“Tomb of Jesus Christ Older Than Believed, Scientists Find”
1. **Dating the Tomb**: Scientists have conducted tests on a limestone cave within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This church is traditionally considered the most widely accepted burial site of Christ. The tests were performed to determine the age of the tomb, and they revealed that the tomb dates back to around AD 345. This is significantly older than what was previously believed.
2. **Scientific Process**: The dating process involved analyzing chemicals in the remains within the tomb to determine how long it had been since they were last exposed to light. This method is known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL).
3. **Previous Beliefs**: Prior to these findings, architectural evidence around the site had suggested that the tomb dated to the Crusader period, which is roughly 1,000 years ago. The belief in this tomb’s significance is based on historical accounts, with the Romans supposedly locating and enshrining the tomb in AD 326. This aligns with the rule of Constantine I, who converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the Roman Empire.
4. **Tomb’s History**: The tomb has undergone periods of destruction and reconstruction. It was totally destroyed and rebuilt in the year 1009, which had led some historians to doubt whether the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was indeed the same burial site established by the Romans.
5. **Restoration and Research**: The tomb was opened to the public in October, allowing scientists to conduct a nine-month restoration project on a shrine enclosing the tomb, also known as the Edicule. This project cost $4 million.
6. **Uncertainty**: While the scientific tests have dated the tomb to be much older than previously thought, it’s important to note that it remains archaeologically impossible to definitively confirm that this was the burial site of Jesus of Nazareth. Nevertheless, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is widely accepted as the site of Christ’s burial, and it holds significant religious and historical importance.
In summary, the article discusses new scientific evidence that dates the tomb believed to be that of Jesus Christ to around AD 345, making it much older than previously believed. This finding adds to the historical and religious significance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem as a possible site of Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.