Christ's burial slab uncovered for the first time in centuries

File photo - Worshippers hold candles as they take part in the Christian Orthodox Holy Fire ceremony aound the Edicule at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City April 11, 2015. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Researchers have uncovered the stone slab in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre venerated as the resting place of Jesus Christ.

The slab, which has been covered by marble cladding since at least 1555 A.D., has been exposed as part of a major restoration project at the church, National Geographic reports.

"The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it,” Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and a partner in the restoration project, told National Geographic. “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."

 

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File photo - Worshippers hold candles as they take part in the Christian Orthodox Holy Fire ceremony aound the Edicule at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City April 11, 2015. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)