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Christ Burial Slab Uncovered in Jerusalem, Researchers Say

Christ Burial Slab Uncovered in Jerusalem, Researchers Say

This Wednesday Oct. 26, 2016 photo, shows the moment workers remove the top marble layer of the tomb said to be of Jesus Christ, in the Church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. (Dusan Vranic/National Geographic via AP)

By    |   Saturday, 29 October 2016 05:38 PM

Researchers have uncovered Christ’s burial slab in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the first time in centuries.

The slab has been covered by marble cladding since 1555 A.D., according to Fox News. It has been uncovered as part of a major restoration project at the church, National Geographic noted.

“The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it,” Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and a partner working on the restoration project, told National Geographic. “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.”

According to Christian tradition, the rock surface, or “burial bed” is a sacred symbol for the religion, as it was moved from the side of a cave three days after Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and represents Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

The “burial bed” is now part of the Edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, according to National Geographic. This small structure was rebuilt in the early 1800s after it had been destroyed by fire, and it’s now being restored by scientists from the National Technical University of Athens, Fox News noted.

“We are at the critical moment for rehabilitating the Edicule,” Antonia Moropoulou, the National Technical University’s Chief Scientific Supervisor, told National Geographic. “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.”

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was said to have been built by the Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D., USA Today noted.

The recently uncovered slab is expected to help researchers answer questions about the original form of the tomb.

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Researchers have uncovered Christ's burial slab in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the first time in centuries.
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Saturday, 29 October 2016 05:38 PM
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