jerusalem - The probable tomb of Jesus Christ, below the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, does not originate from the time of the crusaders, but dates from around 345 AD and is therefore much older than was thought. National Geographic reports this Tuesday afternoon on the basis of research by scientists in and under the burial chapel in the church.
The results of the research make it more plausible that the burial chapel was built by Roman soldiers. They visited Jerusalem on behalf of the first Christian emperor, Constantine, to seek the tomb of Jesus. In the year 326 they built a sanctuary on the site that according to residents of Jerusalem was the cemetery of Jesus.
The tomb was opened in October 2016 for the first time in centuries. A team of archaeologists and restorers got sixty hours to enter the last earthly resting place of Jesus after his crucifixion. They found an older marble plate with a cross on it under a marble slab. Research into the cement under that plate thus points to a date of around 345 AD. The researchers also found cement from this period in other places. Researchers thought until then that the oldest parts of the aedicula- the burial chapel- came from the time of the crusaders in the Grafkerk, less than 1000 years ago.
The cave of which Christian leaders and a number of scientists assume that Jesus of Nazareth was deposed there after his death around the year 30 and after three days resurrected from the dead, was restored two centuries ago. All that time nobody put a foot in the cave.
The Holy Sepulcher was later built over the cave, which is also being restored. The church dates from the first half of the twelfth century.
The research does not prove that the tomb was actually the cemetery of Christ, but mainly underpins the story that the Holy Sepulcher stood on the spot where Roman soldiers built a sanctuary in the fourth century on instructions from residents of Jerusalem.