The stone that may have held the body of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion has been unveiled
A stone slab which many devout Christians, had supported Jesus Christ's body post-crucifixion has been discovered after many centuries. Workers engaged in restoration work in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre removed marble that encased the slab since 1555.
Fredrik Hiebert, the archaeologist-in-residence of the National Geographic Society, said he and his colleagues were surprised by the sheer quantity of fill material underneath it. He warned, the next process will be a longer-term scientific analysis, but in the end the actual rock surface on which the body of Jesus Christ was laid to rest will be visible.
The restoration process is being documented for an episode of National Geographic Channel’s Explorer.
If one goes by Christian history, the body of Christ was placed on a burial bed or a shelf after he was crucified. This burial shelf is at present enclosed by the Edicule, a small structure. The Latin word “aedicule” translates into “little house” in English. This artifact was last reconstructed in the earlier part of the 19th century.
Researchers have an unprecedented opportunity to examine the actual surface of one of Christianity's most sacred sites. The burial bed will be analyzed and it will be possible to better understand the original characteristics of the tomb chamber. It will also offer a clue as to how it became an important point of veneration. The burial bed was first identified by Helena, the mother of Constantine, the Roman Emperor in A.D. 326. The location of the site is extremely controversial, as this location was identified only after a long time had passed after events described in New Testament.
— Mark Martin (@MarkMartinCBN) October 29, 2016
The maintenance and operation of the church presently constitutes a fine balancing act between a number of Christian denominations, including Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox churches. Christian sects have fought each other which has caused parts of the facility to slide into ruins. Fears of possible church collapse have forced the Israeli government to shut the church for a temporary basis.
All factions have consented to a nine-month long renovation to fix the crumbling chapel built over the revered site as well as some long-overdue repairs. The marble which enclosed the slab was removed as part of this repair process.