1. Tomb of Jesus Christ
The renovation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem began last year, but it was new scientific tests in November that found that the tomb, believed to be where Jesus Christ's body was rested after the crucifixion, matches previous historical accounts of the famous site.
Mortar samples collected from between the original limestone surface of the tomb and a marble slab that covers it were analyzed using optically stimulated luminescence, which allowed researchers to determine when quartz sediment was most recently exposed to light.
The tomb was dated back to 345 A.D., which aligns with accounts describing how Constantine, Rome's first Christian emperor, discovered and enshrined it somewhere around 326, in his quest to lead the Roman empire to embrace Christianity.
"This is a very important finding because it confirms that it was, as historically evidenced, Constantine the Great who was responsible for cladding bedrock of the tomb of Christ with the marble slabs in the Edicule," remarked Antonia Moropoulou, chief scientific coordinator of the restoration works.