In a hallmark archaeological project, scientists have opened the tomb reported to be the last resting place of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. A team of researchers from the National Technical University of Athens has removed the massive marble slab which has covered the tomb since 1555 CE. The research is part of a project to renovate restore the tomb, known as the Edicule, which is found in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
National Geographic archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert claims that what researchers have already found rivals any other archaeological discovery in the world:
The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it. 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. What was found is astonishing. I usually spend my time in Tut’s tomb, but this is more important.
The tomb was last renovated after a fire in 1810, but has since deteriorated due to humidity and the smoke generated by candles or decanters.
According to Chief Scientific Supervisor Professor Antonia Moropoulou, this examination of Christ’s tomb, called the Edicule, could reveal unknown aspects of the tomb and its creation:
We are at the critical moment for rehabilitating the Edicule. The techniques we’re using to document this unique monument will enable the world to study our findings as if they themselves were in the tomb of Christ.
Already, researchers have announced that the tomb has revealed surprising discoveries. Using radar, the team has detected a hidden cave behind thick marble panels surrounding the tomb. What might lie inside the cave is unknown, but whatever it is, one thing is certain: it’ll be sure to melt the faces right off of those pesky treasure-hunting Nazis.
Yep, just like that.