‘Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock’. (Matthew 27:59).
‘Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid’. (Luke 23:53).
Jesus’s sepulchre could be accurately rebuilt thanks to evangelical narratives and historic and archaeological pieces of information. Professor Virgilio Canio Corbo undertook researches in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (1981) and several trial excavations were carried out. They prove that the area around the Golgotha was used as a quarry between the 8th and the 1st century B.C. Then, the quarry was abandoned and it became into a garden.
Jesus’s tomb would be cut out of the limestone known as ‘meleke’, in an isolated place of that quarry. There was a door closed by a rolling stone. Behind this door there was a room with a continuous bench and then a mortuary room could be found, with an arcosolium on the right side, which was the place where the corpse would be laid. Oil lamps (clay lamps) were used in order to light these areas. The lamps would be hung on the walls. Jesus’s tomb is totally distorted from its original shape. Nowadays, it is located inside of an aedicula or a Chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
First century Jewish tomb.
Reconstruction of the Jesus’s Sepulchre: There was an entrance (1) closed by a rolling stone (1st). Behind the door there was a room (2) with a continuous bench (2nd) and then a mortuary room (3) could be found, with an arcosolium stone sculpted (3rd).
Maps of a 1st – 2nd century sepulchre. J. M. Miñarro (2009)
The Entombment of Christ, Caravaggio (1602). Vatican Museums, Rome (Italy).
The Egyptian caliph al-Hakim destroyed Jesus’s tomb in 1009. Then, an Aedicula or Chapel was erected there.
Limestone known as ‘meleke’ or real stone.