Historians and archaeologists agree that the remains of the Calvary are in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Maps of the Calvary rock were made by the Greek architect Katsimbinis in 1975. Then, Florentino Díez Fernández, a Spanish archaeologist, completed these maps in 1976.
The Calvary is a white limestone (real stone or meleke) which stood above the slope of mount al-Gareb. It was cracked due to a seismic tremor before its use as a Roman quarry in the 2nd century AD. There is a cavity known as the Cave of Adam or Treasures Cave under the summit, in the eastern face. This cavity is mentioned in the apocryphal literature as the grave of the first man whose bones redeemed the humanity with the Christ’s blood spilt over them in that place. It is probably the most ancient place of Christian worship due to vestiges found there (stuccos and inscriptions).
Doctor Carlos Llorente has made a three-dimensional reconstruction of the Calvary. He says that it would probably have an additional access due to its dimensions and height.
MODEL OF THE CALVARY AND ACCESS STAIRS (SOUTHERN VIEW). Doctor Carlos Llorente (2013).
GOLGOTHA OR PLACE OF THE SKULL
1 – Joseph of Arimathea’s garden
2 – Abandoned former quarry
3 – Calvary rock
4 – Slope of mount al-Gareb
5 – Jerusalem wall
Topographic map of the Calvary rock by the Greek architect Cristós Katsimbinis (1975).
Calvary rock profile and its connection with the paving of the Constantinian buildings. Sketch by Florentino Díez Fernández (1978).
Detail of the mosaic of the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana in Rome (end of the 4th century). It is considered the most ancient representation of the Calvary rock.
Archaeologists and workers who completed the archaeological excavation of the Calvary area (1978).
The cave of the Calvary had been hidden from the second century to 1978.
Detail of the Crucifixion by Juan de Flandes, Museo Nacional del Prado (1518). The iconography of Adam’s skull became very popular in the painting in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and even the Baroque. The legend of Adam’s grave in the Calvary is described in the Book of Adam and Eve and the Treasures Cave. It relates that the first man was buried in the same place where Christ was crucified, and it tells when ‘the Messiah obtained the victory wounded by the spear, blood and water flowed from his side to Adam’s mouth and that was his baptism’.