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Friday, March 23, 2018

The autopsy of the Holy Sepulchre: the scientists said, what findings it promises

In Jerusalem scientists have revealed the Holy Sepulchre – the tomb where it is believed he was buried after his death on the cross, Jesus Christ. This news attracts universal attention. However, while the information coming from the Holy city, is very scarce. And even confusing. We talked with experts about whether it is possible to expect any significant discoveries.

photo: youtube.com

The body of Christ after the crucifixion Pilate asked Joseph of Arimathea. “Put it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out in the rock” – describes the burial of Jesus Christ in the 27th Chapter of the gospel of Matthew.

As reported by the chronicle, and later St. Helen, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I, found the place of the tomb of the son of God. On this site for many centuries in Jerusalem stands the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was there, and there are current excavations.

– Several times I have been in this sacred place for Christians, the last time quite recently. However, those photo – and video-shooting, which can now be seen on the Internet and in the media, call me puzzled – says the Scientific Director of the center for basic research in the field of natural Sciences, candidate of geological-mineralogical Sciences Alexander Koltypin. – The fact that I do not understand exactly where work is underway.

The core of the Holy Sepulchre Church is the Edicule – the inner crypt. Behind her is a stone couch, which, according to tradition, lay the body of Christ after the burial.

But those “pictures” currently being broadcast by news agencies, it is not reminiscent of the interior of the Edicule. Much more like that of workers raised on a marble slab above the Stone of anointing that lies in the Central vestibule of the temple (according to legend, this stone is laid the body of Christ after its removal from the cross, and it was here that he prepared for burial the body, having the anointing of his peace and aloe Vera – Ed.)… And the text we have published Russian – language explanations- very strange, maybe when translating from a foreign source occurred some confusion.

– It is reported that have to conduct research to identify “the original surface of the stone”, on which lay the body of Jesus. As specialist geologist, tell me, is whether modern scientific methods to determine the age of this grave and to ensure that the burial in it took place 2 thousand years ago?

– Of course, you can try to find and scrape off the crust formed on the stone walls of mineral deposits and to conduct their analysis, but this is unlikely in this case will give a satisfactory result. After all, in geological terms, two millennia is a very small time interval. A real help in the Dating could have carbon Dating, but you need to find the ongoing excavation of at least a small fragment of a carbon-containing material is coal, piece of wood, accidentally fell into the grave during those biblical events. The question is how lucky the archaeologists to make this discovery…

The unique and bizarre at the same time the archaeological operation on the opening of the vaults of the crypt in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, we also commented on the famous researcher of Oriental antiquities Victor Solkin.

– Archaeologists have archaeologists that they want to find out for myself?

The new Testament history concerned many experts, especially from Israel, because I want to find any significant or noticeable confirmation of the events that we read about in the Gospels.

In the era of late antiquity and the middle Ages on the territory of Palestine was formed a large number of places that were considered Holy; in particular, the Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, during a pilgrimage to Palestine, found some evidence that one of the places she visited, is the site of the burial of Christ.

The details of what she found there, as identified this place, why he chose, unfortunately, history has informed us. In the end, it was decided, first in the framework of the restoration work, then in the framework of the research project, at least, open the vaults, to see which stone fragments there may be what attracted the attention of Helena?

Clearly the existence of modern methods, attention to detail, some things there can be done. But until some real-life archaeological and scientific significance of this project to speak very, very early.

– But why, then, all?

In my opinion, there is an echo of the very fashionable now directions in archaeology for a study of myths. Not from the point of view of evidence — there was the tomb of Christ, and to legend and religious dogma had some factual basis. It is clear that the religious leaders and the public reaction will be mixed, moreover, that the press is greedy for bright headlines like this, “Opened the sepulchre”; and in General, any excavation in places sacred to different faiths, is always problematic: penetration into the objects of faith — it is very difficult.

However, due to the fact that the project began as a restoration — good that it will. The arch of the tomb is preserved, set in order, and further studied. But it is only about this…

– That is, most likely, researchers will not find anything there?

– I think, Yes. In that case, if you make fundamentally new discoveries related to historical burials, which could be in this place, then we have a lot to learn about the forms of burial ritual and the specifics of individual monuments in this region, characteristic of the Roman period. But I repeat, if they will find something. Maybe there is some in principle of the tomb. And then we ask, what was the funerary ritual in Judea from Roman times. And this is useful information. The project has just started, and it must follow. But in any case not to jump to conclusions.

See photo essay on the topic:

In Jerusalem, opened the grave of Jesus Christ and found a lot of stones

13 photos


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