New research reveals more about Jesus' tomb

  • New research reveals more about Jesus' tomb

New research reveals more about Jesus' tomb

According to historical accounts, Constantine - who was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity - discovered the rocky tomb with assistance from his mother Helena between 325 and 326 AD, buried beneath a temple to the Roman goddess Venus.

Experts say it is impossible to say that the tomb is actually the burial site of Jesus, but the tests show that the original construction of the tomb complex was during the time of Rome's first Christian emperor.

The outer city walls of Jerusalem, Israel. 345, during or shortly after the reign of Constantine the Great.

The architectural evidence (until now) contradicted the Romans claim-and supported that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built after years of violent attacks, fires and earthquakes in 1009.

"Up until now we had no scientific proof for the tomb surviving before a 1,000 A.D.", said Kristin Romey, archaeology editor with National Geographic. The test results were released today (Nov. 28) by the National Geographic Society.

National Geographic reported scientists also have detected physical evidence for reconstruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre burial shrine in the 11th century, when it was destroyed, and for a documented 16th-century restoration.

Image The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
A holy fire ceremony is held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 15. Atef Safadi EPA file

When researchers unearthed the tomb within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre a year ago, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary archaeologist Tom Davis told BP the Garden Tomb "is an Iron Age tomb (8th c. B.C.)" and therefore does not match scripture's description of Jesus' burial place as "a new tomb" in the first century.

Professor Antonia Moropoulou, Chief Scientific Supervisor from the National Technical University of Athens, who directed the project of the restoration on the site of Jesus's tomb, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Athens, Greece, November 30, 2017.

But a team of scientists and restorers who completed nearly nine months of work on the tomb last March said they were able to determine that a slab at the heart of the compound dated from Constantine's time.

When the researchers opened the tomb back in October 2016, they found an older, broken marble slab incised with a cross beneath the marble cladding that covers the "burial bed". Energy within mineral grains like quartz build up when they are not exposed to sunlight.

The tomb of Jesus is covered by a shrine (sometimes called the Edicule) located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Interestingly, limestone shelves and niches are prevalent in the tombs of wealthy Jerusalem Jews from 33-90 AD.