Startling Discoveries In Tomb Linked To Family Of Christ
Newly-found artifacts may lead to a "Complete Reassessment of both Judaism and Christianity," scholars claim
Archaeologists working in the tomb in Jerusalem linked by some to the family of Jesus Christ have made what they term "startling discoveries." As the archaeological team went through the tomb, documenting it's current condition and contents before resealing the entrance, noticed a small bulge in a rear wall. When examining it, stones, believe to have remained in place for almost 2000 years, came loose, revealing a small antechamber originally accessible, the archaeologists believe, by a narrow corridor several meters forward that is now choked with debris. The archaeologists mistook that corridor for an imperfection, similar to the imperfection in the tomb's south wall that was discovered and excavated ten years ago.
When the archaeologists entered the antechamber, a small cube-like room measuring four meters by four and one half meters by four meters, the were startled to find mummified remains of artifacts from the late Second Temple era. Amos Kilstein, the archaeologist leading the dig, said his hands trembled and "tears welled up in my eyes and flowed like streams down my face," when he realized what he had found.
Contents of the antechamber, include several mummified fur felt Fedora-style hats, the remnants of two yellow flags, almost completely crumbled with age, containing messianic inscriptions in ancient Hebrew script, and a scroll containing Gnostic teachings that begins "It has been taught …"
Kilstein believes this small chamber served as "a type of prayer or meditation room" for pilgrims who came to visit the graves of their leader and his family. "It is like the ultra-Orthodox do with the grave of Rabbi Bar Yohai in Meron, but on a much smaller scale," Kilstein said.
"The scroll, and the flags, which appear to tout the tomb's most important occupant as the messiah, will necessarily lead to a complete reassessment of Christianity and Judaism, its parent religion," said Hillary Bathcome, a professor of Ancient and Near Eastern History and an expert on religion formation at Tufts-Weslyann-United Theological Seminary in Maine who was present as the antechamber was excavated. "Perhaps he was a Pharisee, after all."