Ancient glue offers new insight into what may be Jesus' tomb

Ancient glue offers new insight into what may be Jesus' tomb

- in Science

JERUSALEM — New archaeological tests have confirmed that the site many Christians believe to be the tomb of Jesus Christ dates back 1,700 years to A.D. 325, the same era when the Romans first identified the place as holy.

With invasions, fires and even earthquakes occurring at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre over the centuries, historians had questioned whether the tomb had been destroyed or moved.

To date the tomb, known as the Holy Edicule, conservators from the National Technical University of Athens looked at radioactive elements in the architectural glue that fit it together. They also used ground-penetrating radar and laser scanning.

The tomb is the size of a coat closet, and was open for just 60 hours while restoration work was also carried out.

The results of the tests were first reported Tuesday by National Geographic.

“Scientists and archaeologists are very excited about this because, what it does is, it corroborates our historical accounts,” said National Geographic archaeology writer Kristin Romey, who was on site during the nine-month renovation project.

Experts believe the site was identified around A.D. 325 A.D., when the Roman emperor Constantine the Great came to the city with his team to locate places associated with the life of Jesus.

Image: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

A holy fire ceremony is held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 15.