Research

Age Of Jesus Christ's Purported Tomb Revealed

Age Of Jesus Christ's Purported Tomb Revealed

345 in the time of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine, 17 centuries ago, National Geographic reported.

Recent tests conducted by researchers on the oldest architectural remains of the holy site - a limestone cave in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem - reveal that the holy site is much older than previously thought.

While it is archaeologically impossible to prove the tomb is the burial site of Jesus Christ, who according to New Testament accounts was crucified in Jerusalem in 30 or 33, the new dating results tie in with historical accounts that the emperor Constantine ordered the tomb to be enshrined in a new church as he began the Roman empire's transition to Christianity in the fourth century AD.

The scientific tests on the shrine were the first of their kind carried out on what the faithful believe to be the resting place of the Christian Messiah.

Samples taken of the tomb Jesus is said to have been buried and rose from the dead are more than 1,700 years old, dating it back to the imperial Roman era, according to new test results that bring scientists a step closer to determining whether Jesus was actually laid to rest at the site. The Roman temple was razed and excavations beneath it revealed a tomb that had been hewn from a limestone cave.

National Geographic    
     STUNNED Worshippers in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre surround the restored Edicule
National Geographic STUNNED Worshippers in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre surround the restored Edicule

According to believers, the tomb includes a long burial bed where the body of Christ was laid out after his crucifixion. The top of the cave was sheared off to expose the interior of the tomb, and the Edicule was built around it. Such shelves, hewn from limestone caves, are a common feature in the tombs of wealthy 1st-century Jews from Jerusalem.

Speaking to National Geographic, Antonia Moropoulou, who directed the Edicule restoration project, said: "It is interesting how mortars not only provide evidence for the earliest shrine on the site, but also confirm the historical construction sequence of the Edicule".

Using a technique known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) the experts were able to pinpoint when the layers of mortar were last exposed to sunlight. "Obviously that date is spot-on for whatever Constantine did", archaeologist Martin Biddle told the magazine.

The magazine said the results will be published in full in a forthcoming archaeological journal.

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