Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre located in the Old City of Jerusalem is a marble structure, which some branches of Christianity consider to be the resting place of Jesus. For centuries, this marble casing has prevented researchers from exposing what’s inside, until now.
Since 1555 A.D. scientists have left the marble covering in place, but now they’ve exposed the burial bed inside, which may provide researchers more information about its historical significance.
"The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it,” said Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, a partner in the restoration project. “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."…
The exposure of the burial bed is giving researchers an unprecedented opportunity to study the original surface of what is considered the most sacred site in Christianity. An analysis of the original rock may enable them to better understand not only the original form of the tomb chamber, but also how it evolved as the focal point of veneration since it was first identified by Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, in A.D. 326.
"We are at the critical moment for rehabilitating the Edicule," Moropoulou said. "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."