In a one-hour special on this Sunday, National Geographic will air "The Secrets of Christ's Tomb" that will explore one of the most sacred sites in Christianity, the tomb of Jesus Christ located at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is believed to be where Jesus Christ was buried after the crucifixion and before His resurrection.
The show will follow a team of scientists as they repair the collapsing Edicule, the "little house" that holds the supposed burial chamber of Jesus. According to reports, the tomb of Jesus is at risk of "catastrophic" collapse because it lies on an unsteady foundation. Read more about that here and here.
Chief Scientific Supervisor at the National Technical University of Athens, professor Antonia Moropoulou, is in charge of fixing the crumbling structure and the pressure is on because church patriarchs have set a strict deadline. According to Nat Geo the restoration "must be completed" in time for the what is considered the "most important date in the Church's calendar" — the Easter ceremony of the "Holy Fire."
The restoration project for the tomb is being driven by the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Orthodox Churches, which have joint control of the site. The $3.4 million endeavor is intended to peel away layers of the tomb's outside, cleaning them and repairing them, in order to preserve them for future generations.
"The Secrets of Christ's Tomb: Explorer Special" will showcase the collaboration and sacrificial efforts of the "religious community, architects, scientists, and historians in their highly sensitive endeavor to restore, protect, and reveal the long-held mysteries of the tomb."
The pilgrimage site is a longtime tourist site for the world's 2 billion Christians and many visit the Holy City to see where Christ was laid to rest before his resurrection.
The will only have 60 hours to explore the findings at the scared site.
Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence for the National Geographic Society and Tim Samuels, a correspondent with National Geographic, will be on hand to document and help interpret the significance of what scientists find when the tomb is opened.
According to never before known findings, scientific testing reveal that the tomb actually dates back to Roman Emperor Constantine, in the fourth century AD. Constantine was the first Christian emperor and this new discovery supports historical accounts that Romans discovered the tomb where Jesus' body was laid before His Resurrection, and enshrined it somewhere around 326.
"The Secrets of Christ's Tomb: Explorer Special" will air globally in 171 countries and 45 languages. The special was produced by Pioneer Productions for National Geographic.
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