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The Second Tomb

Second Tomb Discovery

Finding the Talpiot tomb, that is, the Jesus tomb, again after 25 years would be as difficult as any journey the team had taken.

They were assisted by interviews with witnesses of the first discovery in 1980, archaeologists, reports, and municipal maps detailing the surrounding suburb.

It was James Tabor who tracked down the tomb, or thought he had… He had discovered an apartment building featuring nefesh pipes, soul pipes placed inside tombs to allow the souls of the dead to pass through. These can be found all over Jerusalem’s subdivisions and quarters, wherever construction has built over a tomb.

Simcha and his team, robo-cam specialist Bill Tarant, Charles Pellegrino, author and paleo-botanist, Felix Golubev, longtime producer with Simcha’s Associated Producers, and others together secured permission from the family who owned the apartment under whose porch the tomb sat; they received permission from the Orthodox religious community; they filled out all the myriad forms and got permission from the IAA.

Once they determined the tomb was there—and had not been filled with concrete—they would knock down the bedroom wall and start digging.

The trouble was, it was the wrong tomb.

Amos Kloner, one of the three archaeologists who excavated the Tomb of Ten Ossuaries, related that during the excavation he had gone exploring uphill from the Tomb of Ten Ossuaries and discovered a second tomb exposed by the builders.

Kloner descended into the new hole and entered another large central chamber, filled with ossuary niches. He found ossuaries - at least seven of them. One was decorated with finely carved rosettes, and three others were inscribed Greek. However, his “excavation” ended there.

The Lost Tomb of Jesus

This was that tomb. When the robo-cam finally made its way through the nefesh pipe and into the tomb, the first images beamed back to the team above were those of circle within a chevron. Once past the antechamber, Simcha found himself wading through meters of scrolls.

This was a genizah, a place where damaged holy books are buried. These were likely placed here in 1980 when the tomb was resealed.

Patina samples were taken. The layout checked. More tests will solve the mystery of whether or not this was the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.


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