It is believed that the stone slab is where the body of Jesus was laid to rest after the crucifixion, and currently it is located at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It has been enclosed in what is called a Edicule since 1808, after the previous enclosing structure was destroyed in a fire.
The marble casing itself has not been lifted since 1555.
“We were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it,” said archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert. “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 removal of the slab is being filmed as part of a documentary for National Geographic, as the church undergoes some restoration work.
“We are at the critical moment for rehabilitating the Edicule,” said Chief Scientific Supervisor Antonia Moropoulu from the National Technical University of Athens.
“The techniques we’re using to document this unique monument will enable the world to study our findings as if they themselves were in the tomb of Christ.”
Check out the video below: