For the first time in centuries, archaeologists have opened the original rock surface in Jerusalem where the body of Jesus Christ was believed to be laid. The top marble layer of one of the most important shrines of Christianity was removed for the renovation purpose. As a part of the renovation project, Edicule will be reinforced and preserved.
The archaeologist from National Geographic, who is a project partner at Church of the Holy Sepulchre, drew light on the significance of renovation. He stated that the rock surface must be covered with the marble slab since 1555 at least and maybe longer. National Geographic has partnered with Greek restoration experts for the project. The team has been working to shore up the shrine surrounding the tomb. The earlier would document the whole work.
During their project, Fredrik Hiebert – National Geographic archaeologist – stated, “What was found is astonishing. I usually spend my time in Tut’s tomb, but this is more important.”
Hiebert says that the second slab dates back to the 12th century. It is grey in color and features a small etching of a cross. The archaeologists have been granted only 60 hours of time to excavate the inner sanctum. They are making the most of it to analyse the tomb’s core.
The Edicule was last restored back in 1810 followed by a fire and was never renovation because of religious rivalries. Though an iron cage built in 1947 around the Edicule provides supports, it is not enough and needs reinforcement because of extensive expose to candle smoke and humidity.