The tomb of Jesus Christ turns out to be much older than the experts believed

The entrance to the tomb during the renovations. ( Corey Jaskolski / National Geographic )

The tomb where it is said that Jesus Christ would have been prepared for his burial, and later buried after his crucifixion, has now been dated to the time of imperial Rome, around the reign of Constantine. A recent study shows that its seniority is more than 1,700 years, which goes against the commonly accepted belief.

The analysis of mortar fragments, extracted from the original limestone bedding and a marble slab that covers it, reveals that they date back to 345 AD. C. This has led Kristen Romey, archeology editor of the National Geographic magazine , to write about it : “At last we have the scientific proof that this place, the tomb of Jesus Christ, one of the most sacred places of Christianity, is It has remained intact for seventeen centuries. ”

NBC News describes the scientific tests carried out,

“To date the tomb, known as the Sacred Edicule, curators of the National Technical University of Athens examined the radioactive elements present in the architectural mortar that holds them together. They also used ground penetrating radar and laser scanning. ”

Specifically, we read in National Geographic : “The mortar samples were independently dated in two different laboratories with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), a technique that determines when quartz sediments were most recently exposed to light.”

National Geographic reports that the tomb, supposedly belonging to Jesus Christ, was opened in October 2016 for the first time in centuries. It is located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in the Old City of Jerusalem. As Romey points out : “Mark the place of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to Christian tradition.” Historical documents suggest that the Romans identified this tomb as that of Jesus Christ around AD 326. C.A prior evaluation of the architecture of the interior and the surroundings of the tomb led experts to suggest that it came from the time of the Crusades. The funerary bed, where Christ would have been anointed after his crucifixion, had been covered with a marble covering, subsequently covered in turn with another marble slab. This oldest marble slab, broken and incised with a cross, and resting directly on the funerary bed, has now been called the “oldest Roman sanctuary in the place.”

Central part of a mosaic of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem located on the exterior wall of the Catholicon, behind the Stone of the Anointing. The mosaic represents Jesus being taken down from the Cross, and his body is being anointed before being deposited in the tomb. ( M diet / CC BY SA 3.0 )

Newsweek reports that the church was completely demolished in the year 1009, but it was rebuilt later. However, this destruction raised a doubt in the minds of modern researchers: could it be the same place, considered the tomb of Jesus Christ by the Romans, who discovered and consecrated it almost 17 centuries ago?

According to National Geographic , the results of recent tests confirm that it is. However, they also observe the following:

“Although it is archaeologically impossible to say whether the tomb is the burial site of a Jewish individual known as Jesus of Nazareth, who, according to the New Testament account, was crucified in Jerusalem in 30 or 33, the results of the new dating they safely transfer the original construction of the current tomb to the time of Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome. ”

Today reports in addition to the National Geographic broadcast of a documentary related to this discovery: “The Secrets of Christ’s Tomb,” (“The secrets of the tomb of Christ”). National Geographic has also built a three-dimensional replica of the tomb in its Museum in Washington, DC, United States.