The Feast of All Saints

On this day, how appropriate that we can read about a very recent excavation of Jesus' tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. I was there in 2014, and it is quite a site. As with the archaeologists who followed up on the legends of Troy, or the similar ones who were amazed to discover how precisely the Beowulf preserved descriptions of war-gear that would have been ancient when the poem was written, scientists who followed up were surprised by the accuracy of the tradition:
Researchers have continued their investigation into the site where the body of Jesus Christ is traditionally believed to have been buried, and their preliminary findings appear to confirm that portions of the tomb are still present today, having survived centuries of damage, destruction, and reconstruction of the surrounding Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City....

When the marble cladding was first removed on the night of October 26, an initial inspection by the conservation team from the National Technical University of Athens showed only a layer of fill material underneath. However, as researchers continued their nonstop work over the course of 60 hours, another marble slab with a cross carved into its surface was exposed. By the night of October 28, just hours before the tomb was to be resealed, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact.

"I'm absolutely amazed. My knees are shaking a little bit because I wasn't expecting this,” said Fredrik Hiebert, National Geographic's archaeologist-in-residence. "We can't say 100 percent, but it appears to be visible proof that the location of the tomb has not shifted through time, something that scientists and historians have wondered for decades."

1 comment:

Ymar Sakar said...

The limits of human knowledge. So frail and ephemeral.