March 1, 2012
-- This tomb, carved out of rock, could be "directly connected to Jesus' first followers, those who knew him personally, and to Jesus himself," according to researchers.
Located beneath a modern condominium complex less than two miles south of the Old City of Jerusalem, this first-century burial, now named "patio tomb," is only 200 feet away from a second tomb, dubbed the "Jesus Family Tomb."
Lying beneath a garden area in the same condominium complex, the burial was discovered in 1980. It contained 10 ossuaries, six of them inscribed with names associated with Jesus and his family.
Critics dismissed the synchronicity of names as mere coincidence.
"The object of our investigation was to determine whether the 'patio tomb,' still intact, might contain names or other evidence that would provide for us further data that might conceivably shed light on the adjacent 'garden tomb' with its intriguing cluster of names," James D. Tabor, professor and chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, wrote in a preliminary report published online in the "The Bible and Interpretation" website.
He investigated the "patio tomb" with documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici.
Photo: Jacobovici at the entrance of the sealed "patio tomb"
New Find Reignites 'Jesus Tomb' Discovery