A MAJOR Biblical artefact has been unearthed as archaeologists claim to have discovered the stone Jesus Christ was placed on following his death.
Restoration workers who were plying their trade on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem stumbled upon the rock surface which Jesus was apparently rested upon.
The slab has not been seen since 1555 when it was enclosed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which contains the Tomb of Christ.
Christians claim following his crucifixion, Jesus was laid on the slab, or “burial bed” and enclosed in a tomb before being resurrected and ascending to Heaven several days later.
Centuries later, followers of Christ took the slab to what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where it has remained hidden since 1555.
However, renovation on the building, which last took place between 1808 and 1810 following a fire at the site, has helped archaeologists rediscover the slab that Christ was said to have been laid to rest on.
The project is currently subject to a documentary from National Geographic, with their resident archaeologist, Fredrik Hiebert, stating: “The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it.
“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 unveiling of Christ’s burial slab is giving researchers an opportunity to analyse what is considered one of the most sacred artefacts in Christianity.
Studying the tomb will also help scientists gain a better understanding of the original form the tomb took and how it has evolved over the centuries.
National Technical University of Athens’ Chief Scientific Supervisor Professor, Antonia Moropoulou, said: “We are at the critical moment for rehabilitating the Edicule.