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“It’s corroborating what the historical accounts are telling us,” Kristin Romey, archaeology editor for National Geographic, told CBN News.
“Around 325-326 A.D., Constantine sends his delegation to the Holy Land to find the site associated with the life and death of Jesus,” she explained. “According to the historical accounts, they’re asking around, and they’re saying… ‘Where was the tomb of Jesus Christ?'”
“And the locals point to this Roman temple; they tear down the Roman temple; lo and behold, underneath it is a rock-cut tomb,” Romey continued.
Historical accounts show the tomb was found and enshrined around 326.
National Geographic reports that scientists sampled mortar located between the tomb’s original limestone surface and a marble slab on top of it that dates to around A.D. 345.
Prior to these recent tests, the oldest architectural evidence discovered in and around the complex of the tomb dated to the time of the Crusades, around 1,000 years ago.
“We have a good amount of a limestone cave with a very typical kind of layout of what we call the burial bench that is still preserved within the walls of the Edicule [the shrine surrounding the tomb],” Romey told CBN News.
“I just remember being in that tomb and just kind of being really overwhelmed because this is one of the holiest, if not, the holiest site for the world’s largest religion… and to kind of be able to… see it in its original state and realize that this is a rock that people have fought and died for, for centuries,” she shared.
See Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the December issue of National Geographic magazine or tune in to the National Geographic documentary, “The Secrets of Christ’s Tomb: Explorer Special,” premiering Sunday, Dec. 3 at 9/8c.