Turkish archaeologists say they have found a stone chest in a 1,350-year-old church that appears to contain a relic venerated as a piece of Jesus’ cross.
The artifacts were unearthed during a dig at Balatlar Church in Turkey’s Sinop Province, and displayed this week by excavation team leader Gülgün Köroğlu. “We have found a holy thing in a chest. It is a piece of a cross,” the Hurriyet Daily News quoted her as saying.
Köroğlu, an art historian and archaeologist at Turkey’s Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, said the team suspects that the chest served as a symbolic coffin for the relics of a holy person — and that the fragments within it were associated with Jesus’ crucifixion.
Many churches say they have a piece of the cross but none have been formally authenticated. How can they be authenticated?
I’m pretty certain that the joke about all the remnants of the true cross put together filling a shipload is true. Comments and references welcome on this story from our archaeology-inclined readers.