A burial slab believed to have held the body of Jesus Christ before he was resurrected has been uncovered for the first time in centuries by a restoration team in Jerusalem.
The science of scriptures
The original limestone shelf, known as a “burial bed,” was exposed during the restoration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre after being covered by marble since at least 1555 AD. “It will be a long scientific analysis, but we will finally be able to see the original rock surface on which, according to tradition, the body of Christ was laid,” Fredrik Hiebert, an archaeologist involved in the discovery, told National Geographic.
Researchers now hope to study the original surface to better understand the original tomb and how it evolved to become one of the most sacred sites in Christendom. The discovery was made by a team of scientists from the National Technical University of Athens (NTU) who were making restorations to the Edicule (“little house”), a structure which had been built around the tomb. The newly-uncovered surface was described as having a grey-beige stone surface.
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"We are at the critical moment for rehabilitating the Edicule," Chief Scientific Supervisor Professor Antonia Moropoulou told National Geographic.
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Also known as the Church of the Resurrection, its custody is shared between six Christian sects, including the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church, whom together invited the NTU to undertake the restoration.
The restoration cost US$4 million with major donors including, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Mica Ertegun, widow of Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun.
This article originally appeared on RT.
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