I have posted about the renovations to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre previously, partially because I am Roman Catholic, and partially because the event is so interesting. Now ever more so.
The tomb has been sealed in marble since at least 1555 – and possibly centuries longer – to protect it from pilgrims who kept stealing pieces as holy relics. Now the tomb’s marble lid has been removed for the first time in five centuries – revealing a miraculous discovery.
There, unseen for half a millennium, was the limestone shelf where Christ’s body is thought to have been placed.
The researchers also discovered a second grey marble slab no one knew existed, engraved with a cross they believe was carved in the 12th century by the Crusaders.
Archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert of National Geographic, which was a partner in the project, says: “This seems to be visible proof that the spot the pilgrims worship today really is the same tomb the Roman Emperor Constantine found in the 4th century and the Crusaders revered. It’s amazing.”
Astonishing. I went into the wrong business; archaeology is where it’s at.