apparently, not everyone can make as good use of possession of The Object; there is no evidence of great artistic, scientific, or philosophical accomplishment by the Jews or Hebrews during the centuries they had It. (One could argue that their religion - i.e., their unique synthesis of Egyptian & Middle Eastern religions of the time - has had outsized influence on world history, but that's complicated by social control agendas of more recent authorities.)
Although Athens was the place where the Greeks made their advances in everything but warfare, it was the military strength of Sparta that enabled the Athenians to explore concepts freely.
As the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem in 597 BC, and as there is no evidence to indicate the Babylonians or Persians ever had It, I deduce that It made Its way over to Greece before then. Sparta rapidly militarized sometime between 700 & 600 BC, so that fits. (How exactly the Jews or Hebrews lost It to the Greeks I haven't discovered yet.)
Sparta maintained its political independence until all of Greece was subsumed into the Roman sphere of influence, after which The Object was in Rome.
The City had long since become deeply and thoroughly corrupt by the time Constantine became emperor of the whole Roman Empire in 306*. He knew The Object needed a safer, more stable place to rest; Byzantium could be rebuilt into something much more defensible. He renamed it after himself - Constantinople - and that's where It remained .. until the 4th crusade.
*of the official chronology. The rewriting of history, pertaining to when things happened, is a whole-nother article.
The Fourth Crusade
The Templars were digging in the temple in Jerusalem to find certain documents about The Object; maybe they theorized It existed but weren't sure, or just needed to learn how to control It. Once they found this information, they returned to France to drum up the money & papal support (they needed a good excuse to sell to the masses why a Christian army was waging a crusade against a Christian city) necessary to forcibly take It from the Eastern Roman Empire.
Either the king of France & the Pope let the Templars keep It, or didn't know they had It; either way, a later king of France decided to take It from them. Again, a story had to be told, to explain to the masses why a Christian order of knights was being attacked by the king. The king of France accused them of financial misdeeds, and the Pope (recently elected, from France, stayed there instead of moving to Rome as usual, Templars suddenly re-branded as "bad, all bad" & destroyed soon after - hmmm) piled on with allegations of heresy.
The reports of Templars being tortured "into confessing" was probably the king trying to find out where It was and/or how to use It.
The High Middle Ages and Renaissance
The history of wars raging throughout Europe from the time of the betrayal of the Templars up through the 20th century is the history of people trying to muster the military might to take The Object from whoever had It at a given time.
The Sun King
Louis XIV, king of France, had It for his reign; however, he expanded his country's reach too fast, which, combined with his own corruption, left France unable to keep it.
The Industrial Revolution
The UK got It from France at the end of the Seven Years War (aka "the French & Indian War"), and kept it until World War 2.
Apparently, England gave It peacefully to the United States during or, most likely, immediately after the second world war. Perhaps they were afraid that communist China or the USSR might be able to take It from them.
This is why the US Government has been obsessed with having a military so big and powerful that the whole rest of the world combined could not conquer them.
Unfortunately, having this Thing (whatever It is/does), the USA has been able to remain very successful even as it took on more & more societal dysfunction over the past several decades. This appears to have now finally reached a breaking point.
So long as It exists on this planet and is operational, there will be war(s). The best thing to do would be to "kill" It, so that no one would have It; however, everyone who has taken It by force has apparently thought It was well-nigh indestructible.
For those who are skeptical (but not terminally so), take a look at an historical atlas.
I have to thank Tom of Montalk (esp. http://montalk.net/gnosis/231/4-ark-of-the-covenant-abridged; and David Wilcock, whose recent Cargo Cult article really sparked me to flash on this; and of course Graham Hancock, for his great work on the Ark & many other things.